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BB&T has made a $2 million gift to Barton College securing the naming rights to a much-anticipated stadium at Electric Supply Co. Field. The college received an additional $500,000 from BB&T’s charitable fund that will be reserved for a strategic partnership between Barton and BB&T to support and enhance local and regional workforce development, officials announced Friday.
“Barton College and BB&T share a like vision, and, together, we will create new opportunities for our region through this partnership, said Douglas Searcy, Barton College president. “Our organizations stand at a powerful point as we prepare to pivot toward a reimagined future full of promise and prosperity.”
Officials say Barton College’s momentum in recent years is evident by this fall’s announcement of the largest enrolling class since 1982, a strengthened academic profile, a variety of new undergraduate and graduate academic programs, new co-curricular initiatives to enhance the Barton experience, new football and women’s and men’s lacrosse athletic programs, construction of the Electric Supply Co. Field and numerous renovations across campus, as well as continued recognition in regional and national rankings.
“Our partnerships with Barton College represent a long-term commitment to the future of our region,” said Phil Marion, BB&T eastern North Carolina regional president. “Not only will the new stadium provide a tremendous venue for sports and other local events, but we will be investing in the community to enrich and develop the workforce in our area.”
barton’s new STADIUM
Searcy said the stadium will be built in time for the first football game next fall. The bidding process is already underway, and the timeline will quickly proceed thereafter, he said.
“The stadium will stand as a marker for the continued growth and excellence of this college and for the expanding opportunities for the young women and men at Barton as they prepare for leadership and service beyond graduation,” Searcy said. “We anticipate construction for the stadium to begin in the weeks ahead.”
The stadium’s name has not been announced. BB&T is in the process of merging with Atlanta-based SunTrust to create Truist, which would become the nation’s sixth-largest bank.
“Barton College and BB&T have always had a strategic relationship, and there have been a significant number of Barton graduates that have made a tremendous impact as BB&T associates,” said Wes Berry, BB&T market president. “We are excited about the workforce development partnership and the future impact to the region.”
The college and BB&T have had a strong partnership within the community throughout the past century.
“We at Barton College are gratified by this extraordinary gift and for the belief in our mission and vision that it represents,” Searcy said. “I, personally, appreciate the leadership of Kelly King (chairman and chief executive of BB&T) and how his masterful vision and skillful guidance has led to a distinctive change model, ensuring a prosperous future for BB&T and those they serve.”