Why We Give: Freeman ('97) and Maryanne (P '27, '28, '32)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Belsers have been strong supporters of Heathwood’s 2015-16 Fund-the-Need project, the Center for Strength, Conditioning, and Rehabilitation. Here Freeman Belser talks about why he and Maryanne believe these enhanced athletic facilities  will have a transformative impact on many Heathwood students.

Maryanne and I were both student athletes in high school, so we know first-hand the difference the right facilities and the right training opportunities can make. All of that became even more apparent to me when I got to college. My decision to go to Davidson College was cemented when I was offered the opportunity to be a member of the football team. I loved playing football, and I was of course flattered that a college wanted me to be a part of the team. However, once the boost to my ego faded away, I must admit that I got a little nervous. Here I was, a 175-pound beanpole about to go head to head with older, stronger, and bigger guys. Maybe my new coaches thought the same thing, because shortly after I signed up they sent me a weightlifting book.

What I discovered between May and August of 1997 was that weightlifting, done properly, can not only change you physically, but also give you great confidence. When I reported for fall camp at Davidson, I had added 25 pounds of muscle very quickly. I was strong, quick, and, most importantly, confident. I earned the starting job at linebacker two games into the season and finished the year second on the team in tackles. Over the course of the next several years, I continued to train with weights. By my senior season, I weighed 215 pounds and was confident in both my mind and body.

With the new Center for Strength, Conditioning, and Rehabilitation, Heathwood has the opportunity to provide its students with a means to enhance their bodies and minds, giving them confidence that will yield results both on the field and court and in the classroom.

Heathwood Hall has been a big part of my life. As a student, I had the great privilege of not only receiving an excellent education, but also being exposed to opportunities and ideas that have shaped who I am today. As parents, Maryanne and I have had the wonderful pleasure of seeing our young sons thrive in an environment that provides both innovative and personalized education. As a trustee, I have learned how the School operates and what people and values make it such a special place. Because Heathwood has meant and will continue to mean so much to us, we are excited to be a part of the team that helps the school evolve and become even stronger.

To join the Belsers in supporting the Center for Strength, Conditioning, and Rehabilitation, or to learn more about the project, visit https://www.heathwood.org/support-hh/fund-need or contact Director of Development Erin Pope at popee@heathwood.org or 803.231.7717.