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Columbia Business Monthly

Newberry College Receives $1 Million Matching Gift

Feb 27, 2019 12:36PM ● By Kathleen Maris

Photo: Fountain Inn philanthropist Melvin Younts (center) presents a $1 million gift challenge check to Newberry College President Dr. Maurice W. Scherrens (right) and Dexter Odom, Newberry’s associate athletic director for External Operations, Business and Finance (left).

Newberry College made impressive strides in its quest to build Stadium Village, a facility designed to support student athletic and academic success, thanks to a $1 million irrevocable matching gift pledge from Fountain Inn, S.C. resident Melvin Younts and the Melvin and Dollie Younts Foundation.

Regarded as one of the Palmetto State’s leading supporters of higher education, Younts inked an agreement on Jan. 31, 2019, affirming his pledge to match up to $1 million in donations raised for Newberry College’s stadium expansion project over the next three years, concluding in 2021.

“Newberry College is a diamond in the rough that is truly ready to shine,” said Younts, prominent attorney, businessman, and philanthropist. “The Stadium Village project will provide much-needed infrastructure to a very competitive athletics program while also strengthening academic growth. I am pleased to join Newberry College in its mission to prepare students for successful careers and meaningful lives.”

In addition to their gift to Newberry College, the Younts family has supported initiatives at Clemson University, Columbia College, North Greenville University, and Furman University. The family also is the benefactor of the Younts Center for Performing Arts in Fountain Inn, S.C.

“We are delighted that Melvin and Dollie Younts have demonstrated, through this generous gift, their support for our mission and their belief in our vision for the future of Newberry College,” said Newberry College President Dr. Maurice W. Scherrens.

Stadium Village is one of several capital projects included in the College’s $35 million Scaling the Summit comprehensive campaign. The Stadium Village project will include major renovation of the stadium and construction of a new field house, locker rooms, classrooms, staff offices, and expanded athletic training facilities.

“We are grateful to the Younts family for providing what will be a transformational gift to the College,” said Newberry head football coach Todd Knight. “Their challenge gift is an important step forward in achieving this important goal.”

“The Younts family’s gift to Newberry College gives a tremendous boost to the Stadium Village initiative,” added Scherrens. “Combined with earlier gifts and pledges, we are well on our way to making the dream a reality.”

In addition to Stadium Village, key projects included in Newberry’s Scaling the Summit comprehensive campaign are construction of a new Nursing building, renovation of Wiles Chapel and Theatre, and enhancements to the Smith Road Athletic Complex (for soccer, baseball, and softball). The campaign already has funded the renovation of a former elementary school into the new home for the Center for Teacher Education (completed in 2016) and has raised nearly double the initial campaign goal for annual giving support.