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$100,000 pledge to bring Lincoln University golf up to par with country’s top teams

by Ryan Pivoney | January 18, 2023 at 4:04 a.m.
Kevin Wilson (left) stands with Lincoln University interim president John Moseley after being introduced as the school's athletic director Monday, July 12, 2021, at Jason Hall.

The Lincoln University Board of Curators renamed the campus golf center after a donor that has pledged $100,000 to the program.

The Kwame Foundation Golf Center, where both the men's and women's golf teams practice, is located in Jason Gym. After being renamed Tuesday, the university is hosting an official unveiling for the center at noon today.

"We could not be more excited to commemorate the Kwame Foundation's historic commitment to the only HBCU men's and women's golf programs in the state of Missouri," Kevin Wilson, LU's vice president for advancement, athletics and campus recreation, said in a statement. "Similar to emerging groups of philanthropists across the country, the Kwame Foundation is passionate about providing our students with access to the game of golf and equipping them with the tools to compete with anyone."

The $100,000 donation, spread out over the next five years, will be used to "extensively renovate" the golf center with the addition of two interactive golf simulators, improved flooring, lockers for golfers and other equipment, according to the university's December announcement.

Wilson said the university has already received more than $25,000 from the pledge, which was used to install two golf bays, lockers, two televisions and state of the art software.

He said the remaining funds will be used to provide the golf teams transportation to tournaments, uniforms and equipment as needs develop, adding the gift is "tremendous."

"Golf is one of the most expensive programs to sponsor in the country, that's why you don't see a lot of minorities participating," Wilson said. "So it's big for us."

LU golf director Kortland Ware, who joined the university in November, said he's grateful there's a desire to make progress and create a competitive culture in HBCU golf.

The men's golf team finished in the bottom three in four competitions it played last year. The women's golf team played two competitions last year and placed in the bottom three of both.

"Support from the Kwame Foundation will expedite our development into a program that will make our alumni, the Jefferson City community and the Show Me State proud," Ware said.

Wilson said the donation developed through Ware's connection with Tony Thompson, chairman and CEO of Kwame Building Group, a St. Louis-based company.

The KWAME Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Kwame Building Group, which has previously worked on construction projects for Harris-Stowe State University, Webster University and the state. In addition to university donations, the foundation has sponsored scholarships for underserved students to enter higher education.

The Kwame Foundation sponsors a $50,000 criminal justice scholarship at Lincoln, which was in place before the golf center donation.

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