The dedication of Caven Lacrosse and Sports Center at Clark Field is the silver lining that emerged from tragedy, said former Board of Regents chairman Scott Caven Jr.
At a dedication ceremony for the center Friday, Caven said the naming of the field in honor of his family would forever serve as a reminder of the four generations of his family that attended the University as well as his son, who died in a car accident shortly before beginning at UT.
“This is our field of dreams,” Caven said. “All of us know that life is filled with ups and downs, successes and failures, victories and defeats, triumphs and tragedies. The triumph of this day began with a tragedy — with the death of our son, Scotty Caven.”
Caven said the renovations — including 2.3 acres of synthetic turf, 444 yards of high performance track, metal halide field lighting fixtures, 10 exercise stations and a wireless scoreboard — would not have been possible without the dedication of donors, administrators and other contributors. The construction was completed this fall, six months after renovations began, Caven said. He said he hopes the facility will help to promote UT’s lacrosse program.
“We are standing here today at the dawn of a new era for the sport of lacrosse in Texas and in the Southwest,” Caven said. “The closest facility of this quality is over 800 miles away at the University of Denver which has a Division I team.”
He said he is honored his family’s name will forever be displayed in connection with the field.
“Orange blood flows like a river in the Caven family,” he said.
Caven listed at least a dozen family members who have attended UT since his grandfather Hubbard Scott Caven enrolled 90 years ago.
Caven said he was a member of the University Board of Regents when, on Aug. 8, 2004, Scotty decided to drive home for one last weekend with his family before he enrolled as a Plan II Honors student. He died in a car accident en route.
Scotty Caven was passionate about lacrosse and would have loved the field, his father said.
“I could not remember a single day of senior year at St. John’s School in Houston where Scotty was not out practicing lacrosse — either on the school playing field or throwing and catching with his lacrosse stick against the brick wall of our house,” Caven said.
Scotty Caven had practiced with the UT men’s lacrosse team the summer prior to his death and had anxiously anticipated trying out for the team in the fall, his father said.
Six months after Scotty Caven’s death, Scott Caven was asked to look into renovating Clark Field, he said.
UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa said he became involved with the UT because of Caven.
“At a time where I was facing a crossroad in my life, whether to go back into the field of pediatric surgery or to continue in an administrative role at the University of Texas system, Scott Caven was the one who counseled me,” Cigarroa said. “In many ways, I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for that heart-to-heart talk with Scott Caven.”
President of the University William Powers Jr. said that the Caven family will forever be remembered for its contributions to UT.
“You’ve always been woven into the fabric of this university, but now your name is physically woven into the fabric of this great university,” Powers said.