Samford University The BelltowerOctober 2003

Donors Revitalize Student Exercise Facility

“...transformational stewardship allows the University to provide for the needs of students beyond the basic instructional costs for faculty and classrooms that are covered by student tuition...”

Article adapted from the Samford Crimson courtesy of the author and Crimson news editor Brandon Gresham.

Samford students received a much-needed surprise from Samford donors last week with the renovation of the old and worn out student weight room known as “the cage.”

In spring 2003, University Provost Brad Creed contacted the Associate Dean of Exercise James Angel to discuss the possibility of renovating the facility.

“I formed a committee that included students, faculty and staff to decide on what type of improvements needed to be done,” Angel said. “We had to decide what types of weight equipment we needed to have for our students and from what company it should be purchased.”

In the end, the committee decided to purchase new equipment from Cybex International, a company that supplies professional workout machines for all areas of exercise. Angel said a number of improvements came with the new equipment. “The old weights were donated years ago and were for personal fitness,” he said. “The new equipment is similar to that found in most health centers.” Angel noted that while there has been no change in the type of exercise that each machine offers, the new technology of the Cybex machines allows for much simpler and safer use compared to the old equipment. “The new equipment also takes up less floor space, which will allow for more room to work out,” Angel said.

Other improvements of the weight center include new paint and some structural work that will take place during Samford’s fall break. According to Angel, the current plans call for the room’s ceiling to be lowered and new lights to be installed to create a more comfortable atmosphere for exercising.

The improved look and capabilities of the new equipment did not come at an easy price. Angel said the new weights and workout machines cost over $70,000. Michael Morgan, Samford’s vice president of University Relations, said the funds came from contributions by individual donors to the annual Samford Fund. Morgan said individual donors often provide “this transformational stewardship that allows the University to provide for the needs of students beyond the basic instructional costs for faculty and classrooms that are covered by student tuition.”

The literal transformation of Samford’s weight room seems to have impressed people so far. Angel said he has even had a few people come to him to say that they cancelled their health club memberships because of the improvements. “We are very appreciative,” Angel said. “The weight room is used for both classes and recreational use, which means all students will be impacted by these changes.”

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