A Letter from Ron Wellman – March 2015

03/31/15

If you have had the opportunity to visit our campus recently, you have no doubt seen the significant impact that the success of “Wake Will: The Campaign for Wake Forest” is already having on the athletic department. With two projects actively under construction on the Reynolda campus, another project at the tennis complex slated to begin this month and final fundraising pushes underway to bring additional projects to fruition in the near future, it is truly an exciting time for our department.

To date, the athletic department has received more than $119 million in campaign commitments. As a result, we have more active facility projects underway than at any other time in our history. We broke ground on the McCreary Field House last fall and after months of site work and preparation, we expect to see steel going up soon and hope that our teams will be taking advantage of this great new facility by late fall. Construction is also underway on the Haddock House at the Arnold Palmer Golf Complex. Barring any unforeseen delays, that project is also expected to be completed in late 2015.

Later this month, we plan to begin construction on the first phase of a new seating addition at the Wake Forest Tennis complex. Phase one will include the construction of bleacher style seating on the south end of the Leighton College Courts. Additional seating will be constructed along the west side of the courts in a future phase. This project is very important for our tennis programs, as it will not only enhance the game day experience for both fans and student-athletes, but it will also prove beneficial for the Winston-Salem Open as well as the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships which we will be hosting in 2018.

Thanks to a generous commitment from David Couch (’84), we are also nearing our fundraising goal that would allow us to begin the next phase of the baseball stadium renovation. Plans call for the construction of a new state-of-the-art clubhouse, renovation and relocation of the home dugout and bullpen, construction of a pitching lab, and creation of a new concourse viewing platform. The new clubhouse will be located along the third-base line and will include locker rooms, coaches offices, a team lounge, training room, equipment room, video room, team meeting room, professional players locker space and the Wake Forest baseball heritage area. The home dugout will be relocated to the third-base side of the stadium, and the pitching lab will be built adjacent to the renovated bullpen.

As you can see, we have made a lot of strides so far thanks to the generous support of our fans and donors. However, there is significant progress yet to be made. Our department’s highest priority for the Wake Will campaign remains the construction of the Sports Performance Center. The SPC is absolutely critical to our future success, and no other project will benefit our entire department as significantly as the Sports Performance Center. It will be the catalyst for the training and development of every Wake Forest student-athlete, and the recruiting advantage the facility will provide for all our sports is beyond measure.

We understand the challenge that lies ahead of us in order to raise the funds to begin work on this vital facility, but the momentum surrounding the project is evident as we are close to making major financial announcements about the project. We are confident that all of our fans and donors will recognize the urgent need for this facility and that, together, we can bring the Sports Performance Center to fruition. I encourage everyone to consider supporting this important project. Be on the lookout for more information about the status of our fundraising efforts for the SPC and about how you can get involved to make this facility a reality.

Thanks for your loyal support of our program!

Ron Wellman