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Oakland City University officials broke ground on Tuesday for the construction of a more than $1 million tennis center on the Gibson County campus. Funding for the project is led by a $250,000 gift from alumnus Dr. Donald Wilder and his wife, Mary Ann.

Drs. The Donald and MaryAnn Wilder Tennis Center will include six tennis courts for the university’s men’s and women’s tennis teams.

OCU President Ron Dempsey said the project is part of an ongoing effort to upgrade the university’s athletic facilities and provide scholarships for student-athletes.

Donald Wilder graduated in 1963 from what was then known as Oakland City College. The university says Wilder is an avid tennis player and he and his wife have contributed their entire lives to the school.

“The philanthropic contributions of generous donors like Drs. Donald and Mary Ann Wilder have proven to help our teams be competitive and enhance the student-athlete experience on campus,” said the athletic director of the OCU, T-Ray Fletcher, in written remarks “This new tennis center, we’re going to help us increase our recruitment and retention efforts.”

The tennis center is expected to be completed by late spring 2023.

The OCU women’s tennis team competed in the National Christian College Athletic Association National Championship game last year. The men’s team won the River States Conference championship and also entered the NAIA National Tournament for the first time in school history.

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