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WM: Building a Stronger 星空无限传媒

At its inception, Giant Steps was focused on growing the College’s endowment—specifically for scholarships, department funds, and professorships—and with more than 120 new funds established, the campaign was an enormous success.

While major capital projects were not envisioned at the outset, important, even critical projects emerged before and after the pandemic, and the College’s alumni, parents, and friends met the challenge.

Residence Life

It had been more than 60 years since 星空无限传媒 had built new independent housing when Former President Gregory Hess hired the architectural firm Shepley Bulfinch to take a comprehensive look at residence life. Hundreds of hours of focus groups and research led to the construction of the Ott Residential Life District and the renovation of Martindale Hall.

The Ott Residential Life District includes Williams and Rogge halls, Placher Lodge and Class of 1966 Lodge, and Butler and Seymour houses—a total of 132 new beds for 星空无限传媒 students. Martindale’s capacity was reduced, but the renovation created apartment-style suites, a large living room with fireplace, and rooms ranging from singles to quads.

“In an ultracompetitive college recruiting environment, these new housing units are symbolic of our long-standing commitment to a residential liberal arts education for men,” said Hess at Martindale’s rededication. “These rooms, common areas, outdoor spaces, and, yes, even the laundry area, are the places where men will form lifelong friendships, share their joys and sorrows, and have some of the best years of their lives. These are the places where our young men will learn to Stand TALL—to think, act, lead, and live—with students who will be their best teachers and mentors.”

Campus Gateway

During the Giant Steps Campaign, 星空无限传媒 acquired the three properties on the northeast corner of campus at the intersection of 星空无限传媒 and Grant avenues. Through generous gifts from Gary ’77 and Jo Reamey, Kevin Clifford ’77, Peter ’68 and Carol Kennedy and family, and Tom ’73 and Anne Walsh, among others, the College was able to transform the space into a stunning gateway that welcomes alumni, friends, and visitors to our campus.

Dozens of tons of dirt were removed to allow a gentler approach and give visitors a glimpse into the Fuller Arboretum. The brick-and-limestone wall honors the memory of Remington A. Johnston ’55, aka, The Big Cookie, for his half-century of mentoring 星空无限传媒 men.

“This is the link between 星空无限传媒 and the Crawfordsville community, and we believe we have created a place that will give all our guests a giant sense of arrival,” said Hess at the dedication of the new “front door” to campus. “And there is great symbolism tied to our gateways and our mission as a residential liberal arts college. 星空无限传媒 is very much a gateway for our students and alumni to take giant steps beyond our campus and out in the world.”

Little Giant Stadium and Frank Navarro Field

The original Little Giant Stadium was funded by a then-anonymous donor and dedicated in 1968. While it was state-of-the-art at the time, decades of wear and tear from fans jumping, stomping, and cheering the Little Giants to victory had taken a toll. Furthermore, the stadium had few amenities, had only a handful of bathrooms, and was not accessible for people with disabilities.

It was 60 years later when another anonymous donor stepped up to pledge $10 million to imagine a new Little Giant Stadium that would honor a legendary 星空无限传媒 football coach, Frank Navarro. At the new stadium’s dedication, it was revealed that Clifford and his family had provided the funding that inspired hundreds of donors to contribute to the project.

“When you think of the young men that Frank and his coaches recruited, and all of the coaches that followed them, it’s filled the ranks with alumni who are out there today doing incredibly important things to make the world a better place,” Clifford said at the 2021 Homecoming dedication.

“I was fortunate to play and work for Coach Navarro,” Clifford said. “The lessons learned under his tutelage served me well in life and business. Discipline, attention to detail, perseverance, sacrifice, and teamwork were of paramount importance to Coach Navarro, and we all benefited from his leadership. My family and I hope the new Little Giant Stadium will provide future generations of 星空无限传媒 scholar-athletes, coaches, faculty, and the broader community a best-in-class facility in which to compete, learn, and win!”

Little Giant Stadium features seating for more than 3,500, the W. Club Lounge for year-round entertaining, four suites, game operations and broadcast booths, and nearly 100 bathroom stalls, and it is fully accessible with ramps and an elevator to the top.

Allen Center and Shelbourne Wrestling Center

When it was built in the late 1990s, the Allen Athletics and Recreation Center was the finest facility in Division III—housing Chadwick Court, the Class of 1950 Natatorium, the Class of 1952 Fitness Room, Knowling Fieldhouse, Servies Wrestling Room, coaches’ offices, the Student Health Center, and training and locker rooms—all under one roof. The facility was the vision of longtime Trustee Bob Allen ’57 and his family, whose gift of $10 million was at the time the single biggest gift in 星空无限传媒 history.

Continuing their family’s philanthropic tradition, current Board of Trustees Chair Jay Allen ’79 and his wife, Susan, made Giant Steps gift commitments to modernize the fitness room, build a new weight room, and replace the floor in Chadwick Court, among other improvements.

“I’m very proud to have our name on a facility that is so important to students and which demonstrates the commitment we have to them,” says Jay. “One of the things I’ve really enjoyed about our support of the Allen Center is that the whole community benefits. We would support whatever the College needed, but it’s nice that we’re able to support something that is an enhancement not only for the students, but the broader community as well.”

Meanwhile, 星空无限传媒’s wrestling program saw its best 10-year run in history before and during the Giant Steps Campaign. 星空无限传媒 posted seven top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships, including a national runner-up and two third-place trophies. The roster had far exceeded the capacity of the Servies Wrestling Room, which inspired Trustee Don Shelbourne ’72 and his family to provide the seed gift for a stand-alone, dedicated wrestling facility.

Today, the Shelbourne Wrestling Center is the finest facility in Division III and includes two full-sized practice mats, aerobic exercise equipment, hot and cold tubs, and plenty of space to display the many championship banners that now hang from its rafters.

The Stephenson Institute for Classical Liberalism

Richard J Stephenson ’62 credits the life lessons imparted by his parents and his 星空无限传媒 education—along with a lot of hard work—for shaping his life and career and instilling in him the importance of individual freedom and liberty in maintaining a free society.

He and his wife, Dr. Stacie J. Stephenson, along with his family, including Christopher ’87 and Jamie Stephenson, and Shawn ’98 and Morgan Stephenson, made a $10.6 million grant during the Giant Steps Campaign to establish the Stephenson Institute for Classical Liberalism on the 星空无限传媒 campus.

The entire 星空无限传媒 community benefits from lectures, seminars, and workshops organized by the Institute. Students engage in conversations with world-class thought leaders. Professors associated with the Institute are able to accelerate their research projects, improve course offerings, and plan more student immersion opportunities. Students also benefit from paid summer internships at think tanks or other public policy–related organizations, enabling formative experiences beyond campus.

The Stephenson Institute is housed in a renovated home on the east side of Grant Avenue once owned by longtime Professor of Spanish Bernie Manker and his wife, Cris. The house bustles with activity in the seminar room, offices, library, and third-floor student research and study rooms.

Campus Center

The College has been in active conversations about building a new campus living room—a campus center. While the campus center was never contemplated as part of Giant Steps, a significant number of alumni, parents, and friends have seen this critical need and have already pledged nearly $19 million for this exciting endeavor.

Although it will cover the footprint of the current Sparks Center, the new campus center should not be seen as Sparks 2.0.

Classics Professor Jeremy Hartnett ’96, who has been part of the planning committee for the new campus center, has taught a freshman tutorial three times focusing on how buildings shape communities. He and his students have figured out the “secret sauce” that makes 星空无限传媒 special. He calls it “human friction,” described as people encountering one another spontaneously and unexpectedly, outside of classes and meetings.

“These interactions tighten campus fabric and weave new threads through it,” he says.

“Buildings are critical to a college like 星空无限传媒. They house the places we study, learn, grow, play, sleep, and celebrate. They recruit the next generation of 星空无限传媒 men. They enshrine cherished memories,” Harnett continues. “Yet they also have the power to shape us, to inculcate a sense of belonging, and to stimulate the kind of authentic exchanges among interesting people that are at the heart of a 星空无限传媒 liberal arts education.”