Above Par, Naturally
Come Spring 2009, you will not have to strain to hear the golf claps ’round campus and on the greens of the new Arnold Palmer-designed golf course on Centennial Campus. NC State’s men’s and women’s varsity golf teams and coaches will no doubt cheer for their new, permanent home at the PGA-sanctioned Lonnie Poole Golf Course.
But they won’t be the only ones applauding. The course also will serve as an ongoing research site for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ number-one ranked turfgrass program as well as living laboratory for the College of Natural Resources’ nationally recognized PGA Professional Golf Management program.
It’s just this widespread reach (and recollections of clubs scraped together from irons cast off by the physical education department) that inspired Lonnie C. (’59) and Carol Lynn Poole’s $3 million lead gift. “NC State has many foundations, and what makes this gift unique is that it benefits a wide range of constituent groups,” says Poole, founder and chair of Raleigh-based Waste Industries and a pro-am golfer himself.
Also helping the 18-hole, 7,210-yard, par-71 public course become ace ready are Jeffrey (’65) and Dianna Goodman’s $800,000 gift, more than $500,000 of in-kind grading equipment from Greg Poole, III (’83) and a $250,000 gift by BASF to name the maintenance facility. Various university Greek organizations along with friends and family also gave, securing naming rights for all 18 holes.
Spread across 200 acres of Centennial Campus, once it’s complete, the project won’t end at the 18th hole. Fundraising is under way for a course clubhouse, research and training center with classrooms, working labs, meeting and conference rooms, and offices.
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