Armstrong Baseball Fieldhouse Named in Honor of Carolyn and George Armstrong

Methodist University is pleased to announce that Carolyn and George Armstrong have donated a major gift to Methodist University to build a baseball fieldhouse. The facility’s name will be Armstrong Fieldhouse at Armstrong-Shelly Field.

The gift was announced on Saturday, Sept. 6 at a ceremony attended by the Armstrong family, friends, students, athletes, coaches, faculty, staff and members of the community.
“Methodist University and the Fayetteville Community are fortunate to have individuals like the Armstrongs who are so committed to improving the quality of life for our students and our citizens,” said Dr. Ben E. Hancock Jr., Methodist University President. “Their support of our new baseball facility is just the most recent example of their generosity and interest in young people.”

George Armstrong and Carolyn Riddle Armstrong have been longtime supporters of Methodist University. George graduated from Methodist College in 1968 with a B.A. in Business Administration.

“Carolyn and I have been active in the baseball program for many years,” said George Armstrong. “Our families have supported the university since day one. I’m proud to be an alum and grateful for my friendship with Coach Austin. Through the years as I talked with Coach Austin about the needs of the program, we felt there was a need for a first-class facility to match the first-class baseball team. Carolyn and I decided to give the gift to get the ball rolling.”

George Armstrong is a longtime friend of head baseball Coach Tom Austin and an avid Monarch baseball fan, attending most home games. In 2006, a gift from the Armstrongs made it possible to install lighting for the baseball field, which was renamed Armstrong-Shelley Field. Additionally, George contributed to the remodeling of the first football locker room and the soccer fieldhouse.

The new Armstrong Baseball Fieldhouse will feature locker rooms, laundry facilities, and athletic training equipment in addition to offices for the coaches. There will be a lobby and lounge area for meetings and events and an observation deck where students and fans can gather to watch the games.

“Carolyn and George have been our power hitters for a long time,” said Coach Tom Austin. “Every time we needed something for our program, they’ve stepped up to the plate and hit a home run. We are grateful for their support. Their many gifts to Methodist University over the years have supported and will continue to support the university and Monarch Baseball. Our student athletes benefit greatly from their generosity.”

The Riddle and Armstrong families have made a tremendous impact on Methodist University and the growth of Fayetteville and Cumberland County’s residential and commercial development, including many properties near Methodist University.

Carolyn Riddle Armstrong and her sister Sharlene Riddle Williams received the 2008 Methodist University Center for Entrepreneurship (CFE) Outstanding Woman Entrepreneur Award. Carolyn currently serves on the CFE Advisory Board and is a past member of the Board of Visitors.

Carolyn’s parents, March and J.P. Riddle, both served as Methodist University trustees. J.P. received the 1978 CFE Entrepreneur of the Year Award and March received the 2012 CFE Greater Good Award. The J.P. and March Riddle Endowed Scholarship at Methodist University was established by the J. P. Riddle Charitable Foundation. In 1990, the March F. Riddle Center was dedicated in honor of March through a generous gift from her husband. Today, the March F. Riddle Center is home to Monarch Athletics and visited annually by thousands of students and visitors.

In August, the university announced that the Campaign for Methodist University – Building Excellence has surpassed the $30 million mark towards the campaign goal of $35 million. The campaign is the largest fundraising initiative in Methodist University’s history.

The campaign will fund scholarships, endowed faculty positions, academic programs, campus life enhancements, new and renovated academic buildings, and six new and expanded athletic facilities.

For more information on the Armstrong Fieldhouse at Armstrong-Shelley Field or other campaign projects, please contact the Office of University Advancement at (910) 630-7200.

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