NEWBERRY — More than 100 alumni and friends of Newberry College gathered on June 24 to officially kick off fundraising efforts for the College’s new athletic stadium project.
The event, themed “A Night with Our Pros,” outlined plans for a new stadium construction project and recognized more than 25 Wolves football alumni who went on to have opportunities in professional leagues.
Newberry President Dr. Maurice Scherrens unveiled plans for a $9.3 million stadium complex. The stadium is the second among six projects that make up the College’s $35 million comprehensive capital campaign (the first comprehensive campaign in school history). The campaign’s first project, the Center for Teacher Education, is slated to open fall 2016.
A rousing “half-time” speech by Scherrens led Ron Parker (Kansas City Chiefs) to interrupt the presentation to offer his support with a naming gift for the football locker room.
Sports agent and Newberry alumnus Justin Turner interjected on behalf of himself, his wife, Maria, and his brother, Joel Turner, with a naming gift for the stadium press area and home coaches’ booth, offering an emotional thank you from Justin for the opportunities his Newberry education had afforded him. Justin and Joel own Turner Sports Management, which represents more than 100 current and former athletes, including several athletes who played for Newberry College.
Head football coach Todd Knight and his wife, Tina, also made a financial commitment to the stadium project during the evening’s festivities.
The president’s remarks were interrupted yet again by a pledge from an anonymous donor in attendance who was inspired to issue a $2.5 million challenge gift. As the event drew to a close, a second anonymous gift put another $350,000 on the fundraising scoreboard.
Prior to Friday’s kick-off event, the stadium project had already received naming gifts from Charles and Jean Haggard for the President’s Suite; from Jason Burger for the football conference room; and from The Friends of Don Saylor given in his memory for the new stadium’s concession arcade.
“With more than one-third of the needed gifts and pledges already raised, we have taken an incredible first step toward achieving our goal for a new stadium complex,” Scherrens said. “Our new stadium complex will be among the best in the conference and will provide the kind of facilities that will provide our student-athletes a competitive advantage and a bright, winning future.”
The athletics construction project will feature a stadium for football, lacrosse and field hockey, with new press box, scoreboard and fan seating. The project also includes a stadium village that features a field house and four adjacent buildings.
The field house includes a football locker room, equipment room and athletic training facilities on the first floor. The second floor of the field house will contain four academic classrooms, two conference rooms and office space for athletic administration. The four smaller buildings will house locker rooms and offices for field hockey, women’s lacrosse, men’s lacrosse and football coaching staff.
The stadium kick-off event included a Q & A session with former Wolves turned NFL players Brandon Bostick, Ron Parker, Edmond Robinson, Alstevis Squirewell and Corey Washington. They were joined on the panel by retired pros Rick Sargent and Herb Spencer. They discussed their preparation at Newberry College and some of their experiences as professional players.
“We have proven we can do great things with our existing facilities,” said Knight, who emceed the event. “I’m eager to see how much more we can achieve with new facilities that will improve our ability to recruit top talent and give our student-athletes the best opportunities to succeed at their sport and in the classroom.”
This release was provided by Newberry College.