The Campaign for a West Georgia Stadium

Committee kicks off major gifts campaign

May 14, 2007 -

The Stadium Development Committee (SDC) at the University of West Georgia kicked off the major gifts campaign as the university continues the drive to reach the $10 million goal to build a football stadium on campus.

Committee at stadium siteSDC member Bob Stone and his wife Tish hosted a group of approximately 25 community volunteers who will be soliciting leadership gifts. The group traveled to the athletics complex land off Lovvorn Road to get a first hand view of the site for the stadium.

Ray Fulford, SDC member, provided details on the layout of the stadium and future plans for softball, soccer and other athletic facilities. 

“This is so much more than just a football stadium,” Fulford noted.  “We have the opportunity to build something that will impact the economic future of the West Georgia-East Alabama area for decades to come.”

Carrollton Mayor Wayne Garner told the volunteers that the city is within just a few weeks of being able to turn approximately 250 acres over to the University System of Georgia who will accept it on behalf of the university. 

“This land and the possibility of additional acres in the future places West Georgia in a unique position for growth within the University System,” Garner said.  “With the influx of students to the system that is predicted in the next few years, this opens the door for West Georgia not just two years down the road, not just 10 years down the road, but 50 years and beyond.”

UWG Acting President Dr. Thomas J. Hynes and Athletics Director Ed Murphy were present to explain the significant role the athletics complex plays in the total campus culture.

“Publics identify universities through the entirety of programs and experiences offered, and excellence in intercollegiate athletics are inevitably important parts of that identity, especially for students, alumni and university friends,” Hynes said.  “It is the blend of quality academics and competitive athletics that contributes to the overall student experience.”

Murphy noted that the university has initiated an investigation of the feasibility of moving its athletics program over the long term to NCAA Division I.  Currently, the university’s intercollegiate teams compete in the Gulf South Conference of Division II. 

“We don’t stand a chance of a good conference even talking to us if we don’t have this stadium,” said Murphy.

Stone encouraged the volunteers to emphasize the importance of an “enhanced and vibrant school spirit that will be epitomized by the football stadium.”

The stadium will be the centerpiece of an athletics complex posed for growth as new student prospects grasp the combined effect of excellent academics enhanced by a campus experience rooted in athletic competition in a first-class facility,” Stone said.

“The history of the university and West Georgia athletics have created a spirit, and that spirit needs a home,” Stone stated.  “As students, alumni and friends come over the soon-to-be-built road and bridge to this new land, the stadium will rise up as this long-awaited home of its athletic excellence and school spirit.”

The campaign to build a West Georgia Stadium has several concurrent drives underway.  Alumni are being encouraged to participate in the effort to raise $2.5 million to name it Alumni Stadium.  In addition to the Major Gifts Campagin, a third fundraising drive was also recently kicked off in the Atlanta area.  

For information on how to make a tax-deductible gift or pledge to the Stadium Campaign, contact Dr. Andrew Leavitt, Associate VP for Development and Alumni Services, at 678-839-6582 or via email at aleavitt@westga.edu.

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