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Joan C. McKinney
A deep love of students, coaches, faculty and staff at Campbellsville University has resulted in the Gosser Gymnasium, which was dedicated April 22.
Dr. Donnie Gosser, a member of the CU Board of Trustees, and his wife, Anna, of Elizabethtown, made the lead gift toward the construction of the new gym, which will serve the entire campus. It is located at the back of Powell Athletic Center.
Gosser said he was appreciative of what CU's staff, faculty, coaches and administration do.
"The reason CU is progressing," he said, "is that a lot of people feel the same as us. God is interested in changing lives, and you are doing the work. We have a small part in the work, and we really believe in CU."
Gosser Gymnasium will be used by the wrestling team for practices and also for hosting competitions.
"It's a great facility and will be a great benefit in bringing top recruits to campus," said Rusty Hollingsworth, director of athletics at CU. "This is a beautiful facility that all can use."
In addition to being used as the home for Tiger wrestling, the building can be used for practice for other sports, such as volleyball, basketball and intramurals. CU has more than 4,000 campers in the summer, and the Gosser Gymnasium will be used for those young people who come to campus.
There will also be a walking track that will be used by faculty, staff and students.
Wrestling coach Franky James said he began the wrestling team four years ago in a temporary office where there were no mats and other equipment. Now, he said, the team has had major success with 13 All-Americans; a National Champion, Zack Flake; nine Academic All-Americans; and leading the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics with five 2008 Daktronics-NAIA Wrestling All-America Scholar-Athletes. In 2007, the team placed seventh in the nation, and this year they placed 14th in the NAIA Tournament.
"This facility means we can recruit top-rated talent and improve our program in every way," James said.
He also said that he plans to begin a youth wrestling program for Campbellsville and Taylor County.
Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of Campbellsville University, said the planning for a gymnasium began 2 1/2 years ago at a 7 a.m. meeting.
"Donnie Gosser heard what we needed," Carter said, "and said he'd really like to make the facility possible."
He said the Gossers have become part of the future of CU.
"You are part of the fabric of CU," he said to the Gossers.
Lawrence Hall of Elizabethtown, a member of the CU Board of Trustees, led the prayer of dedication for the building.
- Joan C. McKinney is director of university communications at Campbellsville University