Campbell University has been awarded a $1 million challenge grant from The Kresge Foundation toward the construction of the John W. Pope Jr. Convocation Center. The grant is conditioned upon the university reaching the campaign goal. The John W. Pope Jr. Convocation Center is a multimillion facility to be used for cultural and sporting events by Campbell and the Harnett County area.
The Kresge Foundation is an independent, private foundation created by the personal gifts of Sebastian S. Kresge to strengthen non-profit organizations by challenging their constituents for greater support. The Foundation's core grant making activity is the Capital Challenge Grants program. In this program, the Foundation focuses on opportunities to provide leadership and giving through challenge grants for capital projects like the construction and renovation of facilities, acquisition of property and the purchase of equipment. In 2005, the Foundation awarded a total of $131,770,027 to organizations in the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, South America and Mexico.
The John W. Pope Jr. Convocation Center will be the largest sporting and cultural events venue in the immediate region. The center's arena will have a seating capacity of 3,000 for sporting events and 5,000 for concerts, lectures and graduations.
Indoor sports, including basketball, volleyball and wrestling are the primary focus of the center. The facility will also include a student fitness center to meet the physical conditioning needs of the current student body. Athletic administration, coaches' offices and classroom space will also be housed within the new structure. Campbell University's Sports Hall of Fame will be located in the main entrance area of the new center.
"I cannot overstate the significance of The Kresge Foundation's generous challenge grant to our capital funding campaign for the John W. Pope Jr. Convocation Center," said Dr. Jerry M. Wallace, president of Campbell University. "The Kresge Challenge Grant, no doubt, will bring encouragement, inspiration and excitement to the university's goal of raising sufficient funds to bring the campaign to closure in 2006.
We are hopeful that the Kresge Challenge Grant will encourage additional donors to join us in our effort to build this much needed and long-awaited athletic and convocation center for Campbell University and the greater community," Wallace added. "Furthermore, it will cause many of us to stretch and invest even more of our resources in the future of our University and its students."