The Meridian Community College Foundation’s capital campaign for MCC’s new softball and tennis complex has kicked off with Citizens National Bank initiating the first corporate donation.
“We are thrilled to partner with Meridian Community College on this exciting project,” said Archie McDonnell, CEO of Citizens National Bank. “Citizens National Bank and MCC have a long-time heritage of striving for excellence and share the same commitment of investing in the success of the citizens who live here,” he said.
College administrators and coaches are thrilled with this foundational gift. “This project is important for our College and, more important, for our community," Dr. Thomas Huebner, president of Meridian Community College, said, "We are so thankful to have good friends and supporters like those at Citizens National Bank who believe in our mission and recognize the value of MCC as a fundamental difference-maker for Meridian and Lauderdale County. Citizens National Bank truly practices the ‘Power of Local,’ and we are grateful they have chosen to invest in us.”
The College’s new athletic facility will house both Eagle Tennis and Softball teams. It will bring the teams closer to the Highway 19 North campus with the project location on the former Matty Hersee property.
The financial institution has committed funds for the softball stadium that will house the Tommy McDonald Field. “This new state-of-the-art softball stadium will be a wonderful addition to our city, and will serve as a terrific venue to showcase the outstanding talent of MCC’s girls’ softball,” said Hampton Thames, Citizens National Bank president.
Rephrasing a cliché, “when you build it, they will come,” MCC Softball Coach Faith Robinson said a softball facility on campus would change the recruiting environment for the College significantly. “Just for young women to feel supported and not have to drive away from campus to practice and play games will help with the types of athletes we attract,” she said.
Thames said, “Our Bank loves reinvesting in the local community, and we believe this new facility will provide a memorable experience for all of the spectators who come to Meridian to watch the games.”
Thames noted throughout the Bank are numerous employees who share in the excitement of watching their children and grandchildren play in girls’ softball programs. This new venue will be a great way to bring families together, he added.
MCC Tennis Coach T.J. Carter said being able to bring top junior players on campus and show them they can train and play at the nicest tennis facility in the state will help take MCC’s recruiting to another level.
Expanding to having eight courts instead of four will be a tremendous help with practice, Carter added. “Finally, we will be able to host not only top-notch JUCO matches and tournaments but also can partner alongside the USTA and UTR to put on some great events for the public,” he said.
Leia Hill, vice president for institutional advancement and the executive director of the MCC Foundation, said, "The MCC Foundation is privileged to raise funds for so many meaningful campus initiatives. Tuition Guarantee is our most well-known, but the Foundation manages/awards over 200 named scholarships and works on projects that will benefit our College and our students." Hill added, "The tennis and softball complex will add value to our Campus and our student experience, and we couldn't ask for better partners than our friends at Citizens National Bank."
McDonnell added, “Through the Power of Local, our two entities are joining together to make great things happen, and we consider it an honor to join in this great partnership with MCC.”