By Joan C. McKinney,
director of university communications
Campbellsville University former baseball and basketball player, Ronnie Hord of Campbellsville, has stepped up to the plate with an athletic building dedicated in honor of him and his employees at H&W Sport Shop in Campbellsville.
Hord is a 1961 graduate of Tollesboro High School.
Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of Campbellsville University, thanked Hord in a recent ceremony for his donation to the newly-renovated field house which houses the university's wresting program, locker rooms for opposing football and baseball teams, computers for athletics to use to study and offices.
"This facility is about an alumnus who loves his alma mater," said Carter. "Campbellsville gave Ronnie a chance to grow and mature, and he wants to allow young men and women to have the same opportunity."
Carter said the field house will help the entire student body at CU.
Carter recognized Hord and his wife, Laura, and children, Rhonda, Scott and Shaun.
"Ronnie Hord, a 1967 graduate, and his wife, Laura, stepped forward to help us in our need to meet the Kresge Challenge in part," said Carter. "We so appreciate their efforts."
CU has been awarded a Kresge Foundation grant after having raised $6.7 million. This is the first Kresge Foundation grant received by the university, and CU has secured gifts and pledges of $7.9 million which exceeds the challenged amount.
Carter said the needs of the world are great, and the new facility will add to the support of the students. He said that CU has a great set of coaches also.
"I feel honored to have this building named after me and our 'family' at H&W Sports Shop. I came to CU in 1964 on a basketball scholarship and graduated in 1967.
"I've been associated with four CU presidents and I played three sports. I could not have accomplished what I've done without the people in my business who have helped me and they share a part in the name of the building," said Hord.
"Itís all about the people, and the grace of God," said Hord.
Hord's mother, Emma, and two brothers, Russell and Ricky, attended the ceremony from Tollesboro. Hord also recognized his father, Kenneth, who died in 2001. Hord said he would have liked to have attended.
He also praised Campbellsville University's director of athletics, Rusty Hollingsworth, for the great job he does.
Hollingsworth thanked Hord as a "long-time supporter" of CU athletics and thanked him for his support of all of CU athletics.
He said there was discussion about the building, formerly known as the Athletic Annex, being raised, but Hord stepped up and helped the building be renovated.
"May this field house create an environment where student-athletes develop their heart, mind, soul, and strength and learn the importance of character and the value of Christian service in all endeavors of their life," said Hollingsworth.
Campbellsville University Board of Trustees chair of the athletic committee, Alex Montgomery, said, "On behalf of the CU Board of Trustees we want to thank H&W Sport Shop for their commitment and dedication in all that they do for CU."
Jerry Bennett, chair of the university's Board of Trustees, thanked Hord for his sacrifice and service to CU.
"The name of Ronnie Hord is synonymous with athletics at Campbellsville University," said Bennett.
"On Oct. 13, 1983, Ronnie Hord was elected president of the newly-formed Campbellsville College Tigers Athletics Booster Club," he said. He said there was $1,000 in the treasury at that point.
During the November 1983 Boosters' meeting, Don Bishop, director of athletics at that time, said there was unofficial discussions of football within the college community.
Bennett said it was under Hord's leadership that the Boosters voted February 9, 1984, to endorse a football program. He said Hord led the campaign when $30,000 was raised for equipment, and in 1987, Campbellsville played its first football game for over 50 years under coach Ron Finley.
"Ronnie, you introduced several fundraising programs, among them being the Basketball Jamboree, the Booster discount cards and Boosters capital campaign, among others," he said.
"On behalf of the Trustees, and also on behalf of the Boosters, we say 'thank you' for all you have done for Campbellsville University athletics," Bennett said.
Scott Wigginton, theology professor who is the Tiger football team chaplain, gave a prayer of dedication saying the field house is dedicated to the service of the Lord and he said that athletes will be trained at CU to serve the Lord.
For more information about CU athletics, contact the Office of Athletics at 270-789-5257.
Campbellsville University, founded in 1906, is a private, comprehensive institution located in South Central Kentucky. Affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention, Campbellsville has an enrollment of 2,197 students who represent 100 Kentucky counties, 32 states and 28 foreign nations. Listed in U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges" 13 consecutive years as one of the leading Southern masterís colleges and universities, Campbellsville University is located 82 miles southwest of Lexington, and 80 miles southeast of Louisville. Dr. Michael V. Carter is in his seventh year as president.