Fieldhouse named for trustee couple

Wed, 2012-07-25 08:59 -- univcomm

President James L. Edwards and the Anderson University board of trustees have recently announced that AU will name the multipurpose fieldhouse within the Kardatzke Wellness Center the Tom L. and Sch’ree Ward Fieldhouse. In 1996, the Wards provided one of the lead gifts for the construction of the $17.4 million center. The Ward Fieldhouse provides nearly 68,000 square feet of instructional space and supports the only indoor 200-meter competition running track in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.

“Sch’ree and I believe deeply that society needs young people who are benefiting from Christian higher education and we want to have a part in making their educational experience first-rate in every way,” said Tom Ward. “The Wellness Center project excites us because we know how very much it is needed on the campus and believe it can make a tremendous difference for students in the future.”

Tom and Sch’ree Ward are involved in several community activities in their hometown of Oklahoma City—particularly through their church, Crossings Community Church. Through the church the Ward’s have established a unique scholarship program allowing young people in the church to study at Anderson University for a comparable tuition of a state college.

Tom is president and chief operating officer of Chesapeake Energy Corporation, in Oklahoma City. He has served as a director since co-founding the company in 1989. He is a member of the Anderson University board of trustees and a 1981 graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a B.B.A. degree in petroleum land management. Sch’ree is involved with initiatives to assist the special needs of children in Oklahoma City and she is active in church, community and school functions.

“Tom and Sch'ree Ward have acted on a mission to provide every reason for young people to choose Anderson University as a place to seek a college education,” said Dr. James L. Edwards, president of Anderson University. “The Wellness Center is but one of several initiatives they have taken to make this church-related campus a place of excellence. We are so very thankful for this imaginative and committed partnership. Anderson University couldn't have better friends.”

The 200-meter regulation indoor running track on the main floor offers a Mondo surface, six—36-inch—lanes around the oval and eight—42-inch—lanes for hurdles in the straightaway. In addition, the Ward Fieldhouse features four basketball court spaces, two drop-down batting cages, and, on the upper level, a 355-meter indoor walking/jogging track.

With the addition of the Ward Fieldhouse, the university has redesigned an intramural program mirroring programs found at larger universities. The facility allows for expanded and consistent intramural programming, which previously needed to be arranged around intercollegiate athletic activities and weather. Instead of five intramural programs, there will be 20, including the addition of indoor floor hockey and indoor soccer. Last year, 500 Anderson University students participated in intramural sports, but with an expanded intramural program and the fieldhouse space, the participation of students is projected to double.

The 132,000 square-foot Kardatzke Wellness Center project located at the northeast end of the campus is designed to provide programming for health, recreation and wellness in all forms—spiritual, emotional, physical, and social. The facility is the largest building project in the university's 85-year history. The Kardatzke Wellness Center will be dedicated during Anderson University’s Homecoming weekend, Saturday, October 12, at 10 a.m., and will feature 1992 Olympic bronze medallist David Johnson as the guest speaker. The public is invited to attend the free event.

Anderson University is a private, liberal arts, Christian institution of approximately 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, the university offers more than 60 undergraduate majors and graduate programs of study in business, education and theology.