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RELEASE DATE: January 14, 2014

Berry alumnus Bob Williams gives $500,000 for Berry stadium

Local businessman and Berry alumnus Bob Williams and his wife Kay recently committed $500,000 to help build the new Berry College athletic stadium, Valhalla.

Valhalla’s athletic field will be named “Williams Field” in honor of the couple, longtime supporters of Berry’s intercollegiate athletics program. The on-campus facility will host football, track and field, and lacrosse. So far, more than half of the current project estimate of $6.5 million has been secured, said Scott Breithaupt, assistant vice president for campaign and leadership giving. The field will also be used for the   intramural program and larger events hosted by campus groups and community organizations.

“We are overwhelmed by the generosity of Bob and Kay. They have been such ardent supporters of Berry athletics for years,” said Berry head football coach Tony Kunczewski.

The Williamses hope their gift encourages others to step forward so Valhalla can become a reality. Bob Williams, who continues a 35-year-run of providing color commentary for radio broadcasts of basketball games, is a 1962 Berry high school graduate who played baseball and basketball for the school. He is excited to foster in future student-athletes the personal growth that helped him persevere during his career as an auto dealer in Rome.

At the time he found out Berry was adding football as an intercollegiate sport, Williams was very much against it. In the end, it took one man to change his mind –Kunczewski.

“Tony’s just Berry people,” he said. “Not only is he teaching them the football side of it, which is great, but what he teaches them to do in football is going to carry over on through their work life.”

Watching Berry’s first team – consisting almost entirely of freshmen – struggle against more experienced competition, the Williamses were impressed by the type of student-athlete the coaches recruited for Berry’s non-scholarship NCAA Division III program.

“They play because they want to play, not because they’re getting any kind of scholarship to play,” Kay Williams noted. “You’ve got to want to do it, in that respect.”

For more information go to www.berry.edu/valhalla/.

This gift caps a year of tremendous generosity by the Williamses, whose $1 million in recent commitments includes funding for the new nursing program, two Gate of Opportunity Scholarships, as well as an additional need-based scholarship named for their late daughter Ann.     

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For more information contact:

Chris Reinolds Kozelle
Director of News & Editorial Services
ckozelle@berry.edu
Jeanne Mathews
Asst. VP of PR & Marketing
jmathews@berry.edu


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