This past Saturday, York University gathered to celebrate the “Power of One” as the Brian Lemons Athletic Training Center was officially dedicated during Songfest weekend. Members of the Lemons family filled the front rows for the event while students, coaches, alumni and members of the faculty filled the bleachers to recognize the important occasion. The Power of One, a movie from 1992, was Brian’s favorite film and became a mantra Brian lived by and came to define his life. The plaque hanging over the entrance, in brief, tells his story, but the impact Brian made is anything but brief.
Roni Miller, head softball coach and classmate of Brian’s, shared an emotional tribute as she defined the impact Brian had in only a short time on campus, “You can go to college, get straight A’s, show up to chapel, join a team, join a club, and have zero impact on campus. But if you can figure out how to create relationships, and do all of that too, then you become a difference maker. He filled our lives with hope and the joy of life. In his memory and in his honor, people are being healed, fed, educated, loved and taught the Word of Life. He was and always will be to all of us...the Power of One.”
The renovation began in early summer 2022 and finished in the fall shortly after school began. More than 120 friends and alumni joined in the cause to not only renovate the space but also add new and updated equipment necessary for providing outstanding service to York’s student-athletes.
Panther’s head athletic trainer Chad Karcher praised the new facility’s impact on how his team is able to meet the needs of student-athletes. “We set an all time record for treatments in the month of March. The take-home from the first six months in the new facility is that we are just as busy, but it doesn’t feel like it because the new facility has eliminated the hectic atmosphere of our former working space. The renovation has tripled our space and doubled our treatment capacity, allowing us to treat more athletes without stumbling over each other. We are truly thankful and blessed by the generosity of all our contributing partners.”
What was clear during the dedication was the profound impact Brian Lemons had on everyone he encountered. Miller quoted Tim Lewis, YU business professor and Brian’s former youth minister who said of Brian, “In your lifetime you may be fortunate enough to encounter a person, no matter how briefly, who makes everyone and everything around them brighter and more hopeful.”
What is even more remarkable is the impact Brian continues to make 25 years after his death. The new athletic training room heightens our ability to tell Brian Lemons’ story for years to come.
On behalf of Brian’s family, his parents Dr. Steve (’74) and Loretta Lemons shared, “Our entire family was deeply touched by all those at York University and the effort that went into making the dedication of the Brian Lemons Training Center such a significant and special event. We are greatly humbled by the generous donations given by so many who knew Brian and wish to honor his memory. Most of all, our family was comforted by the fact that Brian’s life and legacy continue to touch the lives of countless others. We are eternally grateful for the love shown by York University and for the part this special place played in Brian’s spiritual nourishment during his short time there.”
The Lemons Athletic Training Center is an important component of York University’s To Honor and To Serve Campaign which will conclude on June 30, 2023. With nearly $20 million raised, it is the largest fundraising effort in the school’s history.