Nov. 8, 2023
Media Contact: Joey Jones (jo*****@ap******.edu)
BOONE, N.C. – Robert Thomas “Tommy” Sofield Jr. ’76, his wife, Debbie, and the Sofield family have donated a significant gift to Appalachian State University in support of athletics facilities enhancements, including a new multipurpose indoor practice facility.
Tommy Sofield, who played football for the Mountaineers and was captain of the 1975 team that went 8-3 with wins over East Carolina, Wake Forest and South Carolina, has been a successful businessman and real estate developer in Boone since graduating from App State. He also currently serves as Vice Chair of the Appalachian State University Board of Trustees among other leadership positions in the community.
“Appalachian State University means the world to my family and me,” said Sofield. “We are committed to the success of Mountaineer student-athletes on and off the field and carrying on the tradition of championships and a world-class college experience. We love investing back into the program and encourage others to join us in investing in the future of App State Athletics.”
“App State has long been the beneficiary of the generosity of the Sofield Family,” said Dr. Sheri Everts, App State’s Chancellor, when she announced the gift. “Tommy distinguished himself among his peers as a leader when he came to App State, starting a small business that employed other students while playing football and carrying a full-time class load. Since his graduation in 1976, he has become a pillar of the App State Community, well known for his kindness and generosity, as well as his business acumen.
“In 2007, Tommy and his family took the lead on supporting a facility to provide better training opportunities for App State student-athletes, continued Everts. “This additional lead gift will continue to foster our Mountaineers’ competitive drive to excel in their sports as well as in the classroom, and will contribute to the recruitment, growth and development of future student-athletes for many years to come. We thank the Sofield family for their continued support and engagement with App State.”
The Sofields’ lead gift will help fund a new indoor practice facility – with a 100+ yard artificial turf surface – to replace the current Sofield Family Indoor Practice Facility that opened in October 2007, for which the Sofields also donated the lead gift.
“We thank Tommy and the entire Sofield family for their generosity throughout the years,” said Director of Athletics Doug Gillin. “From his time as a student-athlete to supporting his alma mater as an alumnus, Tommy’s commitment to the success of App State Athletics is unparalleled. His relational impact on generations of App State student-athletes will also leave an enduring legacy for many more decades.”
A native of Virginia Beach, Virginia, Sofield began his career as an entrepreneur during his junior year at App State when he opened a Boone sandwich shop that he ran successfully for 14 years. His many business ventures since earning a bachelor’s degree in physical education from App State are highlighted by starting companies such as U.S. Buildings, U.S. Chemical Storage, U.S. Explosive Storage, U.S. Safe Room, Elephant Structures and Harmony Timberworks.
He was recognized with Appalachian State University’s Outstanding Service Award in 2017.
With his latest gift, the university has raised $41 million toward the $100 million goal for the All for App initiative to invest and build for the future of App State Athletics. Other current athletics facility plans include the construction of a fieldhouse, outdoor tennis courts, softball field and indoor tennis courts at the Appalachian 105 facility.
App State Athletics Strategic Communications
425 Jack Branch Drive
Boone, NC, 28608