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SCCC celebrates opening of Sharp Family Champions Center

LIBERAL, Kan. – Despite a chilly wind, nearly 75 people gathered at Seward County Community College to cut the ribbon and celebrate the opening of phase two of the Sharp Family Champions Center at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, February 9. 

Lead donor JoAnn Sharp did the honors, with Board of Trustees and SCCC Foundation members in attendance, as well as family members, Mr. and Mrs. Rex Sharp. Following the outdoor ceremony, guests moved indoors to the newly furnished Saints Baseball locker room for remarks and recognition of project supporters.

Among those speaking were former Saints baseball coach and athletic director Galen McSpadden, who recounted the inspiration for the Champions Center and displayed a pen sketch on a restaurant napkin. The conversation between McSpadden and the late Gene Sharp, local attorney and civic booster, sparked a nearly 20-year project that is, McSpadden said, “unlike any other facility among Kansas junior colleges.”

College president Brad Bennett thanked McSpadden, the Sharp family, community member Gary Dunnam and a plethora of supporters, many of whom traveled long distances to attend the Champions Center opening. Rex Sharp, an attorney like his father Gene, shared memories of his parents’ many civic engagements as he grew up in Liberal. Going a bit further back, he said, “baseball literally brought my family into existence,” owing to his grandfather’s time as a pitcher on a minor-league team in the region. “If it hadn’t been for the catcher’s pretty sister catching my grandfather’s attention, none of the Sharps would be here today,” he said.

Jo Ann Sharp drew prolonged applause for her remarks, which provided a quick tour through Liberal history of the past 50 years, from Bee Jays semi-pro baseball games to the establishment of the college itself, to the Sharp Family Champions Center project. Sharp thanked those in attendance and challenged the group to continue the trajectory started by the Champions Center project.

Following the locker room remarks, guests toured the center. The woodwork in the men’s and women’s locker rooms and the welcome desk drew admiration: it was designed and constructed by SCCC alumnus Darko Cohaderavic’s DarkWood company. Prominently displayed in the front hallway, a bronze bust of Gene Sharp memorialized the man whose vision got the Champions Center started.

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Seward County Community College notifica que esta institución no discrimina a personas en forma de raza, color, origen nacional, discapacidad de acceso o tratamiento, edad, o sexo, en la admisión o acceso a sus programas y actividades.  Cualquier persona que tenga preguntas sobre el cumplimiento de los requisitos de las regulaciones que implementan el Título VI, Título IX o Sección 504 están dirigidas a comunicarse con el Vicepresidente de finanzas y operaciones,   (620) 624-1951.

SCCC does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability in admission, access to, treatment or employment in its programs and activities. For more information about Title VI, Title IX, or Section 504, call the VP of finance & operations, (620) 624 -1951.