Donors and Volunteers Thanked at Catawba College Stadium Dedication

Catawba College said, “Thank you,” to donors and volunteers who helped the new Shuford Stadium become a reality during a dedication ceremony held Sunday in the stadium concourse. Several hundred people attended the event and later toured the facility. Chief among the acknowledgements were those given to philanthropists James Hurley, III and Irwin Belk, both of whom made major gifts to the stadium effort. Hurley’s gifts funded more than half of the stadium’s $4 million price tag.
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Catawba President Robert Knott said the two major benefactors “took a special interest in this stadium project and saw opportunities in it for their involvement..” Hurley, he noted, had the distinct ability “to sense our needs before they become apparent to us. His name is synonymous with selfless giving.”

Hurley designated his donations to fund the reconstruction of Kirkland Field, in memory of the late Catawba College Football Coach Gordon Kirkland; the construction of the James F. Hurley, Jr. Press Box, in memory of his father who made Catawba’s first press box possible; the Wurster President’s Box, in memory of Catawba’s 18th President, the late Dr. Stephen Wurster; and the Billings Press Area, in honor of Horace Billings, a retired Salisbury Post sports reporter, who covered Catawba athletic events for over 50 years.

Irwin Belk, legendary for assisting colleges and universities throughout the Southeast, chose to assist Catawba by providing funding for a rubberized wellness track in the new Shuford Stadium. Knott joked that he had no ties to the institution, save for knowing Catawba Trustee and Alumnus Phil Kirk, but “saw this project as a worthy opportunity to share his generosity. The track being named in his honor,” Knott continued, “will serve both the college and Salisbury-Rowan community for years to come.

Other individuals honored at the event and the area(s) named for them included:The Applefield Coaches Box named in honor of Bryan ’66 and Helen Ertl ’67 Applefield of Dothan, Alabama who were outstanding athletes while at Catawba and today are owners and operators of Goldco, Inc.; The Billings Press Area named in honor of Horace Billings, long time sports writer for the Salisbury Post who covered Catawba athletics for over 50 years; The Fuller Coaches Box named in honor of David E. “Gene” Fuller ’52 of Charlotte, N.C., a retired commercial real estate developer. Born in Lumberton, he was the first in his family to attend college and is very interested in athletics; Bill & Peggy Godley Recognition for their generous in-kind donation of landscaping services. Bill, a 1976 graduate of Catawba, is the owner of Godley’s Garden Center in Salisbury and serves his alma mater as class agent. Peggy Kivett Godley graduated from Catawba in 1977. The Goodman Deck named in honor of Enoch A. Goodman, Jr. ’38 of Salisbury, NC. The retired owner/operator of BV Hedrick Industries, he has served as a Catawba College trustee since 1954; The Karl Hales Public Address Chair named in honor of Dr. Karl E. Hales, Professor of Communication Arts and long-time announcer for the Catawba Indians. He has been at Catawba for 37 years; The J. William Hall, Jr. Column named in honor of Bill Hall ’66 of Salisbury, N.C. who serves his alma mater as a class agent and as member and past president of the Chiefs Board of Directors; The Claude B. Hampton Column named in honor of Claude B. Hampton ’48 of Salisbury, N.C., a retired Executive Vice President of Nabisco Brands USA. He has served as a Catawba trustee since 1985; The Johnson Deck named in honor of Frances “Billy” Hedrick Johnson of Salisbury, N.C., the owner of Johnson Concrete Company. She has served as a Catawba College trustee since 1984; The Ralph W. Ketner Column named in honor of Ralph Ketner of Salisbury, N.C., the co-founder of Food Lion. He has served on the Catawba College Board of Trustees since 1985, and was recognized for his outstanding service to Catawba with the Adrian Shuford award in 1987 and the Medal of Exemplary Life Service in 1992. He and wife Anne currently fund the Ketner Scholarships which assist nearly 100 Rowan County students in attending Catawba; Jacqueline Leonard Recognition for her generous gift designated for campus landscaping which includes Shuford Stadium. Jacquie is the widow of former Trustee and the 17th President of Catawba College, Theodore Leonard ’41.

She resides in Lexington, N.C.; The Lerner Radio Box named in memory of Morton S. Lerner former president and chief operating officer of Lerner Shoes, Inc. He was a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh where he captained the varsity basketball team. After moving to Salisbury in 1956, he sponsored and announced Catawba games on the radio. His wife, Bernice, currently serves on the Catawba College Board of Visitors; The Miller Official’s Chair named in memory of Robert B. Miller, III ’55 of Salisbury. He was retired from Carolina Color Corporation and served his alma mater as a class agent and member of the Chiefs Board of Directors. He coached Little League and Pony League baseball and officiated high school and college basketball for over twenty years. The Charles G. Potts Column named in honor of Charlie Potts ’53 of Charlotte, N.C., retired President of Chaz, Inc. He has served as a Catawba College trustee since 1988; The Roberson Video Box named in honor of Randy Roberson who served as filmer for the Catawba football team from 1968 until 1996. A true Catawba loyalist, his service included his attendance at 301 consecutive games both home and away; The Taylor Clay Concourse named in recognition of the company’s generous in-kind donations for Shuford Stadium.

Founded in Salisbury in 1949 by Charles D. Taylor, Sr., Taylor Clay Products is run by his son Charles, Jr. and grandson, C.D. Taylor. Besides Catawba College, the company has generously provided for other community facilities to include the Red Cross Building, the Salisbury YMCA, South Rowan YMCA, and Nazareth Children’s Home; The Richard B. Toms Column named in honor of Rick Toms ‘74 of Hagerstown, Md., president of Atlantic Security Systems, Inc.; The Whitton Kitchenette named in honor of James G. Whitton of Salisbury, N.C., who has served on the Catawba College Board of Trustees since 1987. Retired president of Whitton Distributors, he currently serves on the Board of the Salisbury Community Foundation and has long been active in this community through his association with various civic groups and non-profit organizations; The Wurster President’s Box named in memory of Dr. Stephen H. Wurster, 18th President of Catawba College.

There were dozens of individuals honored for their contributions to the stadium with their names listed on a Wall of Honor. Knott collectively acknowledged them during his remarks at the event.

Other individuals thanked for their contributions to the stadium effort included four local men, all alumni of Catawba, who volunteered to oversee grassroots fund-raising for the project in the Rowan-Salisbury community. They were Charles Little ’64, Marion “Chub” Richards ’41, Dick Smith ’56, and Walt Ramseur ’49.

Also recognized were Architect Gray Stout, Jarrell Contractors (the Jarrell family was involved in the construction of the original Shuford Stadium in 1928), and project manager Jeff Beck. Catawba College’s Chairman of the Board of Trustees Tom Smith ’64 called the stadium “a tribute to what many can do when they pool their resources for a common cause.” He offered a special thanks, “to the two presidents who led us through the course of this project – Fred Corriher and Bob Knott.” The first game in the new stadium is the Mayor’s Cup against Livingstone College slated at 1:30 P.M. September 6.

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