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Davidson College announces $4M challenge grant

Davidson College on Saturday announced a $4 million challenge grant by Samuel and Ann Vance Ginn of Hillsborough, Calif., to help build the college’s planned athletic center expansion.

If the challenge is met, the gift will name the new facility the Harry L. Vance Athletic Center. Every gift made to the center from this point forward will be matched dollar-for-dollar until the challenge is met.

To date, more than $4 million has been raised toward funding the $15 million center, which will adjoin the existing Baker Sports Complex.

The gift honors Ann Ginn’s father, the late Harry L. Vance, a 1926 Davidson graduate.

Vance was a first-generation college student from Huntersville and as a student athlete earned nine varsity letters. That achievement still stands as the record for most letters earned by a Davidson student.

After graduation, Vance was commissioned as a first lieutenant in the Marines and later went on to a lengthy career with Southern Bell. He died in 1985.

Like his father-in-law, Sam Ginn built a successful career in telecommunications.

After executive roles with BellSouth, AT&T and Pacific Telesis, he launched Airtouch, which was later sold to Vodafone – the company that was purchased by Verizon, which then became Verizon Wireless.

The athletic center expansion will provide practice courts, team rooms and other amenities for men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball. By providing increased practice and training facilities, the expansion will also alleviate scheduling conflicts for team practices.

The Vance Center will also feature the new Cheryle Williamson Center for Dance, an expanded training room, cardio/fitness room for students, faculty and staff classrooms, a ticket office, and a new main entrance to the building.

Founded in 1837, Davidson is a private liberal arts college with about 1,950 students.

DePriest: 704-868-7745
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