By Josh Owens, Director of Media and Marketing
By resolution of the Board of Trustees, Welch College will construct a president’s home on its new 66-acre campus site in Gallatin, Tennessee, according to David Williford, vice president for institutional advancement.
“The most recent plans for phase one did not include a president’s home; President Pinson felt that all resources and energies needed to be focused on the building of the core campus,” Williford said. “Plans changed when the lead donor to the Building on the Legacy capital campaign for campus relocation, Mrs. Alicia Celorio of the Do Unto Others Trust in Miami, FL, promised an additional gift that would make it possible for the home to be built without diverting any funds from the core campus.”
“In December of 2014, Mrs. Celorio completed the most significant pledge of the Building on the Legacy campaign. While visiting the West End campus over the years, she had spent time in the president’s home and saw how the home was a hub of ministry to college students and the college family. It was her desire to see that replicated on the Gallatin campus.”
James and Mary Beasley of Turbeville, SC, subsequently made an additional, significant pledge above and beyond their Building on the Legacy commitment. As directed by the Board of Trustees, the funds for the president’s home will not come from gifts to the Building on the Legacy campaign, but from special gifts made above and beyond Building on the Legacy gifts, as well as from the president’s housing allowance.
“We’re grateful to our two lead donors in the silent phase of the Building on the Legacy campaign, who had a special interest in seeing a president’s home built on this land into which they have already poured such great resources and wanted to give above and beyond their original pledges,” Williford said. “Rather than taking a personal housing allowance, President and Mrs. Pinson wanted their monthly housing allowance funds placed back into the new Welch campus through the construction of a president’s home for future generations of the Welch family.”
“In the long tradition of college presidents’ homes, the president’s home on the West End campus was a symbol of the sort of Christian community, hospitality, and mentoring we’re attempting to foster at Welch,” Williford said. “It provided a wide variety of wonderful community-building events for students, faculty and staff, and the wider Welch constituency. We’re so glad, thanks to these generous donors, this tradition can continue in Gallatin.”
The design of the house is underway, according to Relocation Consultant Bob Bass, and construction is set to begin on the house this month.
Bass will oversee the construction of the home. Mike Murdock, a member of the Donelson Fellowship, a Nashville Free Will Baptist congregation, has been selected as construction manager to design the home and manage the building process.
“Mike has designed and built scores of excellent homes in the greater Nashville area,” Bass said. “He’s stepping up to the plate and doing this for the college at a fraction of what he would normally receive for the expertise he brings to the table. He sees it as kingdom work. Mike will produce an excellent president’s home that will mesh well with the overall design of the new Welch campus.”
“It’s great to see the amazing progress on the construction of the new Welch campus,” Bass said. “We are now completing the foundations and are about to see some vertical activity. After more than twenty years of work and anticipation on this project, it’s a wonderful sight to watch it all come together.”
To learn more about campus relocation or to give to the Building on the Legacy campaign, visit BuildingontheLegacy.com.