Athletic Complex Named for Dwight Goldthorpe ’37

Wednesday, October 23, 2019
Goldthorpe Athletic Complex

Dwight Goldthorpe ’37 attended Mercersburg Academy for two years, and gave to the school throughout his life at a level similar to many alumni, friends and supporters. His support of Mercersburg was consistent and reliable, but not unique by any standard.

Watch a video announcing the naming of the Goldthorpe Athletic Complex.

In 2007, after Goldthorpe passed away at the age of 87, the school’s Office of Advancement and Alumni Relations received a surprise call that Goldthorpe had bequeathed an estate gift of nearly $14 million to Mercersburg. It was an unexpected gift that he gave as his final recognition of his commitment to Mercersburg Academy.

Usually, when donors give large gifts to the school, their intentions are known in advance, allowing the school to celebrate these gifts in appropriate ways. As Dwight Goldthorpe had no children or extended family, the school decided to wait for the right moment in which to honor him. 

That moment came earlier this fall, when Head of School Katie Titus announced to faculty, staff, and students that all of Mercersburg’s athletic buildings (including Nolde Gymnasium, the Plantz Courts, the Flanagan Pool, the Davenport Squash Center, the Hale Field House, and the new Lloyd Aquatic Center) would now be under one name—Goldthorpe Athletic Complex. 

Dwight Goldthorpe was born in 1919 in Bellerose, New York. He enrolled at Mercersburg in 1935 as an 11th-grade student.  While at Mercersburg, he was a member of the Mercersburg News staff and was involved in the Washington Irving Literary Society and French Club (Les Copains). He played baseball, track, squash, and tennis.

After Mercersburg, Goldthorpe graduated from Amherst College and spent one year at Harvard Business School before joining the military. He served in the United States Navy from 1942 to 1946 and finished his service as a lieutenant.

Goldthorpe became an independent investor and moved to Palm Beach, Florida, where he lived for the rest of his life. In Palm Beach, Goldthorpe became a champion tennis player and was a member of multiple tennis clubs.

Goldthorpe regularly attended regional alumni events in Palm Beach and qualified for all giving societies at Mercersburg: he was a Torchbearer and a member of the Via Lucis Society, the William Mann Irvine Society, the McDowell Society, and the Marshall & Irving Alliance.

Dwight Goldthorpe’s gifts allowed Mercersburg to think broadly about and act specifically on renovations of multiple campus buildings—the Simon Student Center, Nolde Renovations, 1893 House, and the Rutherford Health and Wellness Center.

We are honored to recognize Mr. Goldthorpe by naming the athletic complex in his honor, and we hope these facilities will continue to inspire our athletes to train to be their best and to compete while surrounded by “loud swelling cheers.”