DAVIDSON – The family of one of Davidson College’s most versatile athletes has issued a $4 million challenge to alumni, parents and friends towards building a $15 million athletic center adjoining Baker Sports Complex.
Every gift made to the center will be matched dollar-for-dollar until the challenge is met. If met, the venue will be named the Harry L. Vance Athletic Center.
Samuel and Ann Ginn, of Hillsborough, Calif., issued the challenge to honor Ann's father, the late Harry Vance, Davidson class of 1926. The Huntersville native participated in football, baseball, wrestling and track/field, earning nine varsity letters – the most earned by a student-athlete.
“The whole Davidson community knows what this facility will mean for our college, now and into the future,” Davidson College President Carol Quillen said. “Its value is immeasurable. We are so grateful for the Ginns’ generosity and vision, and our community eagerly accepts their challenge."
The expansion will allow for increased access to practice and training facilities, as well as alleviate scheduling burdens as it relates to space in the Baker Sports Complex. The center will support 21 Division I athletic programs, as well as club and intramural sports.
Following graduation from Davidson College, Vance was commissioned as a 1st Lieutenant in the Marines and later went on to a lengthy career with Southern Bell. He died in 1985.
Like his father-in-law, Sam Ginn built a successful career in telecommunications.
Following executive roles with Bellsouth, AT&T and Pacific Telesis, he launched Airtouch, which was later sold to Vodafone – the company that was bought by Verizon, which became Verizon Wireless.
Sam and Ann Ginn have been married for 50 years. They have three children and six grandchildren.
“My sister, Lee, and I can’t think of a more fitting way to honor our father than by giving back to his alma mater,” Ann Ginn said. “The Vance Challenge marries two of his great loves – Davidson and athletics. What made this opportunity even more appealing to us is that the entire Davidson community will feel the effects of this exciting project.”