LAKELAND, Fla., Oct. 29, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Today Florida Southern College held a ceremony to officially name Moccasin Field, the inviting home of the college's soccer and lacrosse teams for women and men, to Berend Field in honor of Dr. Keith R. Berend, MD.
Berend, a native of Columbus, Ohio, is a 1992 FSC graduate as well as a Distinguished Alumnus and current Trustee. After Florida Southern, Berend graduated with his MD from Duke University.
"It is humbling for me and my family to come back today and see our family's name on this field. This is where I played flag football when I was a student. More importantly, our family's gift helps the athletes and impacts my alma mater."
For more than 20 years, Berend has made a name for himself as a world-renowned hip and knee surgeon, and he has also been incredibly generous to his alma mater. Currently practicing at JIS Orthopedics in Ohio, Berend has published more than 230 peer-reviewed papers that pertain to his specialties.
Berend is responsible for numerous philanthropic initiatives at FSC, including the Dr. Keith R. Berend Endowed Chair in Nursing for the Ann Blanton Edwards School of Nursing and Health Sciences. The Berend Fellows, a summer internship program at his practice in Ohio, has sponsored more than a dozen Florida Southern students over five years at Berend's practice in Ohio, helping to further the education of students in the fields of medicine and the natural sciences.
Berend's daughter, Molly, played for the Florida Southern College women's lacrosse team before graduating in the spring of 2021, earning academic distinction on the Sunshine State Conference Commissioner's Honor Roll, and the D2 Athletic Director's Association Academic Achievement Award.
"Dr. Berend's name is synonymous with excellence, not only in the world of medicine, but also at Florida Southern College," FSC President Dr. Anne B. Kerr said. "To have his name attached to ongoing academic and athletic endeavors heightens Florida Southern College's profile. We are excited and extremely honored to dedicate Berend Field for future generations of champions."
The ceremony took place at 12 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 29 with faculty, students, and staff in attendance.
Since the completion of the Barnett Athletic Complex in 2017, the men's and women's lacrosse teams have had a permanent home on campus, joining the men's and women's soccer teams. Berend Field, as well as Chris Bellotto Field (softball), will continue to provide future athletes with a proud home supporting excellence in athletics and academics. Berend Field has already seen championship moments when the women's lacrosse team won the Sunshine State Conference Tournament in 2017 and 2018.
"Our program is proud of the 30 national championships we have won, and we look forward to our next one on Berend Field," FSC Director of Athletics Drew Howard said. "It will be a place where our athletes will continue to prosper and compete."
About Florida Southern College
Founded in 1883, Florida Southern College is the oldest private college in the state. The College maintains its commitment to academic excellence through 70+ undergraduate programs and distinctive graduate programs in business administration, education, nursing, and physical therapy. Florida Southern has a 14:1 student-to-faculty ratio, is an award-winning national leader in engaged learning, and boasts 30 NCAA Division II National Championships. Florida Southern is ranked at #8 among the "Best Regional Universities in the South" by U.S. News & World Report in its 2022 "Best Colleges" guide and is included in The Princeton Review's 2022 Best 387 Colleges guide and the "Fiske Guide to Colleges 2022." The 2021-2022 Colleges of Distinction guidebook praises Florida Southern's AACSB accredited Barney Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise alongside the College's School of Education and its Ann Blanton Edwards School of Nursing and Health Sciences. Poets&Quants, U.S. News & World Report, Fortune, and The Princeton Review further laud the Barney Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise and the Ann Blanton Edwards School of Nursing and Health Sciences as foremost programs in the nation for business and nursing education. Home to the world's largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture, FSC has appeared on The Princeton Review's top 20 "Most Beautiful Campus" national listing for 12 consecutive years. Connect with Florida Southern College.