Mid-South Community College is honoring outgoing president, Dr. Glen Fenter, by naming the institution's athletic/fitness center after him.
"As Chair of the Board of Trustees, it is my delight to stand before you as we pay tribute to Dr. Fenter for his dedication and years of service to this community," said Mary M. Toney at a dinner in Dr. Fenter's honor. "His vision for this Delta area could only be dreamed until he dared to make a difference, and we want the Fenter legacy to live in the future of this institution of higher learning. "On behalf of the Board of Trustees, my family, and those of us making up this audience, it is my honor to announce that the Board of Trustees, on a unanimous consent, voted to name the athletic building where the Greyhounds play the 'Glen F. Fenter Athletic Complex.'"
"Glen Fenter is a visionary whose leadership has had an extraordinary impact on Mid-South Community College and eastern Arkansas," added Foundation Board Chair Franklin Fogleman. "By naming the fitness center in his honor, we ensure an enduring tribute to Glen and the success he has been instrumental in achieving for the College." The newly named Dr. Glen F. Fenter Athletic Complex was constructed with institutional funds, a $784,010 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and $250,000 from a Title III Predominantly Black Institutions grant. The west side of the facility includes a significant amount of space designed to provide temporary protection to students, employees, and local residents in the event of severe weather.
Spearheaded by Fenter and designed by Pat Kelley Magruder Architects of West Memphis in collaboration with Wittenberg, Delony & Davidson Architects of Little Rock, the 34,650 square foot structure is the centerpiece of improvements made to develop athletic programs. The Complex features a gymnasium which is utilized by the Greyhound sports teams as well as physical education classes and intramural teams. The structure, opened in 2013, also houses general-purpose classrooms, a fitness/weight room for students and staff, office space, dressing rooms, and a training room. Mid-South began men's and women's National Junior College Athletic Association basketball in 2010, competing on the Division III level.
The athletic department began with a press conference on June 1, 2010, announcing of a 10-year commitment from Southland Park Gaming & Racing to provide $250,000 toward the program. In their inaugural season, MSCC's men defeated Division I Northwest Mississippi Community College 82-78 on Nov. 13, in only their fourth game, and the Greyhounds have since triumphed over several D-1 institutions. Mid-South petitioned the NJCAA to move to Division II in 2012 and received approval prior to the 2012-13 season. The change allowed MSCC to offer limited athletic scholarships for the first time. In 2013-14, Mid-South's men's and women's teams captured their first Region 2 Championships and reached the title game of their respective district tournaments before falling.
In addition, the 2013-14 Greyhounds led the nation in home attendance for NJCAA Division II.
In keeping with the overall goal of the athletic program, both teams have produced numerous student-athletes who have parlayed their experience at MSCC into scholarships at four-year colleges and universities. The Greyhounds and Lady Greyhounds recently completed their fifth season of collegiate basketball.
Constructing the Wellness Center was just one part of a larger college improvement plan implemented throughout Dr. Fenter's presidency. During his 23-year tenure, he developed a master plan for campus expansion which includes more than $100 million in improvements, resulting in a creation of learning environment considered one of the most technologically advanced and student friendly in the state. Fenter retired as MSCC president on June 30, 2015, to become the CEO of the Greater Memphis Alliance for a Competitive Workforce. He will remain associated with the college as "president emeritus."