HPU President Secures $50 Million in Private Funds for Downtown Catalyst Projects
The total is 31 percent higher than Qubein’s original commitment of $38 million.
HIGH POINT, N.C., Sept. 6, 2017 – High Point University President Nido Qubein announced today he exceeded his initial goal and has raised $50 million in private funds for downtown High Point catalyst projects. Just a few short months ago, Qubein committed to raising $38 million for those projects, which include a children’s museum, events center, urban park with 21st century technology and an educational cinema for families, if the city’s plan to build a proposed baseball stadium moves forward.
In addition to the $50 million, Qubein announced he has worked with community leaders to secure these key elements that would move forward if the downtown stadium is built:
-Triad developer Roy Carroll will build a hotel in the downtown stadium area.
–Blue Ridge Companies will build 200 apartments in the downtown stadium area.
–BB&T will provide naming for the stadium.
-The Atlantic League of Professional Baseball will start a minor league baseball team.
More than 900 community members filled the Hayworth Fine Arts Center for Qubein’s presentation. He also invited several community leaders and investors to address the audience. Those guests included Amanda Haege, chief of staff at The Carroll Companies; Chris Dunbar, President of Blue Ridge Properties; Billy Prim, Chairman and CEO of Primo Water Corporation; Jim Melvin, former mayor of Greensboro and longtime community leader; Bob Maricich, CEO of International Market Centers; Frank Boulton, chairman of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball and CEO of the Long Island Ducks; J. Cantey Alexander, Triad Regional President of BB&T Corp and Paul Lessard, president of the High Point Community Foundation.
“We said we needed to raise $38 million; we did it,” said Qubein. “We said we needed to secure naming rights; we did it. We said we were going to get a baseball team; we did it. We said we were going to attract private developers, and you heard from two of them today; we did it. We said we were going to create an administrative structure for facilities, and I just showed you that on a work chart. Everything I promised on May 17, we delivered and then some. So, ladies and gentlemen, let me be very clear: The time is now and the person is you.”
The event today served as a follow-up to the keynote address Qubein gave on May 17 at the High Point Convention and Visitor Bureau’s Annual Meeting. During that meeting, Qubein accepted a request from Forward High Point to lead the acquisition of a baseball team and the naming rights of the proposed downtown stadium. But he furthered his commitment by announcing, on his own volition, that he would raise millions in private donations for catalyst projects that would surround the stadium area.
Today’s announcement that he has exceeded his goal and raised $50 million shows that private, philanthropic investors are waiting to inject growth into downtown High Point, he said.
“These major investments will enhance the stadium area and make downtown High Point a year-round destination for a broad population of visitors,” Qubein said. “We now have $50 million in private investments waiting to inject energy into the heart of High Point. If we move forward with the stadium project, these visions can become reality and thereby improve the lives of all residence and attract others to live in and invest in High Point.”
Qubein and investors spoke of their support and belief that a vibrant downtown High Point is possible if the city of High Point and Guilford County Commissioners agree to move forward with the plan to construct a baseball stadium in the heart of downtown High Point.
Qubein acknowledged that transformational growth of this scale requires faithful courage and leaders who aren’t intimidated by risk. He knows; he’s led a decade of transformational growth at HPU. Since he became president in 2005, the university has reached its largest total enrollment of nearly 5,000 students, grown from 92 to 430 acres, increased employee positions from 430 to more than 1,700 and launched the university’s first doctoral degree programs.
“Let me say a word to the County Commissioners: Please know we appreciate your leadership on behalf of all the citizens in Guilford County,” Qubein said. “We know that it’s never easy to make the tough decisions. Let us partner together to move the second largest city in the county forward. All the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle seem to be pulled together except for your affirmative vote. I pray you’ll support this project and I sincerely thank you for your thoughtful guidance.”
He also reiterated that “the time is now for High Point to move forward.”
“High Point has been my chosen home for nearly 50 years,” Qubein told the audience. “I am a proud High Pointer. I love living in this Triad region. And I have gratitude in my soul for all of you – community leaders and elected officials, good neighbors and generous benefactors, business folk and retired persons. All of us have one thing in common: We care about High Point, today and tomorrow, for the good of current residents, and for future generations too.
“We are all one High Point. We all live in High Point. I pray that God will pull our community together as we move forward with commitment, conviction and creativity. Our future can be abundantly promising. Our city is blessed with many strengths including responsible leaders, loyal citizens and people with passion to persevere through challenges and opportunities. The time is now. It’s up to us. Together, yes we can.”
About the Catalyst Projects:
The following catalyst projects will be funded by the $50 million secured by Qubein, if Guilford County Commissioners approve the proposed stadium project:
• A children’s museum with state of-the-art technology and exhibits that encourage children to embrace learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
• An urban park with playground equipment that furthers innovative learning.
• An educational cinema for families.
• An events center to host conferences that increase tourism and banquets for community gatherings.