EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSUniversity Of Charleston Receives Major Gift For Sports, Fitness Center
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Jeff Morris
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Jul. 25, 2013 8:46 AM EDT
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
The University of Charleston has received a major gift for its proposed sports and fitness center.
School officials announced Wednesday in a news release that the university has been pledged a gift of about $1.25 million from H.B. “Bernie” Wehrle III and his wife Cecilia for the campaign to build the facility. Combined with a gift of $250,000 from the H.B. Wehrle Foundation and Wehrle family members, the total contribution was more than $1.5 million.
“This is an incredible gift for the University of Charleston,” University President Ed Welch said. “Bernie and Cecilia Wehrle have been ardent supporters of our efforts to complete our capital renovations to our Charleston campus. This gift brings us a few steps closer to seeing our plans come to fruition.”
Bernie Wehrle currently serves on the board of trustees at UC and has a long history with the school.
“My family has been involved with the University of Charleston for many years,” Wehrle said. “We’ve always been pleased with the educational opportunities that UC provides and the economic benefits the Charleston-area receives from UC’s growth. In my opinion, UC is a smart investment in our community and I am pleased to continue our support.”
The sports and Fitness Center is the last remaining piece to the $100 million renovation and rebirth of UC’s Charleston campus over the past decade. UC has successfully constructed three new residence halls, a new parking garage and apartment complex, a new pharmacy school, and completed major renovations to Riggleman Hall and the Geary Student Union. Eddie King Gym, built in 1947, is the only facility on campus that has not been renovated.
Bernie Wehrle said he believes in the leadership of UC and its vision for the future.
“I hope our gift encourage others to invest in the growth of the university. UC uses our support wisely – recruiting young people to our area, creating much needed jobs, and serving as a symbol of excellence for Charleston,” he said.
UC has also received support from others. BB&T’s West Virginia Foundation recently announced a $250,000 gift to the sports and fitness center. The recent gifts come on the heels of an anonymous $1 million gift UC received for the project last year. UC has raised more than $1 million in each of the last two fiscal years and continues to pursue other interested partners.
University officials said the sports and fitness center will enable the university to serve students better. It will enrich the campus environment by providing much-wanted recreational and fitness alternatives for students, and make a signature statement in the middle of campus about the value of sports and fitness, the university said. It will also add a venue for commencement ceremonies and various UC events, while continuing to welcome summer camps, tournaments and other community uses.
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