Alumna invests in new athletics facility

The College has received its first pledge toward construction of a new Athletics and Recreation Center, a $250,000 unrestricted gift from alumna and Board of Directors member Florence Barclay Winston ’57 of Raleigh, N.C., and her husband, Charles M. Winston.

The planned center will renovate the 71-year-old Daisy Williams Gymnasium and add adjacent space that will more than double the size of this campus cornerstone. “Sweet Briar College was one of the first women’s colleges in the nation to apply for membership in the NCAA, and our teams have experienced great success despite inadequate and outdated sports and fitness facilities,” said President Elisabeth S. Muhlenfeld.

“We know that fully 85 percent of applicants and current students participated in athletics in secondary school and expect to participate regularly in recreational activities in college. Flo and Charles’ generous investment will help to enhance recreational opportunities, encourage wellness and physical fitness, and improve Sweet Briar’s ability to recruit and retain well-rounded students,” Dr. Muhlenfeld emphasized.

The new, comprehensive athletics facility will be placed in architectural balance with the new Student Commons, representing a tangible form to the College’s commitment to integrate the physical, intellectual and social life of the Sweet Briar Community. It will more than double existing space for weight training, accommodate a larger number and variety of cardiovascular fitness equipment and incorporate a new Sports Hall and three-lane indoor jogging track.

First elected to the Sweet Briar Board in 2000, Mrs. Winston has served as director of design for the Winston Hotels and was formerly a partner in Angus Barn-Darryls Restaurants. She currently chairs the Development Committee of the University of North Carolina Arts and Science Foundation Board. She is past president of the Rex Hospital Guild, past president of the Raleigh Junior League, past Vestry member and junior warden of Christ (Episcopal) Church, Raleigh, a past member of the Carolina Club, Chapel Hill board, and past member of the Rex Hospital Board of Trustees. She served as fund raising chair for her 25th class reunion committee at Sweet Briar.

Mr. Winston, an alumnus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is chairman of the board of the Raleigh-based Winston Hotels, developer and builder of hotels throughout the South. He was a co-founder of the Angus Barn Restaurant in Raleigh and a partner in the organization that founded and operated the Darryl’s Restaurants. He was voted North Carolina’s “Outstanding Restaurateur of the Year” in 1979, and earned the “Distinguished Service Medal” from the UNC-Chapel Hill Alumni Association in May 2000.