John William Pope Foundation completes $4.5 million grant to Convocation Center

The John William Pope Foundation has completed its final installment to Campbell University for the John W. Pope, Jr. Convocation Center. The Pope family, through its foundation, gave a total of $4.5 million over the last five years to help with the construction of the John W. Pope, Jr. Convocation Center that houses Campbell’s new athletic center and hosts other university-wide events such as graduation ceremonies. The Pope Foundation gift was made in memory of the late John W. Pope, Jr., who graduated from Campbell in 1975.

The state-of-the-art, multi-purpose facility will seat about 3,100 spectators for athletic events and up to 5,000 for special events such as concerts, graduation activities and other community gatherings. In addition to the main arena, the center includes a student fitness center, training and weight rooms, practice facility, sport locker rooms, athletic offices, a hospitality room, labs and classrooms for the exercise science department and the Campbell Sports Hall of Fame. The center will also house the volleyball and wrestling teams.

The university expects the center to benefit Campbell athletics fans, students who use the facilities and the residents of Buies Creek and Harnett County. The building is one of the largest constructed in Harnett county and has become a symbol of pride for the area. Campbell has already committed to holding graduation ceremonies for Harnett County public schools.

A dedication service took place on Friday, October 17, 2008, to honor the donors and Campbell’s future.

Art Pope, President of the John William Pope Foundation, said, “My brother, John, loved athletics and our family is honored to be a part of this world-class facility.”

Campbell President Jerry Wallace said, “Buies Creek has never seen anything like this.”

The John William Pope Foundation is a private, family foundation, supported by the late John W. Pope, Sr., of Raleigh, NC, his wife, Joyce W. Pope, and their children: Art Pope of Raleigh, N.C., Amanda Pope of Citra, Fla. and late son, John W. Pope, Jr.

The foundation receives additional support from the family’s business, Variety Wholesalers, Inc., which owns and operates the Rose’s, Maxway, and Super 10 stores. Its offices and distribution centers are in Henderson, N.C.