Memorial Stadium Fundraising Community
The beginning of the fundraising drive for Memorial Stadium was October 16, 1922. It opened with a huge meeting of 4,000 students in the city auditorium. This marked the beginning of the campaign to raise $90,000 among the students alone. By the end of the week they had raised $102,750. The following campaigns among the faculty and people of Lincoln both soared past their goals, much like the student drive (Drive). Even inmates from the state penitentiary helped the cause by sending a check for $231.16, money the Penitentiary Dramatic Club had raised by doing a minstrel and vaudeville performance (Pen). The final drive though, the alumni, was left to raise the bulk of the money. It took only four months to raise $460,000, which was $30,000 more than the original goal (Drive).
The groundbreaking ceremony for the beginning of construction of Memorial Stadium took place on April 26, 1923. The president of the Board of Regents, John R. Webster, gave the primary speech for the ceremony. He compared the stadium to what other universities are doing, discussed the importance of physical activities to a well-rounded individual, and how it was important to use the stadium to honor Nebraskas soldiers (Speech, John R. Webster). Memorial stadium was dedicated October 20, 1923, the day of the homecoming game against University of Kansas. The dedication ceremony, which took place before the game, included sppeeches from Chancellor Avery, former dean of Engineering Charles Russ Richards, and Senator C. B. Carney, Chairman of the Board of Administration of Kansas University (Stage)