The Leonard Price Athletic Pavilion
Columbia College hosted a grand opening of The Leonard Price Athletic Pavilion on May 7, 2009, honoring benefactor and trustee Leonard Price. The Leonard Price Athletic Pavilion is the newest addition to the Columbia College athletic complex located on Carola Avenue, near the campus in the Eau Claire community. The facility features locker rooms, restrooms, a concession stand, a training room, and an upper level pavilion overlooking the College’s softball field, the soccer field and future tennis courts.
Columbia College president, Dr. Caroline Whitson, remarked, “When I first arrived at Columbia College in 2001, former president Jim Rex drove me over to see this piece of land which the College had recently acquired. It was, quite literally, a ravine! It was pretty hard to envision what this land could ultimately become. Luckily, friends of the College, like Melvin and Dollie Younts, the Sutton family, and most recently, Leonard Price could see the vision and have made it reality through their generosity. The Leonard Price Athletic Pavilion is so appropriately named in tribute to a gentleman whose support as a trustee and donor has been transformative for the College.”
Leonard Price, chairman of Budweiser of Spartanburg, has served as a Columbia College trustee since 2003 and cites his passion for education as his primary reason for supporting projects such as the pavilion. Price, a member of the College’s “million dollar roundtable” of donors, has rallied new support for the pavilion project over the past year. “I know this facility will help attract new students to the College. Columbia College builds women leaders and athletics can play an important role in developing life and leadership skills. Speaking as a trustee, we have a jewel in the astute leadership of Caroline Whitson and I have faith in the direction she is taking the College. I am a believer in women’s education and hope my contributions can elevate College programs for future success.” Price has four daughters, one of whom is a Columbia College alumna. Kay Price Phillips ‘65 currently serves on the board of visitors.
Jim Apple, chair of the board of trustees and CEO of First Citizens Bank, thanked Price and his family for their support of Columbia College. “When we nominated Leonard as a trustee, it became clear very quickly that he is contagious force who makes good things happen. And it takes family support to contribute so much time and other resources to this important work. We cannot thank Leonard and the Price family enough.”