You are here
1940 Martin Stadium Dedication
KWU Stadium and Plant Will Bear Glenn L. Martin for Field Name
Wesleyan Graduate talks to Pres. Morrow on his Eastern trip; recalls his days as a student at Kansas Wesleyan University
He Will Attend Dedication
Martin’s Prominence in Airplane Field Attained by Perserverance; His First Attempt to Fly Was in a Field Near Kansas Wesleyan.
Kansas Wesleyan’s athletic stadium and field, acknowledged to be one of the finest of its kind in the Midwest, will bear the name of former student of Kansas Wesleyan, Glenn L. Martin, following its dedication next fall, President E. K. Morrow announced this week.
The designation of the athletic plant as Glenn L. Martin Field is the university’s way, Mr. Morrow pointed out, of paying tribute to a man whose leadership in aeronautics is recognized by high government officials, and in the industry as well, and a recognition of Martin’s pioneering in that field.
Seating nearly 1800 persons, with a fine press box available for the press and broadcasting, the stadium overlooks a fine firm turf which has held its own throughout the drubbing to which it was subjected this year. The completion of the rooms for storage space and dressing rooms below the stands is expected before the close of the 1940-1941 school year, and when the dedication ceremonies are held next fall, the structure and field should be at its peak in utility and efficiency.
Glenn L. Martin, now president of the great airplane manufacturing concern which bears his name, located near Baltimore, Md., first began to build gliders in 1907, and in 1908 he built his first airplane factories in America at Santa Ana, California in 1909.
Expansion of his factory led him to incorporate in 1911, and a year later he moved to Los Angeles in order to increase his activities. Even as early as 1912 he had gained something of a national reputation and had sent his planes eastward to participate in contests.
Mr. Martin designed a plane as early as 1913 which was accepted by the United States government, thus beginning a relationship which has continued to this day. In the present defense program his company has been awarded millions of dollars worth of contracts for planes.
Not only was Martin able to “sell” the government on the quality and reliability of his planes, but he also received orders for new models from other countries, even before American entered the World War.
Much has been said of the famous Martin bombers, which have been greatly used by the United States Government. The first of these was made in 1918, and the former Kansas Wesleyan student added another “first” to his growing list of records. The Martin bomber was the first plane to be built to accommodate the famous Liberty motor, so popular during the World War.
After the World War, Martin turned his attention to the possibilities offered first by air-mail, and then to passenger planes. He was awarded his first contract for mail planes in 1919 when six were placed in service. He pioneered further in this field by the development of the “Night Mail Plane,” in 1922.
Other records he has set since include the building of the first American metal monoplane, the first American plane to carry a bomb weighing a ton, the world’s first all-metal seaplane, and the first successful large plane for aircraft carriers.
Most of the entire history of the Martin enterprises has been centered around contracts with the armed forces of the United States. He is now one of the principal contractors furnishing planes and materials for the government program for national defense and aid to Britain.
Martin’s gigantic industry now occupies only slightly less than a million square feet of floor space. In addition, the concern has provided for expansion which includes a restricted airport for the air-minded sportsman who wishes to land his own machine, whether it be a land or aquaplane.
The industry has been largely the result of Martin’s personal efforts. He has not only achieved distinction in his industry and the complete confidence of his associates, but he has built a business organization which supports him in the utilization of every new project and possibility. His workmen are trained from the beginning to take advantage of every opportunity for promotion, and man of the company’s executives have reached their present position and ranks, as has Martin himself.
Mr. Martin was honored in 1933 when Kansas Wesleyan University conferred the degree of Bachelor of Science upon him. He recalled at that time that he made flights from the field just south of the university campus, even as early as 1908. Dean A. H. King is the only present member of the faculty who recalls Martin’s experiments, but his practice flights sometimes attracted scores of curious onlookers.
He recently wrote: “I never think of Kansas Wesleyan without a warm feeling of friendship for the school, the campus, the faculty and students who were in school during my short period at Kansas Wesleyan.” Throughout the years since he left school he has been a whole-hearted supporter of the institution.
-----KWU-----From The Advance, Volume thirty, Number six, Friday, December 13, 1940