Walter and Betty Zable, classes of 1937 and 1940 respectively, made a commitment of $10 million to the Campaign for the Fourth Century in the fall of 1990. The money will be used for athletics, graduate student aid and other various needs.
In appreciation of this large gift, the College's Board of Visitors approved the naming of the football stadium at Cary Field the Walter J. Zable Stadium. A formal dedication was held Nov. 3, 1990, prior to kickoff of that season's 38-28 homecoming victory over Furman.
A three-year letterwinner for the Tribe's football team (1934-36), Zable is more than familiar with college athletics. He also lettered in baseball, basketball and track, and was an honorable mention All-America on the gridiron. After graduation Zable enjoyed a professional football career with the Richmond Arrows and the New York Giants.
Besides being named to Sports Illustrated's Silver Anniversary All-America team, he was a National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame Gold Medal recipient in 1980, and received the "Teddy" Award from the NCAA in 1987, which is presented annually to a distinguished citizen of national reputation and outstanding accomplishment who has earned a varsity award in college.
Constructed in 1935 at a cost of $138,395, Zable Stadium at Cary Field has been home to a solid winning tradition for the Tribe gridders. The first contest there ended in a 0-0 deadlock with state rival Virginia in the 1935 season opener.
Zable Stadium was financed by a grant for construction through the Public Works Administration during President Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration. Improvements in the past decade have boosted Zable Stadium's capacity to 12,259. However, in the 1985 Homecoming victory over Richmond, a record crowd of 18,054 packed the stadium and grounds.
Source: College of William & Mary