news-category: Athletics

Generous Donors Make Gardner-Webb Masters-Melton Indoor Baseball Facility a Reality

Lead Gift for the Building Came from Longtime Donor and Loyal Baseball Fan, Bill Masters

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Gardner-Webb continues to celebrate fundraising successes and those who choose to support and advance the University. A GWU benefactor, whose legacy of giving energized the men’s baseball program, made another significant gift to the sport he loved so much. Bill Masters, who passed away on June 25, 2022, gave the lead gift for the Masters-Melton Indoor Baseball Facility, also named in honor of his longtime special friend, Patsy Melton Willis.

The remaining funds to complete the project were donated by generous friends, alumni and parents on Double Dawg Day and in recent weeks.

“Baseball alumni and friends made this possible,” commended Vice President for Advancement Nate Evans. “No university capital dollars were used in the funding of this project, and it shows the transformational impact that philanthropy can have on a program and the University.”

The Masters-Melton Indoor Baseball Facility offers space where the Diamond Dawgs can continue to practice in any weather. It provides a development tool for current players and will aid in recruiting high caliber student-athletes. Located east of Moss Stadium, the facility will contain a weight room, a multi-functional turf area that allows for hitting, pitching and fielding practice, nutrition center, player lounge, and office.

Head Baseball Coach
Jim Chester

“Having a space available when we have inclement weather is a game-changer, asserted Baseball Head Coach Jim Chester. “24/7 access to a facility that focuses on player development takes our program and recruiting to the next level.”

Moreover, the Masters-Melton Indoor Baseball Facility will enhance camps hosted by the baseball program and can be rented out to other youth programs. A ground-breaking event will be held in the fall, and the construction is expected to be completed by Nov. 1.

Chester added, “The Masters-Melton Indoor Baseball Facility again shows Bill Masters and Patsy Melton Willis’ commitment to our program and a true student-athlete experience. Also, this was a team effort! Our program, university’s Advancement Office, Gardner-Webb Baseball alumni and friends turned a dream into a reality. The facility will be a daily reminder of Bill Masters’ love for Gardner-Webb Baseball.”

Masters, a native of Easley, S.C., began his relationship with Gardner-Webb in the 1970s when he worked as production manager at Cone Mills in Cliffside, N.C. Though he wasn’t a GWU grad, he saw the importance of investing in GWU and athletics. He recognized the great benefits of collegiate athletics, and his support also extended to the tennis program.

In 2008, the GWU baseball field was named in honor of Masters for his generous support to GWU baseball. Then in 2011, the University named the Bill and Sue Masters Athletic Facility, which houses baseball and tennis offices, in recognition of their continued generosity.

Gardner-Webb University is North Carolina’s recognized leader in private, Christian higher education. A Carnegie-Classified Doctoral/Professional University, GWU is home to six professional schools, 14 academic departments, more than 80 undergraduate and graduate majors, and a world-class faculty. Located on a beautiful 225-acre campus in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb prepares graduates to impact their chosen professions, equips them with the skills to advance the frontiers of knowledge, and inspires them to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of others. Ignite your future at Gardner-Webb.edu.

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