BELTON, Texas - Thanks to the generosity of Carol and Paul (Crunch) McClinton, friends from Waco, UMHB will upgrade its intramural fields over the next several months. The McClintons have committed a $1 million gift toward converting the fields from natural grass to artificial turf. Other improvements will include new field lighting, a pavilion, and permanent striping for the recreational sports played on these fields. This project will begin in a few weeks, with expected completion in early fall.
While exploring different ways the family could make an impact, the McClintons became aware of the significant role the intramural fields have on student life at UMHB and the need for upgrades. The university has a robust intramural program with over 1,000 students participating each semester. “Carol and I are so blessed to partner with UMHB in supporting their work instilling Christian principles through recreational opportunities,” said Crunch. “We are excited to see this facility used for God’s glory.” In addition to the scheduled intramural activities, the fields are used for Exercise and Sport Science classes, student life events, and unstructured student recreation. After being presented with this opportunity, Carol and Crunch decided to make an investment to bless the students of UMHB.
Crunch’s entrepreneurial spirit was evident as he started his first business selling snacks off a pushcart in his dorm in college. This operation eventually became Automatic Chef, which reached $5 million in annual sales before being sold in 1987. He and Carol have been married for over 55 years, and together they grew over 30 businesses while raising a family. Their daughter, Melinda, is a 1992 graduate of UMHB, and it is because of her positive experience they were inspired to make a major gift to impact students today.
In recognition of their gift, the upgraded recreation space will be named the McClinton Family Intramural Fields, including the Crunch Time Pavilion. “We are proud to have the McClinton name on this incredible facility at UMHB” said university president, Dr. Randy O’Rear. “Our intramural fields are one of the busiest places on campus and our students deserve this beautiful new space to gather and play.” This project will further enhance the student-focused activity zone on campus.