The Chris Campbell Field and Education Center is bringing joy to the lives of a poverty-stricken community in South Africa. In this video highlighting the story of the field, Franklin & Marshall College alumnus Ryan McGonigle ’08 explains how the field is making an impact.
"We wanted to build a field that would be able to be used by the locals that we would be able to bring resources from the states … and be able to help out where possible, and be able to help strengthen a community," McGonigle says in the video.
Chris Campbell Field opened in 2009 in Khayelitsha Township in Cape Town, South Africa. Franklin & Marshall’s connection to the region was borne out of the tragic passing of Chris Campbell, an F&M soccer star who passed away the day before his senior soccer season. F&M men’s soccer head coach Dan Wagner and his team decided to build the field as a way to honor Campbell’s memory. It has evolved from a hub of athletic activity into an educational center.
McGonigle, who was Campbell’s friend and teammate, serves as the center’s program director. After spending three years in South Africa, McGonigle joined the F&M staff in the fall of 2011 as special assistant for education outreach and athletics planning in the Ware Institute for Civic Engagement.
The many ways in which F&M is engaged in South Africa were also highlighted during the March 29 Common Hour on the F&M campus.