“Clutch Double by Tucker Buffaloes Bison, 6-5” read the GW Hatchet recap on April 8, 1976.
Thirty-eight years later, GW Baseball’s star center fielder has done it again—driving home a $2 million gift to the George Washington University.
Now a GW trustee, Avram S. “Ave” Tucker, BBA ’77, has committed $1 million to the Department of Athletics and Recreation; half going to the Buff & Blue Fund for unrestricted support of student-athletes and half slated for construction of a baseball clubhouse. An additional $1 million will support the School of Business and the GW Law School.
“I am delighted that Ave Tucker has chosen to support the university in such a range of important ways, each of which means so much to him personally,” said GW President Steven Knapp.
In recognition of Mr. Tucker’s generosity and support to the Department of Athletics and Recreation, the GW Board of Trustees voted to name the baseball field at Barcroft Park in Arlington, Va. in his honor.
“Ave’s generosity and spirit of philanthropy will have a profound impact on all of our student-athletes,” says Director of Athletics and Recreation Patrick Nero. “His commitment to the physical well-being of our student-athletes, as well as to our baseball facility, will help our programs to continue the momentum of these past few years. We are forever grateful to Ave for his commitment to his alma mater, and thanks to him, we will be proud to compete for championships on Tucker Field year in and year out.”
A graduate of the School of Business, Mr. Tucker attended GW for his junior and senior years on a baseball scholarship. “One of the things I’m going to do is repay them for giving me the opportunity to play baseball at a Division I school,” he recalls vowing.
Before Barcroft Park, the Colonials played their home games on the Ellipse between the Washington Monument and the White House. Their speedy center fielder ran down several fence-clearing blasts—had there been actual fences.
“The Ellipse was an amazing place to play baseball,” recalls Mr. Tucker fondly. “It wasn’t much of a stadium, but it had some very unique aspects.” Like the delays caused by the landing of the presidential helicopter in deep left field or the unusual bounces that sometimes helped decide games.
“Some of the fans were my family that would come down to the games, including my German Shepard that I grew up with,” he adds.
On Saturday, October 18, many more friends and family will join Mr. Tucker at Barcroft Park for the dedication of Tucker Field. The park has been the home of GW Baseball since the team relocated off the Ellipse in 1993. Barcroft Park underwent a multi-million dollar renovation in 2012 to install a new press box, concession area, dugouts, bullpens, and stadium seating.
“It’s a little embarrassing,” says Mr. Tucker about the field-naming. “I’m thinking it’s both for myself and my father who helped me with sports even though he was not a trained athlete. He grew up playing stickball in the streets of New York, but felt he knew more than any batting coach. So before I came and met [former GW Baseball coach] Mike Toomey, basically my father was my coach.”
The coaching and advice he received from his father also extended beyond the baseball diamond and helped instill the philanthropic spirit that’s driven the support of his alma mater.
“I had always grown up thinking it was good to give something back to society,” says Mr. Tucker. “That was something my parents taught me.”
Mr. Tucker’s gift to the School of Business gift will support faculty summer research, a strategic funding priority for GWSB in GW’s Making History campaign. The GW Law School donation will support the Government Contracts Associate Dean endowed fund—the university’s Government Procurement Law Program is the only one of its kind in the United States.
If you would like to support GW Baseball and the GW Department of Athletics and Recreation, step up to the plate at buffandbluefund.com. Learn how you can support the School of Business and GW Law School at campaign.gwu.edu.