Bluefield College Alumna Pledges $100,000 to Campus and Community Center
Courtney Simpkins donates to Bluefield College
September 25, 2009
As a proud alumna of
She did that and more, pledging $100,000 to the school's proposed Campus and Community Center and becoming the first individual major donor to the ambitious capital campaign project.
In front of a crowd of college and town officials gathered on the BC campus, Monday, July 13, Simpkins, a 2004 graduate, signed a letter of intent to invest $100,000 into the construction of the Campus and Community Center (
Said to be a "state-of-the-art building" with "nothing comparable to it in the area," the facility will be a total 82,000 square feet and will serve the recreational, fitness and activity interests of Bluefield College students, faculty, staff and alumni, as well as the Bluefield community at-large, from youth to senior citizens.
"When I worked here, they had just started talking about the project," said Simpkins, an exercise and sports science major who worked as an athletic trainer for BC from 2004 to 2008. "I think it (the
The college and the town began collaborative discussions about a proposed Campus and Community Center in the fall of 2006. Since then, the two parties have considered site proposals, discussed facility specifications, analyzed funding and construction plans, and developed architectural renderings.
Last year, BC officials began working behind the scenes to generate awareness and support for the
While most of the
The building also will feature a fitness center, senior/youth center, conference rooms, walking tracks, and an athletic training room. In fact, with her six-figure gift Simpkins' earned exclusive naming rights to the
"I had a great experience at
A native of Rocky Gap, Virginia, who attended Rocky Gap High School, Simpkins made the $100,000 gift in memory of her grandmother, the late Geneva Knowles of Christiansburg, Virginia. In fact, the
"She paid for me to go to college," said Simpkins about her grandmother, "so I wanted to do this in her memory. It's because of her that I was able to do this."
Simpkins said she hopes other alumni and friends join her in investing in the
"I spent four years here, and they were great years," she said. "It feels good to give back. If others can make a donation, I hope they will, because it will help the whole area."
BC official hope to break ground on the Campus and Community Center once half ($7 million) of the cost of the project has been pledged or received. Alumni or community friends interested in supporting the project should call 276.326.4556 or make an online donation by visiting MyBC.