Named after Admiral E. J. Roland (Class of 1929), who served as Commandant of the Coast Guard. Roland was Captain of the Coast Guard football squad that won the President's Cup in a competition with the Army, Navy and Marines. The First Lady, Mrs. Lou Henry Hoover, presented the trophy.
Completed in 1967, Roland Hall is a five-level structure nested into the hillside next to the Thames River. The fifth deck (top floor) houses an indoor track and tennis courts. The entrance to the third deck displays the Athletic Hall of Fame plaques. The members of the Hall of Fame are former Academy Athletes and Honorary Members who have upheld the Coast Guard's core values of Honor, Respect, and Devotion to Duty. The third level Roland Gym is where the Volleyball and Basketball games are held, along with the Roland Pool for the Swimming and Diving Team.
Named after Rear Admiral Frederick C. Billard, Superintendent of the Cutter School of Instruction from 1914-1918. Credited as the founder of the modern Coast Guard Academy, Billard moved the Academy from Fort Trumbull to its current location in 1932 and expanded the curriculum to four years. Billard established the school's motto, Scientiae Cedit Mare (The Sea Yields to Knowledge) in 1920, was an outstanding proponent of competitive sports.
Built in 1932, Billard Hall was used as an athletics facility before Roland Hall was built, and today is still used for athletic training for both the Leadership Development Center and the Cadet Corps. The Billard Gym is used for Wrestling meets and has a Cardio Room, Fitness Room, and Weight Training Room that were renovated and dedicated in February of 2009.
Cadet Memorial Field
The Academy's football field and stadium complex was originally named Jones Field in memory of Cadet Henry L. Jones, the first cadet to die while on duty when he was washed overboard while on a training mission. Now Cadet Memorial Field honors all cadets who have died at sea or on duty. A memorial inscribed, "To God I resign my spirit; my life to my country" can be found across from Billard Hall on the right side of the field's entrance.
The field's state-of-the-art turf system was installed in 2004, which was made possible due to the donations from the class of 1953. The Football Press Box was funded by Roger Walther class of ‘58, along with the Otto Graham Athletic Legacy Fund, and the 1963 Football Championship Team. The press box was dedicated in 2009.
Named after Professor Nelson Nitchman who retired in 1989 after 44 years at the Academy. He was the Assistant Physical Education Director and Director of Intramurals. During his tenure he coached Football, Basketball and Baseball. The Lower fields include the Softball Field, Baseball Field, and Soccer/Track Complex. This area of the campus along Eagle Drive runs along the Thames River and includes the Crew Boathouse and Jacobs Rock, the Sailing Center.
The Soccer Turf and Track were renovated in 2006. The Press Box was dedicated in 2008 with members of the class of ’53 whose donations made it possible.
Photos courtesy of CGA Public Affairs, Petty Officer Lauren Downs, and Mr. Paul Duddy.