Student athletes, coaches, and members of the Gamecock Club gathered for the dedication ceremony for The Dodie Academic Enrichment Center today. Dodie Anderson, the donor whose generosity made the building possible with a $6 million donation, was also in attendance with her family. The center is the first building in what will become the Athletics Village and will facilitate the academic needs of student athletes.
Athletics Director Eric Hyman started the event by thanking everyone who made The Dodie possible including donors and those in charge of construction and design. University President Dr. Harris Pastides reflected on the outstanding year the university has had so far in the areas of both athletics and academics. Pastides said that The Dodie “will bring together academics and athletics very literally.” The building offers student athletes large study areas, a dining facility, tutor rooms, and computer labs. Several rooms in the building will bear the names of donors who contributed to the project. Pastides said that the facility will serve as “a great recruiting tool.” Football head coach Steve Spurrier mentioned that the Dodie was one of the many reasons Gamecock signee Marcus Lattimore chose South Carolina.
Women’s soccer All-American and SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year Blakely Mattern represented the student athletes at the dedication. She was extremely excited about the new building and expressed her gratitude to everyone who helped with the project, especially Dodie Anderson. Mattern said that the building would lend to an even greater student athlete community, something she has cherished during her time as a Gamecock. “I would stay [at South Carolina] forever if they would let me,” said Mattern.
Men’s basketball head coach Darrin Horn said that he knows Dodie Anderson loves to win. “She loves those ‘W’s,’” he said. When Anderson stood to speak, she was welcomed with a standing ovation. She quickly confirmed Horn’s statement by stating that she would “love to see more 34-17’s and 68-62’s.” She spoke of her hopes for the athletic community, and ended her speech with a vibrant “Go Cocks!”
The dedication came to a close with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Hyman and Pastides stood with Anderson as she cut the garnet ribbon. In the eyes of the Gamecock community, the Dodie is a big step for the athletic department and a huge win for the university.