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Friday, February 23, 2007

UNCP unveils Bob Caton Fieldhouse

Bob Caton Fieldhouse is the new home of football at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

Bob CatonThe fieldhouse name was unveiled at UNCP February 19 honoring Bob Caton and his family. Owner of Eagle Distributing Company in Lumberton N.C., Caton is a long-time supporter of UNCP and its athletic programs.

The Bob Caton Fieldhouse will be ready for spring practice on March 29 and is located at the northeast corner of the Lumbee Guaranty Bank Field. UNCP will have its first home game on September 8.

Caton summed up the importance of the facility to the new program.

“This fieldhouse will be one of the reasons that young men will want to come here to play football,” Caton said. “They will want to come to UNCP, not just to play football, but to get a quality education.”

Chancellor Allen C. Meadors said Caton is a role model for student-athletes.

“Bob played football at Florida State, and he represents what is good about athletics,” Chancellor Meadors said. “He learned from athletics that hard work, teamwork and commitment is what it’s all about. He took what he learned from the playing field and put it into his personal and professional life.

“Bob Caton is a true friend of this University,” he continued. “Today, we are here to celebrate a commitment that will allow us to move forward with our fieldhouse and our football program.”

Bob and Faye Caton, football coach Pete Shinnick and Chancellor Allen C. Meadors stand with an architect’s drawing of the new Bob Caton Fieldhouse.

Bob and Faye Caton, football coach Pete Shinnick and Chancellor Allen C. Meadors stand with an architect’s drawing of the new Bob Caton Fieldhouse.

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Caton has a 40-year relationship with Anheuser-Busch and a 27-year relationship with UNCP, as a member of the Braves Club, Chancellor’s Club and the Board of Trustees for two terms. He was on the Chancellor Search Committee that brought Chancellor Meadors to the University and on the Football Advisory Committee that ushered in the new era of football.

Athletic Director Dan Kenney thanked Caton for his steadfast loyalty.

“Bob understands how important UNCP is to this community, and he has never, ever wavered in support of the University,” Kenney said.

Opening for business in 1978, Eagle Distributing distributes Anheuser-Busch products to retailers in Robeson County, along with Hanson Energy Drinks and Negro-Modello, Corona and Pacifico brands. From its 24,000-square-foot facility, Eagle is one of 30 U.S. distributors for Anheuser-Busch serving 30 wholesalers in the Carolinas.

The Caton family was in attendance including his wife, Faye; daughter, Karen and her husband James Granger; Bob Jr.’s wife, Forrest; and their daughters, Emily and Camille. Bob Caton thanked his family, employees and the community for their support.

“This gift today would not be possible without the support of my family, my wife of 40 years, Faye, my employees and my customers,” he said. “Robeson County has been very good to the Caton family.”

Bob Caton Fieldhouse Artist Rendering

Bob Caton Fieldhouse Artist Rendering

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Caton invited others to join in UNCP’s First and Ten Campaign for Football and Athletic Excellence.

“You’ve got to be willing to give back to your community,” he said. “I support the University’s vision and values. It’s such a wonderful place for young people to get an education.”

The former Florida State player talked a little football too.

“Coach (Pete) Shinnick, your team is still undefeated,” Caton said. “As we move into the first football season, the challenges and expectations will be high. I have no doubt that you and your staff have the ability to create the enthusiasm to be successful.”

Coach Shinnick thanked Caton for his support.

“As a guy who will be spending a lot of time in the fieldhouse, we are very grateful to Bob Caton,” Shinnick said. “Going into a building that bears the Caton name Caton is a daily reminder to our players of the type of person - the type of husband and father, employer and employee - that he is. That makes this a special occasion for us.”

The $4.5 million Bob Caton Fieldhouse is 27,000-square feet and will house coaches’ offices and rooms for conferences, strength and conditioning, equipment and laundry, team meetings, athletic training, team lockers and visitor’s dressing.

The Fieldhouse is funded with private donations through UNCP’s First and Ten Campaign for Football and Athletic Excellence. Other naming opportunities that have been signed during the campaign include: Lumbee Guaranty Bank Field, First Bank Chancellor’s Box, Paul and Pat Willoughby Press Box, Lumberton Radiology Associates (LRA) Softball Field, Sammy and Onita Cox Baseball Field, Native Angels Homecare and Hospice Braves Club Room, Mac and Sylvia Campbell Wellness Center, Nathaniel Powell Trophy Case, Ray Shaw and Spencer Howington Concessions, McDonald’s Restaurants of Lumberton, N.C., Sports Information Office and the Russell Livermore Jr. (Pates Supply) Trophy Case.

For more information about the First and Ten Campaign for Football and Athletic Excellence at UNCP, please contact the Office for Advancement at 910.521.6252 or email advancement@uncp.edu.

For more information about football at UNCP, please see http://uncpbraves.athleticsite.com/.

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