By Joan C. McKinney, director of university communications
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – A deep love of students, coaches, faculty and staff at Campbellsville University has resulted in a “gemstone on this side of campus” in the Gosser Gymnasium, which was dedicated April 22.
Dr. Donnie Gosser, a member of the CU Board of Trustees, and his wife, Anna, of Elizabethtown, made the lead gift toward the construction of the new gym, which will serve the entire campus. It is located at the back of Powell Athletic Center.
Gosser said he was very appreciative of what CU’s staff, faculty, coaches and administration do and that he was “very humble.”
“The reason CU is progressing,” he said, “is that a lot of people feel the same as us. God is interested in changing lives, and you are doing the work. We have a small part in the work, and we really believe in CU.”
Gosser Gynasium will be used by the wrestling team for practices and also for hosting competitions.
“It’s a great facility and will be a great benefit in bringing top recruits to campus,” said Rusty Hollingsworth, director of athletics at CU. “This is a beautiful facility that all can use,” he said.
He thanked those who contributed toward the construction of the building. “We especially want to thank Donnie and Anna Gosser whose vision and commitment made this day a reality,” he said.
In addition to being used as the home for Tiger wrestling, the building can be used for practice for other sports, such as volleyball and basketball, and intramurals. CU has over 4,000 campers in the summer, and the Gosser Gymnasium will be used for those young people who come to campus.
There will also be a walking track that will be used by faculty, staff and students.
Dr. Dave Morris, chair of the CU Board of Trustees, said the Gossers have a “humble generosity.” He said they had mastered the “fine art of giving.”
Franky James, wrestling coach, said he began the wrestling team four years ago in a temporary office where there were no mats and other equipment. Now, he said his team has had major success with 13 All-Americans; a National Champion, Zack Flake; nine Academic All-Americans; and leading the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) with five 2008 Daktronics-NAIA Wrestling All-America Scholar-Athletes. In 2007, the team placed seventh in the nation, and this year they placed 14th in the NAIA Tournament.
“This facility means we can recruit top-rated talent and improve our program in every way,” James said. He also said that he plans to begin a youth wrestling program for Campbellsville and Taylor County.
Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of Campbellsville University, said the planning for a gymnasium began 2 ½ years ago at a 7 a.m. meeting. “Donnie Gosser heard what we needed,” Carter said, “and said he’d really like to make the facility possible.”
“To move forward, people must have a vision and see potential of what can be,” he said. He said the Gossers have become part of the future of CU. “You are part of the fabric of CU,” he said to the Gossers.
Lawrence Hall of Elizabethtown, a member of the CU Board of Trustees, led the prayer of dedication for the building.
Campbellsville University is a private, comprehensive institution located in South Central Kentucky. Founded in 1906, Campbellsville University is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention and has an enrollment of 2,405 students who represent 98 Kentucky counties, 25 states and 29 foreign nations. Listed in U.S.News& World Report’s 2008 “America’s Best Colleges,” CU is ranked 22nd in “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” in the South and eighth in the South for “Great Schools, Great Prices.” CU has been ranked 15 consecutive years with U.S.News& World Report. The university has also been named to America’s Best Christian Colleges®. Campbellsville University is located 82 miles southwest of Lexington, Ky., and 80 miles southeast of Louisville, Ky. Dr. Michael V. Carter is in his ninth year as president.