Abilene Christian University announced that it has received a $3 million gift toward the completion of Wildcat Stadium from David D. and Kathryn Halbert.
In 2014, the Halberts gave $15 million toward the creation of HalbertWalling Research Center as part of ACU's
Vision in Action initiative. Now, they are adding to their Vision in Action support with the $3 million gift to
ACU's first oncampus football stadium in more than 50 years. Its press box tower will be named for David D.
Halbert's best friend and former ACU allAmerica defensive back, Chuck Sitton ('78).
Sitton, who passed away at age 24 from smoke inhalation in a 1980 house fire, played football with David at
Abilene High School in the 1970s. Their friendship extended back to their days as young children in Abilene in
"As our alma mater was making plans to build a new football stadium, Kathy and I became compelled to make
sure Chuck would forever be remembered when fans, players and coaches gather for an ACU game," David D.
Halbert ('78) said. "I want Chuck to be remembered when we think about what it means to be a person of
integrity, honor and discipline. Chuck was a model teammate: passionate, competitive, brave, enthusiastic, smart
and selfless. He demonstrated the leadership it takes to make individuals better than they think they can be. His
example helped turn teams into winners."
Halbert's grandfather was Dean Walling, a visionary founding director of ACU's National Development Council
during the Design for Development campaigns that built Moody Coliseum, McGlothlin Campus Center, Brown
Library, Don H. Morris Center and Walling Lecture Hall, among other iconic buildings on campus.
Halbert and his wife, Kathryn (Gay '78), cofounded the Caris Foundation in 2002 to provide medical services to
impoverished areas of the world. It funds relief efforts in Haiti, Guatemala, Peru, Kenya, Indonesia, the
Philippines and China, with a focus on preventing and treating pediatric HIV and other lifethreatening diseases.
The five story, 55,000 squarefoot Chuck Sitton Tower on the west side of the stadium will house club, suite and
press levels. The club level has been designed to host events throughout the year and accommodate 405 guests
on football gamedays. Just outside the club level, eight covered loge boxes will each contain eight stadium seats.
Ten suites on the suite level will contain 1216 stadium seats, both interior and exterior.
The press level will host print media and feature two radio booths, a TV booth,
booths for ACU's and visiting coaches, suites for the ACU director of athletics
and the visiting directors of athletics, camera decks, officials' replay booth and
an auxiliary booth for audio and video, including the stadium's video
"The history of ACU football can't be written without the Sitton name, and
we're extremely proud Chuck's will be on the stadium for every player and fan
to see," said ACU president Dr. Phil Schubert ('91). "We're grateful to David
and Kathy for their gift, and I know the Sitton family appreciates their
thoughtfulness. When our coaches speak of the value of teamwork, we want
Chuck's leadership to forever stand as a shining example of what it means to
be a Wildcat."
The Sitton name has been associated with ACU football since the 1940s when
Chuck's father, Ted Sitton, followed an outstanding high school career at
Stamford by quarterbacking the legendary 1950 "Singing Christians" from
Abilene Christian to the program's only perfect season (110) to date.
Ted later became a longtime offensive coordinator for the Wildcats before being named the head coach in 1979,
a position he held for six seasons before finishing his coaching career as offensive coordinator.
Steve Freeman ('81) – who went on to become a successful Texas high school football coach – was an allLone
Star Conference defensive lineman for the Wildcats in 1980 and later married Janie Sitton, Ted's daughter. Steve
and Janie's son, Colby Freeman ('04), quarterbacked the Wildcats from 200103, leading them to the LSC South
Division title in 2002.
"The Halbert family's generosity is inspiring," said director of athletics Lee De León. "No team can be great
without teammates who model the attributes for which Chuck Sitton has been known all these years. His story
deserves to be told, and his legacy will help shape this and future generations of ACU football players."