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Center for Health and Wellness Pat (left) and Junius Grimes donated some 800 tons of native stone and $50,000 to the N.C. Center for Health & Wellness.

Stone donation enhances N.C. Center for Health & Wellness

A chance conversation at a Bulldog basketball game dramatically changed the face of the North Carolina Center for Health & Wellness forever.

Pat and Junius Grimes, local business leaders and longtime men's basketball supporters, were enjoying a game and chatting about campus projects with Chancellor Anne Ponder. Junius, owner of J.R. Stone Sales, has known the chancellor since their days together in graduate school at UNC-Chapel Hill. So he decided to cut to the chase with his old friend and share a bold opinion.

"I looked at the specs on the North Carolina Center for Health & Wellness early on and saw that it called for cut granite," said Junius. "So I said to Anne, 'Why on earth are you folks putting cut granite on that building? There's no cut granite anywhere else on campus. It's just so completely out of place to do that.' And then I kind of opened my mouth and said, 'I'll give you the stone if you won't put cut granite on it.'

"Several weeks later, I got a call from the chancellor asking me if I was serious about giving stone for the building. I kind of gulped and said, 'Well, yes. I guess I was.'"

The North Carolina Center for Health & Wellness and the track renovation both feature native North Carolina stone, a material that is both beautiful and lasting. Thanks to the Grimes family, UNC Asheville students, faculty and staff will enjoy these beautiful facilities for many years to come."

It turned out to be a great decision—and a generous offer. More than 800 tons of native stone mined just minutes from the university have gone into and around the building, making the structure both striking and complementary to other campus structures. The Grimeses also have pledged matching stone for the track renovation project, which is adjacent to the Center.

In addition to the gift of stone, the Grimeses have pledged $50,000 to the North Carolina Center for Health & Wellness. UNC Asheville's Board of Trustees recently voted to name the building's atrium in their honor.

Board Chair Jim Buckner '71 said, "The North Carolina Center for Health & Wellness and the track renovation both feature native North Carolina stone, a material that is both beautiful and lasting. Thanks to the Grimes family, UNC Asheville students, faculty and staff will enjoy these beautiful facilities for many years to come."

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