Douglas Drysdale, a member of the University of Lynchburg Board of Trustees, and his wife Elaine Hadden Drysdale, have pledged $3 million toward the College’s Student Center expansion and renovation, bringing the total raised to about $9.2 million.
“In recognition of the Drysdales’ leadership, service, and generosity to the College, we are pleased to name the Douglas and Elaine Hadden Drysdale Student Center in their honor,” said Denise McDonald, vice president of advancement.
“We will also continue to recognize Percy and Gertrude Burton, keeping their names on the Percy Burton Dining Hall and the Gertrude Burton Dining Room.”
The renovated Student Center will be a 72,000-square-foot facility designed to provide much-needed space for student organizations with a focus on leadership, service, diversity, and wellness. The $12 million building will open in fall 2014 and will also feature: a welcome center, a fitness center, meeting rooms, multicultural center, a Commons space, veterans’ lounge, dance and aerobics space, a game room, and additional venues for dining.
“We’re very high on University of Lynchburg,” said Doug Drysdale, who attended the College from 1941 to 1943 before earning his BA in economics from the University of Virginia. “Lynchburg is my hometown and I see University of Lynchburg as being a very important part of the Lynchburg community, the economy, the quality of life, and the culture of the surrounding area.”
Elaine Drysdale agreed, adding, “Both of us feel strongly that education is a very important thing. We have had better lives than we might have imagined as young people because of education. University of Lynchburg hit home with us. A lot of its students are first-generation.”
Doug Drysdale, one of the original members of the Caplin & Drysdale law firm in Washington, D.C., is now retired and Elaine is retired associate dean for management and finance at the UVa School of Law. Doug Drysdale joined the LC Board of Trustees in 2008.
“We are thrilled with this generous gift to the Student Center,” said LC President Kenneth Garren. “Our current facility was built in 1968 and our student body has more than doubled since then. This new Student Center will allow us to have facilities that match the quality of our academic programs.”
The Drysdales both said they have been impressed with President Garren and the dedication, enthusiasm, and commitment of the people they have met at LC at all levels, and that is what convinced them to make a significant gift to the College.