Following one of the most successful campaigns in recent memory, the Hinds Community College Department of Athletics is embarking on a game-changing capital campaign – Impact Fund – that will reshape the face of Hinds’ programs for years to come. Since coming to Hinds in July 2021, Director of Athletics Nathan Werremeyer has focused his energy on shaping the department into a model for the entire state.
“Resources are the name of the game in recruiting, and Hinds sits in the middle of the most competitive states and regions in the nation,” Werremeyer said. “As we kickstart the Impact Fund campaign, our plan will provide the necessary resources through donations, corporate partnerships and in-kind gifts for our programs to compete at the highest level within the state, region and NJCAA.” The student-athletes and their experiences are at the heart of the Impact Fund. Hinds Athletics plays a significant role in developing more than 300 student-athletes each year while serving as a conduit for campus and community engagement.
“We are trying to make an Impact on our young men and women, while also providing vital entertainment and engagement opportunities for all students that come to Hinds,” he said. “Our overarching goal is to invest in the future lives of our student-athletes, to provide a life-changing experience through athletics and try to develop champions in the classroom, in competition and the community.”
The National Junior College Athletic Association and Mississippi Association of Community Colleges Conference have experienced record growth in recent years, as colleges across the state and nation have invested in facilities, student-athlete support services and gameday atmospheres.
The Impact Fund was designed to address four key areas – facility enhancements, student-athlete well-being, development and retention, and community engagement.
“As a department, our coaches are constantly battling on two fronts as they recruit students to compete for Hinds,” Werremeyer said. “Our district features some of the most successful high school programs in all of Mississippi, and their facilities reflect their commitment to competing at the highest levels. They have been able to do this through support from their local school boards, booster clubs and corporate partners. We want to use that same model to enhance our offerings here at Hinds.”
One of the primary focuses of the Impact Fund will be Hinds’ existing facilities, including the installation of artificial turf at Gene Murphy football field and Joe G. Moss baseball field, the completion of the Indoor Practice Center at Mayo Fieldhouse and the addition of a much-needed Soccer/Tennis building adjacent to their facilities.
“As we have seen at Ole Miss, Mississippi State and other schools in the state, facility enhancement and development are key to maintaining a competitive and entertaining environment,” Werremeyer said. “The Impact Fund will allow us to leverage the support of the people Hinds has made an impact on while giving future student-athletes, coaches and staff the tools necessary to compete at the highest levels possible.”
Student-athlete well-being is another major focus of the drive, as Werremeyer and his staff look to enhance Hinds’ sports medicine offerings, create sustainable mental health support systems, add a strength and conditioning coach and expand nutritional support for all Hinds programs.
“Our ultimate charge is to be a conduit for developing the student-athlete holistically, and every one of these areas will help us in that mission.”
– Nathan Werremeyer
Hinds Athletics has long been an outlet for community engagement across the five counties it serves. The Impact Fund will also address the fan experience by working to transition the traditional scoreboards at facilities to fully integrated video boards, creating an exciting tailgating area at Murphy Field and expanding offerings at soccer, tennis and softball.
“We host nearly 100 events each year on our campuses, and we want our gameday environments to be welcoming and entertaining and provide all the services necessary to continue to grow our community engagement efforts,” Werremeyer said.
Werremeyer and the Department of Athletics officially kicked off the Impact Fund campaign on Thursday, July 14 at a special event at Table 100 in Flowood. Hinds President Dr. Stephen Vacik and Matt Jones, Executive Director of the Foundation, were on hand to discuss the importance of this campaign. The night included a social with hors d’oeuvres, silent auction items, facility renderings and information on how to join the Impact Fund.
“We have so many opportunities in front of us that we need to leverage to make some amazing things here at Hinds. If we can make the Impact Fund campaign successful, our student-athletes, coaches and staff will be positioned to compete for championships in every sport while creating a path to sustained success for years to come. Now is the time, now is when we make this happen, now is the time to make an Impact.”
If you would like to learn more about the Impact Fund or how you can help, please contact Nathan Werremeyer, Director of Athletics, at 601-857-3330 or email him at Athletics@hindscc.edu today.