WILSON, N.C. - Barton Bulldog Club members have a surprise in store this upcoming basketball season. The Bulldog Club Room, located in Wilson Gymnasium, has been under renovation during the last few months, and Phase I of the renovation project is nearing completion. The renovated Bulldog Club Room will be named the Robert L. Dunn, Sr., Bulldog Club Room in memory the revered leader in Eastern North Carolina and longtime supporter of Barton College (then Atlantic Christian College) athletics.

Barton College trustee Stuart Walston of Stuart Walston, Inc. has committed his time and talent to oversee the design of the new Bulldog Club Room that sports a new color scheme, new lighting, new hardwood flooring, a flat screen television, framed national championship recognitions, and a new Hall of Fame engraved recognition board to be installed by Homecoming. Other furniture, including a customized conference table with the Bulldog logo, will be added in November.

“Two years ago, the Athletics/Bulldog Club Committee decided to make the renovation of the Bulldog Club Room in Wilson Gymnasium a priority and to feature in that room a digital Hall of Fame,” shared Dr. Norval C. Kneten, president of Barton College. “This is an exciting renovation for Wilson Gymnasium that will showcase the hard work and dedication of our student-athletes. The benefits of Phase I of the Bulldog Club Room renovation are immediate. Bulldog Club members will enjoy the new room for a variety of functions supporting Barton athletics and it will also provide a highly functional meeting space for teams and coaches.”

Initial estimates for the renovation cost were approximately $75,000. Since that time, the project has expanded to include updating the lobby of Wilson Gymnasium, and fundraising to date exceeds $100,000. Phase II for the digital Hall of Fame will begin later this year. Phase III will support the updating of the gymnasium lobby, including new trophy display cases.

Overseeing the fundraising for this renovation project is committee chair and Barton College trustee Chuck Finklea, who is joined by members Charlie Bedgood, Scott Cruikshank, Gilbert Ferrell, Sharon Ginn, Reid Hill, Tom Parham, Russell Rawlings, Mary Lou Skinner, Susan Kneten, Gary Hall, Joel Zimmerman, and Carolyn Brown.

Two leaders stand out among their peers in this fundraising effort. The generosity of Barton College trustee Robert L. Dunn, Jr., of Wilson, Class of 1960 and 1991 Athletic Hall of Fame inductee, has helped to spearhead the renovation of the College’s Bulldog Club Room on campus. Rufus P. Outland of Norfolk, Va., Class of 1959 and 2008 Athletic Hall of Fame inductee, has also been instrumental in securing large gifts from the Beasley Foundation and others for the renovation. A retired high school basketball coach and longtime supporter of Bulldog athletics, Outland suggested the Bulldog Club Room be named for Robert L. Dunn, Sr.

“We are particularly grateful to Bobby Dunn for his generous financial support of this worthy project and for Rufus Outland’s influence in helping the College secure gifts from the Beazley Foundation among others, and for the many contributors who have supported Phase I of the renovation. We look forward to sharing project details with others who are interested in supporting Phases II and III for this expanded renovation,” added Dr. Kneten.

Currently underway, fundraising for Phase II of the renovation will support the complete digitalization of the College’s Athletic Hall of Fame. This electronic addition to the Bulldog Club Room will enable visitors to access each Hall of Fame member, including photographs and biography details, as well as other memorabilia chronicling a century of Barton College and Atlantic Christian College athletics.

Those interested in supporting the Bulldog Club Room renovation project may contact Joel Zimmerman, assistant director for athletics and young alumni development, at 252-399-6360 or email: jdzimmerman@barton.edu.

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Questions?  Contact Kathy Daughety, director of public relations, at 252-399-6529 or email: kdaugehty@barton.edu.