Newly named Joanne Merrill Field is the beautiful new Athletics Pavillion and turf field situated amongst the highest points in Nashua. Joanne Merrill Field is host to the Field Hockey team, Men's & Women's Soccer team, Men's & Women's Lacrosse team along being a turf practice facility for both Baseball and Softball. It was origionally an all-grass field before "Field Turf" was installed before the 2009-10 academic year. The most recent addition to the facility is the Athletics Pavillion which will open in the fall of 2019. 

Official Press Release on the naming of Joanne Merrill Field:

(February 28, 2019 - The Rivier University Board of Trustees passed a resolution to name Raider Field the “Joanne Merrill Field” in recognition of her 40 years of service as Director of Athletics. This distinction honors Merrill for creating an athletic environment of integrity, service, and leadership for both coaches and student-athletes, while also contributing to the University, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC).

“Joanne Merrill’s distinguished career deserves nothing less than this honor,” says Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM, Rivier’s President. “Her dedication, vision, and enthusiasm for Rivier Athletics have been and continue to be a gift to the University and to the thousands of student-athletes who have competed under her leadership.”

Appointed to the role of Director of Athletics in 1980, Merrill has led the program to more than 25 championships. She is credited with ushering in the era of men’s athletic programs in 1991, when Rivier went co-ed, and served as the first men’s volleyball coach.

In 2009, the Greater Northeast Athletics Conference (GNAC) named Merrill Administrator of the Year with accolades for being a role model and mentor for young administrators. Prior to the NCAA sanctioning Men’s Division-III Volleyball in 2011, the North East Collegiate Volleyball Association named founding member Joanne Merrill to the NECVA Hall of Fame. Also recognized within the local community as an educator, coach, and mentor to countless student-athletes, Merrill was named one of the 25 Extraordinary Women in Greater Nashua by The Telegraph in 2014.

Additionally, Merrill supported the growth of Rivier athletics with contributions to the design and expansion of the Muldoon Fitness Center, the artificial turf field, the softball diamond, and most recently the University’s Athletics Pavilion. With the construction of this new facility underway and the naming of the turfed field, the University seeks to transform the game-day experience for Raider athletes and fans.

The field naming will be commemorated at the Athletics Pavilion dedication in September 2019. The University will launch a fundraising initiative for the naming of the field in Merrill’s honor in early March. To donate please visit:

Joanne Merrill Field Schedule

The field is surrounded by a locked fence and permission must be granted by the athletic department to use the field.  Please contact Athletic Director Joanne Merrill (603-897-8257) for field usage dates and times.