Gannon University’s athletic field located at W. Fifth and Sassafras streets will now be known
as McConnell Family Stadium in acknowledgement of a generous gift from Gannon alumnus Dennis
McConnell, a private investor living in La Jolla, California, graduated in 1970 with a bachelor’s degree in
finance. He is the founder of Bell Hill International, a venture capital company for early-stage biotech and
health care companies and held several positions at Amgen Inc., a Thousand Oaks, California-based
biotechnology company, including general manager of the diagnostics division and president of Amgen
Greater China Ltd.
He attributes much of his professional success to his parents, Harry and Betty McConnell of Cochranton,
Pennsylvania. “My gift is really about honoring my parents and a tribute to the hard work and sacrifices they
made for me to be able to attend Gannon. I think naming the stadium and athletic field after my family
provides a suitable tribute and visibility for their hard work.
Growing up I had the advantage of working side by side with my parents in a small diner they owned,”
McConnell said. They taught me integrity, consideration for others and hard work. This I believe contributed
more than anything to a balanced life and successful career.”
A plaque bearing the names of McConnell’s parents will be permanently installed in the stadium.
McConnell Family Stadium opened in 2001 and seats up to 2,500 spectators. Occupying an entire city
block on Gannon’s urban campus. The facility’s AstroPlay surface will be used by the University’s baseball,
football, lacrosse, soccer and softball teams.
Gannon University President, Keith Taylor, Ph.D. said “Changing lives is what we do here at Gannon
University, and Dennis McConnell simultaneously appreciates and embodies that fact.”
A portion of McConnell’s gift will support ongoing operations at the field as well as a capital construction
fund to support various projects including the modernization of the Hammermill Center, home to the
University’s acrobatics and tumbling, basketball, competitive cheer, volleyball and wrestling teams.