Trustee Karen Cramer donated $5 million for the construction of a new athletic stadium at her alma mater Texas Wesleyan University. A majority of her family attended Texas Wesleyan University — and Texas Woman’s College, before it was renamed.

“Don’t look down the road five years. Look down the road 15 years when you have a family. Look down the road 25 years when that family has a family,” Cramer said. “You’re not going to affect one generation. You’re going to affect 510 generations, hopefully.”

Cramer’s parents attended Texas Wesleyan University.

The $16.5 million Karen Cramer Athletic Stadium is part of the Engage, Inspire, Invest campaign goal of $40 million. The campaign plans to modernize campus facilities, increase endowment support for student scholarships and help provide funding for important programmatic initiatives that aid in student retention, Texas Wesleyan University President Frederick G. Slabach said.

The athletic stadium will host football, expand track and field and be an alternate site for soccer, campus events, Fort Worth ISD games, club sports and intramural sports.

The construction for the Karen Cramer Athletic Stadium will be built in three parts: football field and lighting, track, bleachers, concessions and press box. Construction began May 3 and construction on the track and field is set to conclude September 2022.

“A new athletic stadium will provide economic revitalization for the university and the surrounding community by attracting event attendance to Polytechnic heights, which will benefit businesses and those living in the Poly neighborhood,” Slabach said.

Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker, a graduate of the Texas Wesleyan University School of Law, said the addition will be a transformative addition to the Poly neighborhood for the youth.

Texas Wesleyan football player Jonathan Nelson cannot wait to walk on the athletic field as a player.

“I dream of putting on a uniform and playing on this field. I really do,” Nelson said. “I will not lie, as a football player, it will be nice to not have to carry my duffel bag all the way around Fort Worth to five different fields that are practice fields.”

Nelson and his fiancee are getting married in December. A few of his teammates will be groomsmen at his wedding, exemplifying the importance of the sport for Nelson.

“I will walk down that street at some point in my life and come watch Rams football,” Nelson said. “Students like me are finally going to get to experience what it’s like to have a Saturday football game on their own campus, something that every college student dreams of.”

Cristian ArguetaSoto is the community engagement journalist at the Fort Worth Report. Contact him by email or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

Creative Commons License

Noncommercial entities may republish our articles for free by following our guidelines. For commercial licensing, please email

Cristian is a May 2021 graduate of Texas Christian University. At TCU, ArguetaSoto served as staff photographer at TCU360 and later as its visual editor, overseeing other photojournalists. A Fort Worth...