The Hodge Center will be completely renovated following the completion of the 2009-10 basketball season.
Oct. 14, 2009
Spartanburg, S.C. - Shortly after the final buzzer sounds to end the women's basketball game against Stetson on Feb. 27, 2010, the University of South Carolina Upstate will begin a renovation of the G.B. Hodge Center thanks to the generosity of Mrs. Dolores (Dodie) Anderson, who has provided the University with a $4 million gift to fund the project, the University announced Wednesday at a news conference in conjunction with its men's and women's basketball media day luncheon.
Anderson is a 1981 graduate of USC Upstate with a degree in interdisciplinary studies. She was presented the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2006 on the 25th anniversary of her graduation from USC Upstate. She is the former owner of Anderson Hardwood Floors in Clinton and Walterboro, S.C. , the largest privately owned hardwood floor manufacturer in the United States. A co-owner, she recently sold her stake in the company to pursue other business interests. Anderson is a strong supporter of the USC Upstate Athletic Program, especially men's basketball. She received the University's Founders Day Award in 1986, was inducted into the University's Honor Fraternity in May 2005, and is a former member of the Carolina Piedmont Foundation Board of Directors, which is the fundraising arm of USC Upstate. In addition to supporting USC Upstate, Anderson is a loyal supporter of USC football, the Girl Scouts of America and the Greenville Humane Society. She is the wife of the late Bob Anderson and the mother of four daughters, numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
The $4 million gift to USC Upstate marks the largest single gift to the Athletics Department in University history.
"I was a returning mature student and chose to go to USC Upstate," said Anderson. "It's my school and my husband and I were big fans of the basketball program. We followed them through the national championship we won and throughout the years. I have become good friends with Eddie and Ann (Payne) and am involved with what's going on with the program.
"We needed to give the Hodge Center a face lift to match the rest of the buildings on campus. When you look around, the campus is beautiful. The facilities are grand and the Hodge Center needed improvements to assist the teams in building a Division I program. The improvements will help in recruiting. I think Upstate serves a real purpose and it's nice to think about helping young people become successful. It's fun to be involved with the types of people you work with on projects like this."
"Mrs. Anderson's generosity is of tremendous importance to the University and the Athletics Department. Her commitment to competitiveness is well known. This gift is an honor to the tremendous growth of the University and a major boost to the winning traditions of Upstate Athletics in NCAA Division I," said Dr. John Stockwell, chancellor at USC Upstate.
The Hodge Center opened in 1973 and is named in honor of the late G.B. Hodge, M.D., the leader in the establishment of the University and a loyal supporter of the athletics program at Upstate. The facility allowed a burgeoning athletics program to find a home for many of its indoor sports. Through the years, the Hodge Center has seen its share of success, including a 50-game home winning streak in men's basketball, claiming three-straight Peach Belt Conference championships in women's basketball, a 30-match home winning streak in volleyball, and launching the 1982 NAIA National Championship men's basketball team. Recently, it has been the home of Upstate's first NCAA Division I and Atlantic Sun Conference basketball and volleyball teams. Combined, the men's basketball, women's basketball and volleyball programs own an 860-406 record in the Hodge Center.
While the Hodge Center holds a tremendous amount of history under its roof, the facility has required updating to better assist the basketball and volleyball coaches in building competitive programs on the Division I level. When the renovations are complete through the use of Anderson's gift, Upstate will have in place an indoor facility which will complement Upstate's outdoor athletic facilities, the Louis P. Howell Athletic Complex, providing the school's student-athletes with excellent Division I facilities.
"This gift will enable us to make a legitimate entry into competitive Division I basketball," said Upstate Head Coach Eddie Payne. "We will strive to convert the Hodge Center into a "showplace" and as a result, a very exciting home court advantage."
"The volleyball program is deeply grateful to Anderson for this most recent demonstration of her ongoing commitment to Upstate, a gift that will significantly upgrade our volleyball facilities," said Jennifer Calloway, head coach of the volleyball program and a 1994 graduate of USC Upstate.
"We couldn't be more humbled by the generosity of Mrs. Anderson," said Tammy George, head women's basketball coach. "All of us involved with USC Upstate women's basketball deeply appreciate the tremendous gift that Mrs. Anderson has made to Upstate athletics. Mrs. Anderson's vision and commitment to the future success of our athletic programs is more than evident in this gift."
Final plans for the renovation have not been completed, though construction is expected to begin shortly after the wrap-up of the basketball season with the desire to have the work accomplished by the beginning of the 2010-11 basketball season. The volleyball program will play its home matches away from the Hodge Center in 2010, though final arrangements have not been made at this time.
In addition to the competition facility, the Hodge Center houses the athletics offices for the athletic administration and several coaches, a performance center for the student-athletes, locker rooms and athletic training facilities. While the competition court will get a complete makeover, the locker room and athletic training facilities will also be renovated.
"Mrs. Anderson's gift will allow us to greatly improve the Hodge Center, enhancing our position in Division I," said Mike Hall, director of athletics at USC Upstate. "We will be able to provide our student-athletes with a facility better suited for Division I athletics, our coaches a facility that will enhance their recruiting efforts, and our fan base with a much more desirable, comfortable and exciting atmosphere to watch our games. Mrs. Anderson has been very kind to us through the years. This gift is one of many she has made, helping to enrich the lives of others. I speak for everyone associated with the athletics department when I say that we are more than humbled by her generosity and thank her for her continued support of our University, the Athletics Department and the student-athletes at Upstate."
The renovation of the Hodge Center will focus mainly on the competition court and some auxiliary functions of the athletics department. The gymnasium will be completely gutted with several improvements scheduled to be made. In addition to the installation of a new floor, the facility will also receive new seating, lighting and state of the art scoreboards and scorer's tables. Outside of the gym area, the women's basketball and volleyball programs will get their own locker room facilities after sharing a locker room for the better part of two decades. The athletic training facility will be expanded, while the performance center will open in the site of the old gym and will house the strength and conditioning program for the Spartan athletic teams.
In addition to the above renovations, a second renovation phase in the near future will call for the expansion of the Hodge Center with additional seating, additional facilities for media relations and academics, and a new entrance to the building.