We are at a defining moment in the history of Wake Forest Athletics. With three months left in the Sports Performance Center match, we are at 85 percent of our overall project goal of $58 million, having raised more than $49 million. These numbers are astounding and represent more than 1,000 gifts that range from $100 to $15 million. A huge thank you to everyone for all of the generosity that has been dedicated to this important project. We have three months to raise the final $9 million in order to receive the full amount of the Bob McCreary/Ben Sutton match and break ground on the last phase of the Sports Performance Center.
As our development staff and coaches have traveled the country speaking about the importance of the match, the reception and generosity that we have received from our loyal donor base has been heartwarming. In my mind, it really comes down to a few key points as to WHY NOW?
It is widely acknowledged that we have the best team of coaches in our Athletic Department’s history, all of which are committed to winning the Wake Forest way. We must support these coaches and provide them with the tools they need to attract and develop the country’s most talented student-athletes. However, it is difficult to make this possible when we handicap our coaches by not providing them with the facilities that are necessary to succeed.
Bob McCreary – One of our very own former student-athletes has given $12.5 million toward this project. Bob is doing this because he wants to win. Bob believes so much in this project that he has given sacrificially in order for this dream to become a reality. From humble beginnings, Bob credits much of his success to Wake Forest and the development he received as a student and former football player. I have heard Bob say many times, “if you want to win, you have to give.”
Ben Sutton – Ben is one of the foremost leaders in college athletics. Ben has seen more college facilities and games than perhaps anyone in the industry. Ben’s $15 million commitment to the Sports Performance Center is a statement that we can do this at Wake Forest. In Ben’s opinion, the Sports Performance Center, when completed, will catapult Wake Forest into the top two or three schools in the ACC and SEC and arm our coaches with the facilities they need to succeed.
If we all join together and support the Sports Performance Center match and complete this project, we will undoubtedly have some of the best facilities in the country. We have proven that when provided state-of-the-art facilities, recruiting reaches another level of success and more talented teams typically produce exceptional results. Wake Forest golf is a great example of this. We are constructing the final phase of the Arnold Palmer Golf Complex, which will be regarded as one of the top golf practice facilities in the country. In the past two years, the men’s golf team has had two of best recruiting classes in the past 20 years. As a result of this impressive young talent, Wake Forest men’s golf was a top-ranked team this past fall and will contend for the ACC and NCAA Championships this spring.
The Sports Performance Center will provide all of our sports a critical piece of the facility puzzle and elevate our sports to another level of success. May all of this success bring us more opportunities to roll the Quad and celebrate our successes together! Let’s get ready to roll.
For more information on the Sports Performance Center, please click here.
(Note: This article was originally published in the January 2016 issue of Gold Rush.)