H.B. (Bernie) Wehrle III and his wife, Cecilia, announced July 24 they had donated $1.25 million toward the school's Sports & Fitness Center campaign. Combined with a gift of $250,000 from the H.B. Wehrle Foundation and Wehrle family members, the total contribution was over $1.5 million.
"This is an incredible gift for the University of Charleston," said Dr. Edwin H. Welch, president, in the formal announcement. "Bernie and Cecilia Wehrle have been ardent supporters of our efforts to complete our capital renovations to our Charleston campus. This gift brings us a few steps closer to seeing our plans come to fruition."
H.B. Wehrle currently serves on the board of trustees at UC and has a long history with the school.
"My family has been involved with the University of Charleston for many years," Wehrle said in a news released issued by UC. "We've always been pleased with the educational opportunities that UC provides and the economic benefits the Charleston-area receives from UC's growth. In my opinion, UC is a smart investment in our community and I am pleased to continue our support."
The Sports & Fitness Center is the last remaining piece to the $100 million renovation of UC's Charleston campus over the past decade. UC has successfully constructed three new residence halls, a new parking garage and apartment complex and a new pharmacy school, and it has completed major renovations to Riggleman Hall and the Geary Student Union. Eddie King Gym, built in 1947, is the only facility on campus that has not been renovated.
Recently BB&T's West Virginia Foundation announced a $250,000 gift to the Sports & Fitness Center.
The recent gifts follow an $1 million gift UC received for the project last year. UC has raised more than $1 million in each of the past two fiscal years and continues to pursue other interested partners.