The stadium field at Burlingame High School could be named after a champion of the school’s athletic department once the stadium’s bleachers are complete by fall of next year.
Thursday night, the San Mateo Union High School District’s Board of Trustees discussed naming the field after Panther class of 1954 alumnus Peter Umland, who died in September 2001 shortly after being named Alumnus of the Year. He was 66.
“Peter was a fixture in Burlingame,” said Liz McManus, deputy superintendent of business services. “He was passionate about Burlingame and athletics. He was very generous and philanthropic. He loved being an alumnus of Burlingame [High School].”
Born July 30, 1935 in Cambridge, Mass., Umland moved to Burlingame in 1939 and attended McKinley Grammar School, Burlingame High School and College of San Mateo. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1953 to 1956 as an arial photographer. Upon discharge he was hired by the Burlingame Police Department where he worked as a patrolman until 1958. He then joined the California Highway Patrol.
“Peter was enamored of long-distance running and volunteered as a track and cross-country coach at Burlingame High School,” a staff report stated. “After his coaching days came to an end, Peter walked into the principal’s office and offered to replace the track with an all-weather track. That was just one of the many examples of Peter’s generosity and giving spirit to Burlingame High School.”
Further, Umland and his wife Dolores made the district a residual beneficiary in the Peter S. Umland and Dolores T. Umland Trust. Under the trust, portions of the residual estate are bequest to the district “for use by the Burlingame High School Athletic Department in its athletic endeavors.”
Burlingame’s stadium has gone through recent renovations, totaling about $4.5 million in funds, mostly from the capital facilities Fund 40 and from the 2006 $298 million Measure M bond. The field was recently upgraded, bathrooms were installed and the rubberized track was modernized. Umland had paid for the original rubberized track.
The expected date of completion for the bleachers is summer or fall of 2014. McManus said the completion is dependent on gaps in activity at the facility. The bleacher project remains under review at the Division of the State Architect.
Once the bleachers are done the Board of Trustees will vote on the name change.
McManus said there will be a community celebration when the bleachers are completed.
Peter’s sister Diana also graduated from Burlingame High School. He was survived by his wife Dolores.
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