During last week’s Chesterfield County School Board meeting, the board approved a resolution naming the Thomas Dale baseball field, the Matthew Gwaltney field. Matthew, 24, was a victim of the Virginia Tech mass shooting in 2007 and was a talented baseball and basketball player.
During the board meeting, Bermuda District School Board Member Carrie Coyner gave the Gwaltney family copies of all the letters that friends, colleagues, community members and parents had sent the School Board stating why they supported the resolution.
“Matt had such a positive impact on everyone around him,” Ms. Coyner said. “The letters described his character, values, and ties to the community that we hope will leave a lasting impression on every student who sees his name engraved in the sports fields at Thomas Dale High School.”
The school board voted unanimously to name the field after one of Chester’s sons. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering he was working to attain his Masters degree and also worked as a teacher’s assistant at Virginia Tech when he was one of 32 students and faculty members shot during a malicious attack at the school.
According to Virginia Tech Biographies, “Matthew played basketball and baseball at Thomas Dale and continued to play pickup basketball at Tech. At Thomas Dale, Matthew was an avid, dedicated team member, and his cheerful disposition and determination earned him many lasting friends, including Ashby Tarkington, Phil Tysinger, Nick Anders, Michael Kendrick, Matt Green, Paul Lamborn, Russell Krupp, Travis Koogler, Kevin McCain, and Sarah Radford.”
There will be a plaque placed at the Thomas Dale baseball facility and a ceremony to dedicate the field. Chesterfield County Public Schools will invite the public to participate in the dedication.