St. Bonaventure Track and Field

Charlie Major Track



Major Track

Meet the Team


The Official groundbreaking of the new Charlie Major Memorial Track at St. Bonaventure University was held Saturday, May 31, 1985.  This 400-meter, eight lane track was a gift to the university from the class of 1934.  It was named for a member of that class, Charlie Major who was the national indoor high jump champion during his college career.  The ceremony was followed by a 10k race, named after Charlie Major.

May 31, 1985-Offical groundbreaking

Dr. Joseph Brosnan, Vice President of university relations, said the class of 1934 donated $50,000 for a scholarship endowment.  Funding for the track came exclusively from the class of 1934, he emphasized "No university funds will be used."


Major's Story

The period 1927-34 was a phase of a Golden Age of Track and Field at St. Bonaventure University unique in the long history of the  school.  

A thread of continuity through this period was provided by Charlie Major, freshman in '27 and graduate of the class of '34, high jumper, student-coach and trainer.

A native of Nassau in the Bahamas, he found his way to the small school in the Allegheny Mountains via Coburn Classical Institute in Waterville, Maine.  He could clear 6' 7 1/2" in his specialty, the high jump, 12' in the pole vault, 22' in the broad jump--and he could run a quarter mile in 52 seconds.

Best of all, he was National Indoor High Jumping Champion and would have been in Amsterdam in 1928, a Commonwealth Nations Olympiad, had not an injury spoiled his training for the Trails that spring.

His feats as a collegian, at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia, at the Boston Athletic Association Games and at the Milrose Games in Madison Square Garden, are a source of pride to St. Bonaventure University.

Now, the University has realized a rewarding tribute to a man whose personal qualities were every bit as impressive and appealing as any of his athletic achievements.  


Track Demolished

St. Bonaventure chose to demolish the very historical track, to be replaced by new tennis courts, on September 1, 2004.  Charlie Major's memorial plaque will remain in place continuing to recognize a great individual..  It calls him, "A source of glory to his native Bahamas and to St. Bonaventure University, he is part of their history now."  Before deciding to replace the track the university contacted several people involved in the installation of the track.  There were no objections to its removal so the track was taken out.  Without a track and field team, the track had little use for the athletic department and was in poor condition.  

Among the highlights at Charlie Major Field were the first women's lacrosse game and numerous sports clinics and club sports games. 

BV, 10/1/2004

Updated: 12/12/2007