Cumberland University completed its $500K Athletics Investment Campaign this week just before the prescribed deadline and also held a ground-breaking for a new softball stadium and press box during the Board of Trust meeting on campus Wednesday.
“This is the first time we’ve ever seen pinpointed one specific thing we wanted to do in fundraising and set an amount and date to finish it,” said Mark Riggins, Board of Trust member and Cumberland Sports Hall of Fame inductee.
“I want to thank the faculty and staff who helped with fundraising, the more than 100 student-athletes who spent time making phone calls for this initiative and the 268 donors who made this possible with their contributions. This is a great step forward for Cumberland University and next step great step will be Cumberland Corner,” Riggins said.
Cumberland announced a plan in February to raise $500,000 aimed at facility upgrades and additions in three specific areas – the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center, the CU Softball Field and Ernest L. Stockton Field-Woody Hunt Stadium.
“The athletic facilities at Cumberland needed upgrades and this was our attempt to do that,” said Wayne Starks, Board of Trust member and Cumberland Sports Hall of Fame inductee. “We were able to engage and involve lot of folks, really more than anticipated, who may not have been involved without the campaign.
“I really feel like with our continued efforts, we will go beyond the original goal of $500,000 and will be able to add to the list of upgrades to the facilities. We certainly hope this serves as a spring broad to get other folks excited and take on ventures at Cumberland like upgrading the physical plant and other developments needed around campus,” Starks said.
The softball complex will see major improvements for fans, adding a raised seating area with chairback seats as well as a new press box, restroom facilities and raised netting to prevent foul balls from reaching the parking lot. Those attending games and events at the facility would also enter through a new awning and entrance similar to the one at baseball. Wednesday’s ground-breaking marks the first step in the softball project, with completion set for early 2019.
The Dallas Floyd Recreation Center’s seating area will undergo a facelift in December, with plans for chairback seats throughout the gymnasium, the first major renovation in the building’s 25-year history. New chairback seats as well as a new scoreboard are on the docket for Ernest L. Stockton Field-Woody Hunt Stadium.