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Beyond the Gate

Alum Delivers First Pitch at Greathouse Field Dedication

Woodward Academy dedicated Greathouse Field at Drucker Stadium February 16 before the Varsity War Eagles baseball game played on the newly renovated field. The field underwent extensive renovations thanks to donor support, including a lead gift from Amina and Riah Greathouse ’03. 

The founder of Greathouse Trial Law, Riah previously served as an assistant district attorney in Fulton County for several years, before joining a nationally recognized plaintiff’s firm. He joined the Woodward Alumni Board in 2020, and is currently serving as president-elect. Riah attended Woodward from sixth through 12th grade, lettering in baseball and serving as SGA president his senior year. He has served on reunion committees, generously supported the Big Chill, and participated in WA Connect, coming back to campus to speak to students. His wife, Amina, serves as CFO for Greathouse Trial Law and is an active volunteer on the Parent Community board, serving as the Advancement vice chair. Their son, Alexander, is in second grade at Woodward.

Before throwing out the first pitch for the game, Riah said, “I’m extremely grateful to be in this position to give this gift to something I truly loved when I was here. I want to thank my parents for making the sacrifice to send me here. And I want to thank my son, Alex, who is my biggest inspiration and the reason that I do what I do every day. I’m grateful. I love Woodward. Let’s play ball!”

The varsity baseball field was built in 1999. Unfortunately, when the field was built, the subsurface was never properly addressed so it had never drained properly and was often left unplayable for days after a heavy rain. Poor field conditions resulted in more than 30 percent of varsity home games being canceled over the past several years. No varsity home games were played during the 2020 season, and limited home games were played on the field in 2021. During this period, Woodward had been renting field time at the City of College Park’s baseball complex for practices. “We’ve been waiting 11 years for this opportunity to have a field of this caliber that our players deserve,” said Athletic Director Jose Fernandez. 

Now, Greathouse Field, representing the first campus space named for a Black alumnus, features new, state-of-the-art turf with the accompanying subsurface and drainage system to solve weather-related issues for the baseball program, said President Stuart Gulley. “This is the finest baseball field in the state of Georgia,” he added.

The advantages of the new artificial turf include durability and flexibility. The new field can be used 30 minutes after a rain. In off-season for baseball, it will be used for softball, lacrosse, and Lower School intramurals. P.E. classes and summer camps can use the field without concern for wear and tear. Going forward, Woodward will benefit from a field maintenance cost savings of approximately $36,000 annually. The local community also will benefit. The Greathouse family and the Academy are committed to developing opportunities for youth baseball programs in the Tri-Cities area to use the field when it’s not in use by Woodward’s athletic program. 

“This commitment of Riah and Amina to Woodward Academy is transformative, representing by far the largest gift from an alum of his age,” said Dr. Chris Freer, Vice President for Advancement. “We are incredibly grateful for their generosity. They are leading our Academy’s philanthropic efforts by example. As one of Riah’s Upper School teachers, for me personally it’s beyond meaningful to see a former student give back in this way. Riah was a Peer Leader and SGA President at Woodward, and he continues to lead the way.”

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