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Be Greater campaign: Athletics

The Be Greater capital campaign seeks to carry out Hesston College’s mission now and into the future by addressing core needs within our largest program areas. The campaign will enhance program spaces for growing athletics programs where limited and outdated facilities restrict some of our capabilities and inhibit the full student experience.

Hesston College LarksHesston College Athletics

The Hesston College athletic department works to create and foster a Christ-centered environment that provides opportunities for the development of the whole student-athlete. Our student athletes are fully integrated into the campus culture and perform well in the classroom. Hesston’s student athletes achieved an average GPA above 3.0 for the past four academic years through the 2016-17 school year. In three of the four years, the average GPA for athletes exceeded the campus-wide GPA. They are also retaining at high rates and even exceeded the institutional retention rate of 78% in fall 2016 with an exceptional 82% athletic retention rate.

Like the college as a whole, the athletic department values gender equity and racial and ethnic diversity among its participants. There is a commitment to the values of academic achievement, teamwork, leadership and good sportsmanship, and we encourage a competitive spirit for excellence and success in all of our student-athletes.

Athletics at Hesston is beginning to experience growth with roster expansions and the addition of new varsity sports teams (golf). In the fall of 2016, Hesston had 162 student-athletes – or 40% of total enrollment – in 14 athletic programs. When Yost Center, was built in 1982, Hesston College fielded five intercollegiate teams, so the need for additional space to accommodate today’s programs and future growth is paramount.

Current challenges for the athletic department include:

  • 14 teams sharing Yost Center facilities designed to accommodate five sports
  • Too few offices for coaches
  • Yost Center’s main entrance on the east (campus) side of the facility paired with parking on the west side poorly serves fans and visitors arriving from off campus
  • Poor weight training and fitness facilities
  • Softball field located several blocks from campus, creating uneven experiences for the softball program and its student-athletes as all other teams have on-campus facilities
  • Outdated gym in need of upgrades

Athletic department expansion

The Be Greater campaign will seek to raise funding to expand and improve Yost Center, fully accommodating all 14 varsity athletic programs and the needs of student-athletes in one location, while also making Yost Center a more welcoming venue for guests to campus.

Improvements will include:

  • The addition of a 3,000 square foot weight room on the southwest side of Yost Center
  • A new softball diamond on campus
  • The addition of a new lobby on the northwest side of Yost Center that is a more direct, welcoming entrance for campus guests
  • Coaches office suite, allowing for collaboration and a more collegial work environment
  • Main gym renovation, including modern bleachers, flooring and interior refresh
  • Athletic training room remodel
  • The addition of a multi-purpose team room

Cost breakdown

Yost Center Weight/Fitness addition $981,462
Lobby addition $672,594
Office suite (remodel existing racquetball courts) $648,875
Softball Field $500,000
Gym refresh (bleachers, flooring, paint) $284,422
Furniture and weight room equipment $202,647
Fundraising $200,000
Total Athletics expansion/renovation $3,490,000