Sometimes, jokes can be a little too real...
However, after a leaked (and then deleted) tweet last night and a vote by the Purdue Board of Trustees this morning, it’s official: Welcome to Rohrman Field at Ross-Ade Stadium.
Rohrman Field at Ross-Ade Stadium coming in 2020— mike carmin (@carmin_jc) December 6, 2019
$15 million gift
BREAKING: Purdue will name the field at Ross-Ade Stadium after the Rohrman family thx to $15M gift. Official name is “Rohrman Field at Ross-Ade Stadium.”— Trevor Peters (@TrevorPetersTV) December 6, 2019
Their auto group has 32 dealerships in IN, IL & WI. Bob Rohrman & family visited during Maryland game on Oct. 12 @WLFI pic.twitter.com/3iNLfwA5TU
The naming of the field at Ross-Ade came after Bob Rohrman and his family donated $15 million to Purdue athletics for the Ross-Ade Stadium renovations. This donation will cover a good portion of the stadium renovation costs. I am not entirely sure, but this one of the largest, if not the largest, single gift ever made to Purdue Athletics. (Editor’s note: it is the largest gift ever to Purdue Athletics. Previous high came last year with L. Dick Buell’s $10 million to endow the Purdue Basketball coaching position).
It should be noted that field is being named after the Rohrman Family itself, and is not a corporate sponsorship from the Bob Rohrman Auto Group.
Understandably, many Purdue fans are upset about this decision, as many had wanted to see the field at Ross-Ade named after the late Joe Tiller. Some even joked about calling it “Joe Tiller Court” in honor of his basketball on grass style.
But alas, that was not to be the case. While it will sting for a long time with many Purdue fans that we will not see Joe Tiller Field, the generous donation from the Rohrman Family was definitely needed to get the ball rolling on the much needed renovations at Ross-Ade Stadium.
At least the pavilion, which was built during the Tiller years, has not been officially named and could still be named after Joe Tiller. Just a thought...
While Bob Rohrman is well known for his automotive dealerships that started in Lafayette and now stretch from Kenosha to Indy, he is also well known for being a philanthropist and giving back to the community. At the beginning of the year, it was announced that Rohrman would receive the Sagamore of the Wabash Award from the Indiana Statehouse because of the charitable donations and work he did around the community. Rohrman did have some health problems in the last few years, but seems to be doing better as far as we know. The Rohrman family has continued to run the dealerships and continue their philanthropic work throughout the area, including today’s large donation to Purdue Football.
Editor’s note: The original article has been corrected to show that the gift came from the Rohrman Family, not just Bob Rohrman.