$1M anonymous gift made for BPC's Student Activities Center

By Terry Gaston
BPC Public Relations

MOUNT VERNON -- Brewton-Parker College administrators received at the end of December the largest gift yet contributed toward the college's new Student Activities Center.

An anonymous benefactor has provided a $1 million gift to assist in the construction of the costs of the facility, which opened in October 2002.

This gift enables Brewton-Parker to receive $750,000 from challenge grants previously received. Those funds also will be used in expenses incurred in the construction of the Student Activities Center.

Dr. David Smith, Brewton-Parker's president, said the gift comes from a family that has great affection and admiration for the college.

"The generosity of this gift is underscored by its anonymous provision," Smith said. "The donors desire no accolades for the contribution. In the purest sense, they have exemplified their love for Brewton-Parker College."

The 45,000-square-foot Student Activities Center's centerpiece is its gymnasium, which seats 1,800 for basketball games and volleyball matches and may seat up to 2,300 for conferences and concerts.

The Georgia-Alabama-Carolina Conference utilized the Student Activities Center for two postseason tournaments in 2003, the men's basketball and volleyball events, and will have the conference's 10 men's basketball teams return for the GACC tournament March 10-13.

Brewton-Parker also has played host to two four-college, eight-team fall-semester classics each season.

Brewton-Parker played host to the Georgia High School Association's Region 3-AA boys' and girls' basketball tournaments in February 2003 and will do so again for 2004. Also, the Georgia Independent School Association will have its South Region tournaments at the SAC in February, and Georgia high schools the past two Christmas breaks have played in the Brewton-Parker Invitational High School Basketball Tournament.

In addition, the Student Activities Center has been used for youth wrestling tournaments and was the site of Vidalia High School's Sweet Onion Classic in January.

The building's dedication in April 2003 included a Southern Gospel concert featuring award-winning artists Squire Parsons and Sue Dodge and a performance by Christian comedian Dennis Swanberg.

In May 2003, Brewton-Parker and Montgomery County High School both utilized the facility for commencement exercises.

The Student Activities Center also encompasses the Lee Center, where the weight room was refurbished and stocked with new weight-training equipment, and where cardiovascular workout machines and a state-of-the-art aerobics area are contained.

The center includes coaches' office suites and a Hall of Fame Room. Its game room offers a place where students may gather to relax and visit over a game of pool, table tennis or air hockey.

"These dear friends of the college have enabled the school to close out the biggest chapter of its giving history while we prepare for another," said Jay Orr, vice president for college advancement.