HIGH POINT, N.C., Sept. 9, 2014 – High Point University opened a new $9 million, state-of-the-art athletic facility and dedicated it to successful alumnus Doug Witcher during a ceremony today.
The Witcher Athletic Center at Vert Stadium, one of the top-10 sport-specific facilities in the nation, is 36,000 square feet and houses the men’s and women’s lacrosse and soccer programs, while also providing impressive new spaces for athletic training, academic services, media and donor hospitality.
“High Point University has outstanding support from alumni,” said Dr. Nido Qubein, HPU president, at the ceremony. “When asked to stand tall and support the mission of this institution, Doug Witcher said ‘Count me in.’ We are able to do many of the things we’ve done on our campus because alumni are willing to give back.”
Witcher is the CEO of Smart Choice, which was founded in 1994. The company has revolutionized the insurance industry and grown to become a major network which serves more than 3,700 agencies in 42 states. Witcher, who has more than 30 years of experience in the insurance industry, continues to provide leadership and vision that has guided the company since its inception.
“It is an honor for me to stand before all of you in this beautiful, state-of-the-art Athletic Performance Center that will bear my family’s name,” said Witcher. “While I did not seek this honor, I am deeply grateful for the kindness in extending it to me. The name of this building will be a constant reminder to live worthy of the trust you’ve placed in me, as well as never losing sight of the significance this university has played in my life and the lives of thousands of students who walked these halls. I’ve been blessed to be able to make a gift to this great university for its role in helping me begin to understand who I am as a person, what gifts and talents God has blessed me with, and for providing me with the education that has allowed me to use my gifts and talents to serve God and his plan for my life.”
The Witcher Athletic Center includes:
- A 105-seat academic center, including upgraded technology and space to support HPU’s student-athletes in the classroom.
- A new athletic training center, which will aid in injury prevention, treatment and the rehabilitation process of HPU’s student-athletes.
- A hydrotherapy area with a Hydroworx in-ground cold whirlpool and an underwater treadmill.
- Impressive new locker rooms, lounges and office suites for the men’s and women’s lacrosse teams and the men’s and women’s soccer teams. Each locker room features a thumbprint ID system, state-of-the-art DaLite smart board technology, custom-built wood lockers, boot rooms and stick storage.
- A first-class media and production area that allows the Panthers to be featured more prominently on television broadcasts and provide the ability to produce high definition streaming video via the Big South Network.
- The President’s hospitality suite located on the third floor overlooks the adjacent Vert Stadium and features 32 stadium seats that provide a birds-eye view of the action.
- The athletic director’s box on the second floor includes seating for up to 30 people.
“This may be an athletic building, but this is an academic institution,” added Qubein. “Academics come first at High Point University. Athletes and coaches get that. I am proud that our athletes hold a very high level of excellence in their academic achievement.”
The center is part of HPU’s major transformation in the last decade as enrollment has tripled, the size of faculty more than doubled and campus quadrupled in size from 92 to 380 acres. The numbers tell the story of HPU’s growth here: http://www.highpoint.edu/president/marching-onwards-with-faithful-courage/