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It’s been sixty years since Larry M. Beans ’62 walked out onto Memorial Field as a quarterback for State High, but he said that the memory of Friday night football remains one of the most vivid memories of his life. “The crisp air, the lights, cheerleaders, the band, people in the stands—it was magnificent.”

When he read about the project to renovate the field in the Education Foundation magazine, it resonated with him right away. “I want to see that it’s saved and stayed in the location where it was originally built. It’s a beautiful, iconic setting and I felt that this was something as a community and as alumni that we can do. I support many causes, but this one is very personal and worthwhile to me,” he said.

Larry has pledged a $1 million gift to the Campaign for Memorial Field. The first part of his commitment, $875,000, was approved by the school board at its May 24th meeting. As part of his gift, Larry has chosen naming rights for the concession stand, the press box, the bleachers, and the scoreboard.

The concession stand will be named to honor his entire 1962 graduating class. “My teammates were very important to me then, as they are now. I think it’s important that all of my classmates are included,” he said.

“In learning about Larry’s background and his gift, it’s clear that he’s motivated by the sense of community he felt during his State High experience,” said Education Foundation President Chris Buchignani. “On behalf of the Education Foundation board, I share my gratitude with Larry for his dedication to improving this community landmark so that it can continue to bring people together.”

Larry said that participating in athletics at State High was formative for him. “Sports were a big part of my life in school. At the time, coaching was as much about human relationships as it was about training. Coaches and teachers were so much a part of all of our lives. The town, the community, coaches and teachers, teammates and classmates, we all worked in concert to accomplish goals,” he shared.

“My experiences at State High meant a lot to me—they kept me out of trouble, kept me positive, taught me human decency and leadership,” he continued. “I learned to surround myself with very bright people and work together, relying on each other’s talents to be successful. It applied to football, and it applies to my company as well. It showed me to find people smarter than me, latch onto those people, and follow them all the way,” he said.

Larry played football, basketball and baseball for the Little Lions. After high school, Larry graduated from college, was commissioned in the military and in 1970 he entered the explosive industry. In 1984, he bought Maurer & Scott Sales Inc., with offices in the Lehigh Valley, Pa., now one of the most successful independent explosive distributorships in the country.

He said that giving back to State High is a way to give today’s students what he benefited so much from: a safe, positive setting where he learned lifelong skills. “Those who can afford to contribute need to do this. It doesn’t matter what you give, it matters that you get involved. Sports, band, choir and other activities all need support. It’s a team effort. We can do this together.”

Buchignani says that Larry’s commitment adds to an anonymous $200,000 pledge to name the main home team locker room and a $500,000 pledge from Galen Dreibelbis to name the stadium plaza area near the entry way at Nittany Avenue.

“The generosity of these individuals benefits not only today’s and future generations of State High students, but also the entire community. Safe, functional facilities improve the experience of students participating in athletics, at State High or in youth and community leagues, as well as the fans who come out to cheer on the Little Lions and other teams,” Buchignani said.

Renovations to Memorial Field will strengthen the foundation for a secure and sustainable future for State College athletics and contribute to State College as a whole. The project improves and increases the safety of the practice and playing experience for athletes, members of the marching band, and community youth sports organizations; leverages the existing structure of the Fairmont Building to add needed indoor space for team meetings; provides an exemplary community gathering space for games and other events by offering a safe, more enjoyable spectator experience; and showcases our students and the tremendous level of community support afforded to our district by engaged and invested local individuals, families and businesses.