Construction of new softball field, long-term needs of 3 sports, gets boost from Sadlers

The future site of Eleanor “Ellie” Bewley Stadium. (Photo courtesy of JNF Visuals)

Randal (Randy) Sadler, Earlham Class of 1973, and his wife, Melissa, are once again stepping up to the plate to support the growth and continued success of Quaker Athletics.

The Sadlers’ latest gift is a catalyst for the construction of a new softball field on south campus, which will be complete in time for the start of fall practices. The inaugural season begins in spring 2024 behind a landmark recruitment effort by Head Coach Stacey Goyette. The couple has also established endowments that will serve as maintenance funds to support long-term needs for the College’s baseball and softball stadiums and the varsity tennis courts. 

Randy and Melissa Sadler
Randy and Melissa Sadler

“The student-athlete experience at Earlham College has been elevated considerably by the Sadlers’ exceptional generosity and unwavering love for the College,” Earlham President Anne Houtman said. “We can’t thank them enough for their partnership as we re-establish softball as a varsity sport and secure a strong future for our baseball, tennis and golf programs.”

The Sadlers will be recognized by the College at a dedication ceremony during Homecoming and Reunion Weekend on Saturday, Oct. 14. The event also marks the occasion of Randy’s 50th reunion and his induction into the Athletics Hall of Fame for outstanding achievement in baseball as a student-athlete.

“Melissa and I understand how vital it is for Earlham to recruit new student-athletes and help them reach their full potential,” Randy Sadler said. “Earlham was and remains a special place in my life. I can’t think of a better way to mark the occasion of my 50th reunion than with a gift that can make a difference in the lives of future generations of Earlhamites while raising the profile of Earlham Athletics.”

Sports complexes to be dedicated during Homecoming

In recognition of the Sadlers’ philanthropy, the College will announce the opening of the Sadler Athletics Complex during Homecoming and Reunion Weekend as the home of baseball, softball, and men’s and women’s tennis. 

The Sadler gift, which was first discussed with the College two years ago, has also inspired the naming of the College’s new softball and tennis facilities. 

The Gene Hambrick Varsity Tennis Courts recognize the contributions of Earlham’s senior executive director of the Center for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Creativity, and Randy’s classmate from the Class of 1973. The Evan Farber Recreational Tennis Courts are named in memory of Earlham’s renowned librarian who worked at Earlham from 1962 to 1994 and was an avid tennis player. Eleanor (Ellie) Bewley Softball Stadium, the home of the new softball program, is named after Earlham’s longtime board member who graduated with the Class of 1969.

“Gene Hambrick, Evan Farber and Ellie Bewley have made countless contributions to Earlham,” Sadler said. “The growth of tennis as a varsity and recreational sport on Earlham’s campus would not be possible without Gene’s leadership and vision. Evan’s impressive legacy as a librarian and his unwavering support for students is also deserving of recognition in perpetuity.  Ellie is a close friend of mine who has served Earlham as a board member and inspired countless students as an educator in California, where she was an outstanding coach and physical education teacher. It is an honor to recognize these outstanding Earlhamites as we usher in a new era of Earlham athletics.”

10-plus years of supporting Earlham Athletics

Site plan for Eleanor “Ellie” Bewley Stadium.

Sadler was a celebrated pitcher on some of the Quakers’ best baseball teams, becoming a leader for earned run average. During the 1971 season, he pitched an impressive 1.56 earned run average that is still fifth best in program history.

He and Melissa are among Earlham Athletics’ most ardent and generous advocates. In 2012, the couple made a major gift in support of a new baseball facility on south campus. Randal R. Sadler Stadium was built during the summer of 2013 and hosted the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament in 2017. In 2021, the couple’s continued generosity was a catalyst for re-establishing men’s and women’s golf and tennis programs as a varsity sport.

“I can’t thank Randy and Melissa enough for their longstanding commitment to our athletics programs,” said Adam Hutchinson, Earlham director of athletics. “Softball is one of the fastest-growing collegiate sports in the country and has been a powerful tool in recruiting outstanding student-athletes to our campus.

“Just like our other outstanding facilities, the new softball stadium will be among the nation’s best in Division III NCAA athletics,” he said.

A math and physics major at Earlham who later earned a master’s degree in education and an MBA both from Xavier University (OH), Randy serves as the chief operating officer of PROWARE, an Ohio-based corporation focused on providing information technology to clients since 1985.

In addition, the innovative entrepreneur is a real estate developer, a financial adviser, stockbroker and owner of several small businesses, including a par three golf course in the Cincinnati area.

Please consider joining the Sadlers with a gift to of support to one or more of these projects by visiting

Media contact

Brian Zimmerman
Director of media relations

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 765.983.1256

We continue to monitor the effects of an industrial fire 1.1 miles from campus.
We continue to monitor the effects of an industrial fire 1.1 miles from campus.