Ralph F. DellaCamera Field Dedication

Erin Ennis

On Saturday Sept. 26, during the pre-game of the Chargers Homecoming game, President Kaplan and Director of Athletics Debbie Chin took to the fifty yard line to start the honorary dedication of the Ralph F. DellaCamera field.

For those who missed it, or anyone who may have been unable to hear the ceremony over the roar of the excited University of New Haven fans, here is a brief synopsis. President Kaplan took the microphone and spoke about the old football program here at the University of New Haven. He mentioned how we were considered a “powerhouse” and the “best football program in the state”.  President Kaplan went on to mention our alumni, head coach Tony Sparano, quarterback coach Chris Palmer, offensive coordinator Mark Whipple, and Jacksonville Jaguars player Roger Graham.  Finally, he brought Ralph F. DellaCamera Senior and Junior onto the field to acknowledge their contributions to our stadium, field, and renewed football program.

Ralph F. DellaCamera Jr., managing member of DellaCamera Capital Management LLC, spoke to all the students, family, and friends sitting in the homecoming audience.  He shared with us monumental pieces of advice: “This world isn’t about how hard you get hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. That is how winning is done.”  He urged those in attendance to take hits, keep in stride, and always push for their goals. DellaCamera finished his speech with a heart touching nod to his father, saying “Dad, this field is named in your honor, for teaching and instilling in me the belief that I should never give up and that I should believe in myself.”

President Kaplan finished the field dedication by motioning for a large banner to be pulled from the scoreboard, officially naming the field and the stadium. When the ropes refused to pull and the banner refused to fall, it was as if DellaCamera’s speech was coming true: although life may not always be perfect, the ability to keep going makes you strong.
In an almost iconic moment, members of the new football team (our mascot, a player, and members of athletics) joined together to attempt to bring the banner down.

The banner finally fell during an impromptu halftime ceremony and our stadium, our football field, the return of University of New Haven football, and a renewed school spirit were officially noticed. GO CHARGERS!