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Milligan receives gift to fund Wellness Center

MILLIGAN COLLEGE, TN (April 30, 2009) – Milligan College received a major gift this week from the Richard B. Gilliam family of Charlottesville, Va., to fund the construction of a student wellness center. President Don Jeanes said the college will start site preparation this summer and the facility should be complete by Spring 2010.

Jeanes explained that the facility is in direct response to student needs and is a significant lead gift toward the college’s next capital campaign, which is still in its early phases.

The center will be named the Gilliam Wellness Center in memory of Gilliam’s father, Marvin Gilliam, Sr., of Wise, Va. Mr. Gilliam was a member of Milligan’s 1938 class and later had a long career as a teacher in Southwest Virginia.

“This facility will serve a tremendous need and enhance student life at Milligan,” said Jeanes. “We are blessed with the generosity of the Gilliam family. It will enable Milligan to better serve our students both today and in the years to come.”

The 6,400 square foot facility will be centrally located near residence halls and contain a student recreation area, cardiovascular equipment, strength circuit and free weights, and two classroom areas for aerobics and fitness classes. The facility will also house offices for the campus nurse and intramurals director.

The facility equipment is a gift of Denny and Cindy Mayes of Alcoa, Tenn. Both attended Milligan in the 1970s, Mr. Mayes serves on the Milligan Board of Trustees, and their two children attended Milligan.

The facility will be a LEED-certified building, conforming to the “green” standards of The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It will contain skylights, solar tubes, and several other energy-efficient and environmentally friendly aspects.

“Environmental sustainability is important to us and we have several projects and a grant that are helping us focus on these issues campus-wide,” said Jeanes. “So it was important to us that this building be an environmentally responsible project.”

The facility will complement the college’s architectural style and be aesthetically pleasing, with a brick exterior, a patio terrace overlooking Buffalo Mountain, and a courtyard entrance, explained Jeanes.

The project also includes related campus infrastructure improvements, including paving the Webb Hall parking lot, adjacent campus road (Oakes Dr.), and sidewalk, guttering, and lighting.

“This promises to be a facility that enhances student life and serves as a lasting tribute to Mr. Gilliam’s father,” said Jeanes. “We are very excited and are blessed by the generosity of both the Gilliam and the Mayes families.”


MILLIGAN UNIVERSITY is a Christian liberal arts university in Northeast Tennessee whose vision is to change lives and shape culture through a commitment to servant leadership. The university offers more than 100 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in a variety of fields, along with graduate and adult degree completion programs.  To learn more about Milligan University, visit www.milligan.edu or call 800-262-8337.

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