Champions rise to the campaign challenge

Posted on October 09, 2020

George Hoyle ’90 believes that one should leave the world better than you found it. Thanks to his memorable time at UNCG as a student and member of the 1987 Men’s Soccer National Championship team, Hoyle is doing exactly that by making an impact on the lives of Spartan student-athletes through his dedicated philanthropy and service to his alma mater.

Recently appointed to UNCG’s Board of Trustees, Hoyle, along with his wife, Kathleen Kelly, and Vanessa Carroll ’83, co-chairs Campaign for Champions, a fundraising initiative that commemorates five championships won by UNCG athletic programs during the 2017-18 season. The goal is to raise $5 million to invest in Spartan Athletics and build a lasting, winning tradition.

“I am very passionate about helping to build a championship brand for Spartan Athletics, which not only benefits the student-athletes at UNCG, but impacts positively our broader UNCG community and Greater Greensboro,” Hoyle said.

“The knowledge that you are helping others is hugely empowering and fulfilling.”

—George Hoyle ’90

The campaign has raised $2.8 million toward its goal, earmarked to transform student-athlete academic and support facilities and to recruit and retain top coaches to lead UNCG’s 17 Division I athletic teams. Student-athletes are already enjoying the new Academic Success Center and Bodford Family Speed, Strength & Conditioning Center. The Hoyle Family Men’s Basketball Recruiting Lounge, made possible by the couple’s leadership gift to the campaign, will be completed later this year.

Hoyle began giving soon after graduation. He felt an obligation to give back to the institution that had given him so much.

“I can tell you with absolute certainty I would not be where I am today without the life-changing experience I had as a Spartan,” Hoyle said. “My UNCG education and athletic experience shaped me and put me on an amazing path, and for that, I am forever grateful.”

Not all Campaign for Champions donors are alumni, however. Greensboro’s Al and Brenda Bodford and their children, Jason and Amy, made a significant first-time gift. The newly named Bodford Family Speed, Strength & Conditioning Center is destined to be a strong recruiting tool for prospective student-athletes and coaches.

Potential growth opportunities for UNCG Athletics inspired the family’s support.

“We are excited by UNCG’s exceptional academic programs and competitive athletic teams,” Al Bodford said. “The high caliber of students graduating each year provides an immeasurable impact on North Carolina communities and beyond.”

Jason Bodford, who has worked in transportation and supply chain in the EPES organization and at EPES Logistics for more than 25 years, is passionate about continuing the advancement of Spartan Athletics.

“We were excited to support an area of the University that would impact every team within the athletic department,” Jason Bodford said. “The level of appreciation from students and staff has confirmed this was the right decision for our family.”

The UNCG volleyball team was the first squad to work out in the newly renovated facility complete with state-of-the-art weightlifting, fitness, and training equipment.

“UNCG makes it so easy to want to give,” Jason said. “When you give to UNCG, you know you are making a real and measurable impact. Unlike at some of the larger competing schools, every dollar counts. It was not a difficult decision to give.”

By Christine Garton

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