Asbury Announces Major Gift for Athletics

WILMORE, Ky. — Asbury University announced Monday evening that it has received a $1.5 million gift to renovate its baseball and softball facilities in honor of Dr. Jiles E. Kirkland, a 1950 graduate of Asbury University.

Asbury University announced that its new baseball and softball complex will be named in honor of Dr. Jiles E. Kirkland '50. From left: Baseball coach Bob Silvanik, Tim Philpot '73, Kirkland and Dr. Sandra Gray.
Asbury University announced that its new baseball and softball complex will be named in honor of Dr. Jiles E. Kirkland '50. From left: Baseball coach Bob Silvanik, Tim Philpot '73, Kirkland and Dr. Sandra Gray.

A groundbreaking for the new Kirkland Complex has been scheduled for Tuesday at the University’s current baseball and softball fields in Wilmore, Ky. The public is invited to a brief program that will take place between games of a double-header with University of the Cumberlands (about 4 p.m.). Refreshments will be available.

“Asbury University is thankful for the generosity that will allow us to dramatically expand our platform for both athletic excellence and outreach to the community and region,” said Asbury University President Sandra Gray. “Dr. Kirkland is a dear friend of the University and has made a lasting impact through his service and contributions to Asbury, and it’s a privilege to honor him in this way.”

Kirkland served for 46 years as a United Methodist pastor and as the district superintendent of the Sarasota (Fla.) district. He holds degrees from Asbury and Garrett-Evangelical Seminary, as well as honorary doctorates from Asbury and Bethune-Cookman College. In 2008, he was awarded Asbury’s A Award for distinguished professional achievement and has served on the institution’s Board of Trustees.

Construction on the new complex is expected to begin in May.
Construction on the new complex is expected to begin in May.

Construction on the first of four phases of the new complex will begin in May. Phase One improvements on the baseball field include dugouts, fencing, scoreboard, lighting, bleachers and a pressbox. Softball ball field improvements include fencing, a warning track, a relocated lighting and bleachers.

In 1986, the baseball and softball fields were named in honor of Professor Cecil C. Zweifel, founder of Asbury University athletics, and will retain the name Zweifel Fields.

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