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Good afternoon and welcome to this grand occasion. What a wonderful day in the life of Randolph-Macon College! I am always proud to be a Yellow Jacket, but especially so today.
Our talented and successful baseball team now, finally, has a home of its own – And what a home it is! Thanks to the generosity of Carol Estes-Williams, our Jackets now practice and play in a state-of-the art facility –a facility that would be the envy of many Division I programs.
I ask all of you to join me in acknowledging Carol’s generous spirit and tangible investment in R-MC’s future.
I would also like to introduce other members of the Estes family who are with us today. First, Carol’s children are with us today, Alise, Jonathan, and David. Carol’s aunt and uncle Susan and Ed Estes, the brother and sister-in-law of Robey and Alise Estes, for whom the park is named, are here. Ed’s daughter Martha Estes Grover is with us today as well. Webb Estes is with us today. James Garland and his wife Casey and daughter Courtney are here, as is Trish Garland, member of the class of 1989 and former member of the Board of Associates and Society of Alumni. We also welcome Robert and Mary Speight and Steve, Juliet, and Billy Hupp.
The Estes family has a long, close and supportive relationship with Randolph-Macon, beginning with Ed Estes’ distinguished tenure on our Board of Trustees. Ed and the Estes family have donated to countless projects on our campus: Estes Dining Hall, the Estes Aquatic Center, and the James D. Sr. & Helen E. Garland Endowed Scholarship just to name a few. Such commitment to the continued well being of our great college is almost without equal. I extend my and the college’s gratitude again to Carol, Ed and Susan, and to all the Estes clan assembled here today.
Let me also thank those companies and individuals responsible for constructing the final product which is before you this afternoon. Hugh Stephens Field at Estes Park was designed by the architectural firm of Clough Harbour and Associates and expertly constructed by Kjellstrom and Lee. I commend you all for the fine quality of your work. Rick Berrey and Curtis Leake are here with us today from Kjellstrom and Lee and I’d also like to recognize Dave Barlow from CHA. I’d also like to recognize Ranny Robertson, the project manager for new facilities here at Randolph-Macon. Ranny did a wonderful job coordinating the construction of this facility during challenging weather conditions but managed to get us open just in time for the beginning of baseball season.
You have created a baseball complex that is classy, comfortable and welcoming – another bright star in our campus renaissance. We are proud of what you have built, and you should be too.
Let me also acknowledge and praise our wonderful team and their leader – Coach Ray Hedrick. A first-class program like yours deserves first class facilities. They reflect the quality of our team and our commitment to the value of intercollegiate sports. They also enrich the experience of our student-athletes while projecting the quality that enhances our reputation in the public eye.
Today begins a new era and a long-time investment in our baseball program. Our ball players have a stadium to be proud of; our fans can now brag about our facilities as well as our team, and a new generation of student-athletes will be attracted to this great college which has invested in them – A true win-win situation for us all.
Congratulations and thanks to all those who have made today’s dedication and celebration a reality. We are in your debt.
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