With a capacity crowd for history in the making, Emmanuel College welcomed 1,200 people to the Dedication Ceremony of its new Athletic Center on Saturday, Oct. 6, during Homecoming Weekend 2012.
This impressive $10 million Athletic Center will be a tremendous asset to the campus and community as it serves a growing student population and soon will offer community memberships to fitness and recreational spaces.
In addition to being the home of Emmanuel’s men's and women's basketball and volleyball teams, the 76,000 square-foot Athletic Center includes a competition swimming pool, 4-lane walking track, 8-lane bowling alley, and a 4,000 square-foot fitness center with free weights, cardio machines and aerobics room. Pizza lovers will be glad to know it also includes a Papa John's, which seats 72 inside and 24 outside.
Brian James, Vice President for Development, welcomed everyone to the ceremony, and President Michael Stewart recognized many who have made this major accomplishment possible, including key donors* (see list below).
Others who spoke during the ceremony were Roy Carroll, The Carroll Companies President; Linda Thomas, Board of Trustees Chair; David Roberson, Board of Trustees Building and Grounds Committee Chair; Mike Bona, Women’s Basketball Head Coach; and TJ Rosene, Men’s Basketball Head Coach.
Other special guests who were recognized were Tim Gray, Nick Robinson and Ben Mathison, contractors with Rentenbach; Robin Millard and John Carruth, architects with Millard Inc.; Councilman Huntsinger and Carl Nylander, pool architects.
President Stewart also recognized all members of the Board of Trustees, faculty and staff, current students, alumni athletes, former coaches, and current athletes and coaches.
During the ceremony, Emmanuel inducted the first 18 members into its new Hall of Fame. From the 1958-59 and 1959-60 men’s basketball teams, they were the first to play any intercollegiate sport at Emmanuel. Each was honored with a bronze medallion, certificate, a reproduction of the original jersey, and a standing ovation, which was one of many during the day.
Of the 18 inductees, 12 were able to attend the ceremony: Clyne Carson, Frank H. Daniels, John T. Dunlap, Benjamin F. Dunn, Jim Ganey, Jimmy Hart, Bane James, Franklin Ross, Gilbert Shaw, Sherm Smith, Rendel Stalvey and Stephen Turner. George Kemper, William Hardee and Donald Roberts were also inducted, and Harold DuBose, Bob Wilson and Bill White were inducted posthumously.
Other alumni athletes who were recognized had received the Bill White Award, the highest honor a student athlete can receive at Emmanuel. Each was honored during the ceremony with a bronze medallion.
At the close, Columbus Copeland shared his inspiring testimony of having the chance to attend college thanks to a basketball scholarship at Emmanuel and becoming the first of many in his family to go to college.
After President Stewart’s closing prayer, which gave all the glory and honor to God, Singers gathered at center court in a beautiful a cappella version of “To God be the Glory.” As the celebration came to an end, the crowd filtered out to tour the facility.
Following the ceremony, the women’s volleyball team became Emmanuel’s first athletic team to play in the Athletic Center as they defeated College of Coastal Georgia (25-22, 25-22, 25-12).
Please contact Brian James at firstname.lastname@example.org or (706) 498-0210 about giving opportunities at all levels.
*Key Donors (as of October 6, 2012)
- Williamson Basketball Arena is in honor of Jack and Rachel Williams and is made possible by Don and Betty Williamson.
- Roberson Aquatic Center is in honor of Robert “Bob” Roberson and is made possible by his daughters and sons-in-law.
- The beautiful terrazzo flooring throughout the facility is made possible by Bob and David Roberson and the David Allen Company.
- Shaw Wellness Center is made possible by Larry and Joyce Shaw.
- Future soccer and lacrosse fields are made possible by Gerald and Jean Stephens.
- The VIP Suite is made possible by Sherm and Bett Smith.
- The Bill White Broadcast Media Suite is made possible by friends and family of Coach White and project leaders Sherm and Bett Smith.
- The Jim Ganey Team Video Room is made possible by friends and family of Coach Ganey and project leaders Harrell and Linda Queen.
- Papa John’s franchise and dining area are made possible by Chartwells, the campus food service provider.
- The outdoor sports plaza is in memory of Tommy Tatum, the Rev. Vernon Virgil Pate Sr., and Ruby Kelley Pate and is made possible by the family of Rhetta Tatum.
- A future lion sculpture is made possible by Jon and Chrissie Forehand.
- The Arlon Beadles Main Lobby is made possible by friends and family of Coach Beadles.
- The Mike Bona Conference Room is made possible by friends and family of Coach Bona and project leaders Sherm and Bett Smith and Gloria Bona.
- The Aerobics Room is made possible by Bane and Barbara James and family.
- Thirty oak trees along the front and side of the facility are in honor of Professor Paul Oxley’s 30 years of service and are made possible by his wife Beverly, their daughters, family and friends.
- The Athletic Office Suite is made possible by Mona Kendal Clark.
- Individual coaches offices are made possible by Winston Underwood, Wesley and Janice Russ in memory of Stephanie Morgan, and Steve and Robin Williams.
- The Men’s and Women’s Volleyball Locker Room is made possible by Kevin and Becky Crawford.
- The Women’s Basketball Locker Room is made possible by Steve and Robin Williams.
- The Men’s Basketball Locker Room is in honor of Coach Bob Rosene and is made possible by his family and friends.
- Two of three flagpoles are made possible by Pam and Joe Strickland, and Anne Ware Fincher.
- Two of 10 spaces in the President’s Center Court Circle are made possible by Sherill and Phyllis Styron, and Sherm and Bett Smith.