Oct. 19, 2011
BEAUMONT, Texas -
Lamar University President James Simmons dedicated the Dauphin Athletic Complex on campus Wednesday in recognition of a $2 million gift to the university's Investing in the Future campaign from Charline and Robin Dauphin and in memory of Sidney "Chief" Dauphin.
The Dauphin family gift brings LU's campaign total to $88 million, approaching the $100 million goal. This was the Silsbee family's second gift to the Investing in the Future campaign. The Dauphin Athletic Complex houses the Dauphin Family Football Office Suite, which recognizes the family's earlier contribution.
"With the dedication of the Dauphin Athletic Complex, the Dauphin name will forever be associated with Lamar University. What a wonderful legacy for a family that has given so much to this community," Simmons said during a Wednesday ceremony in the complex to announce the gift and the name.
The 54,000-square-foot Dauphin Athletic Complex, which sits just south of Provost Umphrey Stadium, opened in August 2010 as Lamar University prepared for its first season of Cardinals football in 21 years. The state-of-the-art facility includes everything student athletes need to be successful both on and off the field.
Simmons cited the gift as a great example of the theme of his presidency - building strength in community. "We're gathered to celebrate a wonderful gift from someone who did not go to Lamar University but lives in this community. That makes it very special to us," Simmons said.
Charline Dauphin, who attended the dedication with her daughter Robin Dauphin, said she loves her association with Lamar and her friendships with Simmons and head football coach Ray Woodard.
"I think the support Lamar is getting is just phenomenal now. I think we've come a long way, and I'm really proud to be part of it," Dauphin said
Dauphin and her late husband, Sidney "Chief" Dauphin, came to Lamar University years ago as competitors, not students. She was a Rangerette at Kilgore College, and he played football at Tyler Junior College. He continued his education at what became Texas A&M-Commerce and began his career as a football coach. He later coached at Silsbee High School, which now has the Sidney "Chief" Dauphin Silsbee Tiger Field House.
Together, Charline and Chief Dauphin started Texas Home Health, which allowed them to help families care for their loved ones at home. When Charline sold the business after Chief's death, she had more than 12,000 employees and more than 30 offices across Texas.
In addition to contributing to Lamar University, the Dauphin family has generously supported charities to help those touched by cancer, including the Charline and Sidney "Chief" Dauphin Cancer Screening and Prevention Center in Beaumont. Charline Dauphin also has worked with the Julie Rogers "Gift of Life" Program and served on the Board of Visitors for M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
The Dauphin Athletic Complex plays an important role in the success of all LU athletics programs. The facility includes a players' lounge and academic center, a strength and conditioning center, locker rooms for LU Football and visiting teams, meeting rooms and an auditorium. The Dauphins enjoy watching home football games from Woodard's office upstairs. He called Charline a dear friend, which makes the gift very special.
The Dauphin family's gift was announced in the middle of Homecoming Week during Lamar University's first football season of Southland Conference play. Simmons urged all Cardinals fans to "Get Your Red On" and come to Saturday's game.
The Dauphins will be honored during pregame festivities on W.S. "Bud" Leonard Field on Saturday before the Lamar University Cardinals take on the University of Central Arkansas Bears at 3 p.m.