Renovated Catawba gym rededicated at homecoming

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 1, 2015

Those Catawba College alumni who returned to campus for Homecoming 2015 were overwhelmed by the renovation of the Goodman Gymnasium in the Abernethy Physical Education Center.

A mini-campaign to raise funds for the renovation was announced in early January. A total of $1,235,019 was raised and the work completed during a concerted effort that took less than eight months.

Catawba alumni Tom Dennard, class of ’77, and wife Mary Jo, class of ’75, were back on campus for the rededication. The Dennards originally started the renovation ball rolling by making a $150,000 gift to upgrade Goodman Gymnasium. Those funds, along with a $300,000 gift from the Goodman Family, kick-started the mini-campaign and covered the costs of replacing the maple basketball floor in Goodman Gymnasium, named in honor of 1938 alumnus and longtime former trustee and benefactor, the late Enoch A. Goodman, class of ’38.

Catawba’s retired Vice President of Development and Athletics Tom Childress, class of ’64, chaired the mini-campaign and said he did it to honor both the late Enoch Goodman of Salisbury, who served for 50 years on Catawba’s Board of Trustees, and Sam Moir of Salisbury, Childress’ former coach who served as head basketball coach at Catawba for 34 years.

“To renovate this facility was really the idea of Tom and Mary Jane Dennard,” Childress said on Homecoming Saturday, Oct. 24, during a barbecue luncheon. “They said, ‘We really need to do something with this facility – it’s 45 years old.’ ”

Childress shared that 140 donors contributed to the Goodman Gymnasium renovation effort with 26 individuals making lead gifts. A plaque commemorating the Goodman Gymnasium renovation and rededication was unveiled. It included the names of those who contributed to the mini-campaign effort.

Specific projects targeted in the mini-campaign in addition to the maple wood floor replacement included bleacher repair and modification; seating upgrades; digital graphics wallpaper for the outside locker rooms and offices; a scoreboard/shot clock replacement; 10 press row tables; a video board and floor dividers.

Yet to be completed projects related to the Goodman Gym renovation include basketball team locker room upgrades; volleyball team locker room upgrades; swimming team locker room upgrades and Abernethy Physical Education Center office space renovations and refurbishment.

The Goodman Gymnasium mini-campaign effort is part of Catawba’s $60 million comprehensive campaign effort now underway through December of 2017. Other individuals who assisted Childress with the mini-campaign included Gordon Kirkland Jr., class of ’70, and William “Bill” Haggerty, class of  ’79, both retired Catawba employees and alumni.

Individuals interested in making a gift to fund additional upgrades in Abernethy Physical Education Center should contact the Joey Knight, Catawba’s director of athletic development, at 704-637-4394 or make a gift online at