After its annual short summer hiatus, the Long Beach Century Club is back hosting weekly meetings. The local athletic philanthropists usually meet at 6 p.m. every Tuesday at Boathouse On The Bay. Tonight, Long Beach Poly football coach Stephen Barbee and Lakewood baseball coach Spud O’Neil are the guest speakers.
Next week, the club is hosting a social at Table 301 in Long Beach for current and prospective members.
“My goal is to set the record for the most money raised in a year,” said new club president Ben Goldberg. “That starts with increasing the membership.”
Last week, the club hosted Long Beach State athletics director Andy Fee, who entertained a large audience with stories and updates from the university after a full year on the job.
“This is what I expected,” Fee said. “I’m preaching to the choir here, but this community is a wonderful place to be. When I was at another Big West institution, I would always tease Vic (Cegles) and tell him that if he ever left (LBSU) that I’d help him pack. Because I wanted his job. I really believe this is the best job in the Big West. It’s exactly what I want to be affiliated with.”
Fee gave the club a review and preview of every sport at LBSU, while also releasing some impressive numbers. For example, LBSU fundraised a record $8.92 million last year. Fee also boasted LBSU’s 86% graduation success rate for scholarship athletes.
“My favorite part of my job is graduation,” Fee said. “We have one of the best academic centers in Southern California.”
Fee also had updates for campus facilities like the softball and women’s soccer locker room that will be completed in late September. He said Blair Field will get its long-needed lights improvements soon, and made sure to credit LBSU president Jane Close Conoley for her dedication to facility improvements.
“This is by far the best president that we could ask for,” Fee said. “She’s someone who cares and puts her money where her mouth is. She really wants us to succeed.”
Some members of the club asked about future NCAA rule changes, and Fee said that the transfer rules could change this fall with fewer restrictions on student athletes. He made sure to remind the club that LBSU will be hosting the NCAA Men’s Volleyball Final Four in the spring.
“This is going to celebrate the city of Long Beach,” Fee said. “I know we’re going to put on a first-class event to really showcase what this place is about.”
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