Marshall athletics unveils ‘All M’ Capital Campaign

Published 7:07 pm Wednesday, August 30, 2023

OVP Health kicks off $70 million campaign with largest private gift in Marshall Athletics history


Marshall Associated A.D. of Communications

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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – On Tuesday night, Marshall University and the Big Green Scholarship Foundation announced the launch of the ‘All M’ Capital Campaign, a $70 million fundraising venture aimed at improving every area within the fabric of Marshall Athletics.

The ‘All M’ launch was officially announced during the “Culinary Playbook” event at Christopher’s Eats on Tuesday evening. At the event, Marshall Head Coaches and Administration were featured as celebrity servers while patrons enjoyed signature drinks, appetizers and a buffet while hearing details of the vision for the future of Marshall Athletics.

“Our Head Coaches did a heck of a job serving the many guests, community leaders and donors who joined us for the ‘All M’ launch,” said Christian Spears, Marshall’s Director of Athletics. “We believe we can raise the funds necessary to compete at the highest level while ensuring an environment for competitive success.”

OVP Health made sure that the ‘All M’ campaign got off to a successful start, committing to the largest private gift in Marshall Athletics history to jumpstart the fundraising process.

Stacey Shy, the Chief Executive Officer for OVP Health, outlined the importance of his company taking the lead on getting the ‘All M’ campaign off the ground.

“For us, it’s about helping our community, our local university,” Shy said. “The Shy and Hess families, which own OVP Health, were born and raised in Huntington and community is one of our core values. We are fortunate to be in a situation where we can contribute and help make Marshall University better. In doing so, it also makes Huntington better. That’s what we hope will resonate with other folks: If we can make Marshall University competitive on a national level, then everybody wins – not just the football team or baseball team, but Huntington wins. If Huntington wins, my children will win and your children will win. That’s how we look at it. We want to do what we can to make Huntington and Marshall University a better place.”

Spears said partnerships such as the one forged with OVP Health are what make Marshall University and the Tri-State community a special bond.

“Establishing partnerships with community members who are deeply embedded within the fabric of our growth, who are committed to our long-term success, who believe in Marshall and what our presence means to Huntington and the community we are building and serving is paramount to our success,” Spears said. “That’s exactly what we have with the good people of OVP Health. What Bob and Stacey and their team have done will impact generations of student-athletes, coaches and fans. We will be great stewards of these resources and we will utilize this gift to create an amazing gameday environment.”

The overall scope of the ‘All M’ campaign is to provide a first-class experience to Marshall’s student-athletes through the development of elite facilities that also serve as a sense of pride that rallies the Huntington and Tri-State communities together.

“Marshall fans have stepped up in the past when we took on the Vision Campaign and the Shewey Project,” said John Sutherland, Executive Director of the Big Green. “We never doubt the resolve and loyalty of our donors and fanbase. That’s why we succeeded then and will be successful with the ‘All M’ campaign.”

The $70 million of the ‘All M’ campaign will produce improvements for all 18 varsity sports in all the following areas:

  • Baseball Stadium
  • Gullickson/Pathway Project
  • Joan C. Edwards Stadium seating upgrades
  • Scoreboards (football, baseball, softball, soccer)
  • Fuel stations for student-athletes
  • Outdoor track
  • Soccer Facility upgrades
  • Sports Performance Center
  • Weight Rooms
  • Tennis Complex
  • Natatorium
  • Guyan Country Club Facility/Indoor Hitting area
  • External Offices
  • Endowments

Dr. Robert Hess, OVP President and Co-Founder, said that hearing the broad impact on all athletic teams and seeing the grand vision of Marshall University and Marshall Athletics and how it impacts the university and community made it an easy decision for his company to join up.

“Marshall is near and dear to our hearts, so again, we were thrilled to do something to where we could help,” Hess said. “We hope that it will spur others to want to donate and become involved. You’re talking about a total upgrade of all the athletic facilities. People like to see things getting done. A project like the baseball stadium, for 40 years it was said to be coming. Now, it’s really coming. You can see it. That’s what gets enthusiasm for people. Our hope is that others will feed off that to where we can take Marshall University to a higher level.”

At Tuesday’s “Culinary Playbook” event, other major donors followed the lead of OVP and committed to building the momentum for the ‘All M’ campaign. Those major gifts will be announced at a later time.

Spears said Tuesday’s event and OVP Health’s gift provide great momentum to achieve the transformational goals set for Marshall Athletics.

“There is no better time to join The Herd,” Spears said. “Be ‘All M’ and watch the impact your contribution will have on our incredible future!”

One of the signature pieces of the ‘All M’ Capital Campaign will be on display this weekend when the new state-of-the-art video board is unveiled at Joan C. Edwards Stadium for the 2023 season opener against Albany at 6 p.m.