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Bernard L. Edwards Golf Tournament
June 20, 2017 : Golfers take to the green for an Ohio University Southern tradition
In its fourteenth year, the 2017 Bernard L. Edwards Golf Tournament hosted 22 teams at the Guyan Golf and Country Club on Monday, May 1. The day started off wet; however, after a brief delay, golfers ended the day with sunshine.
 
It’s well known that many deals have been struck, rain or sun, during a fortuitous golf outing. Legend has it that the Ohio University Proctorville Center’s current facility grew out of a conversation during an outing nearly two decades ago between the tournament’s namesake and another community fixture Marshall Smith.
 
As the story goes, Edwards and Smith were golfing and the idea was proposed that Smith donate 19 acres of land on State Route 775 in Proctorville to Ohio University. Smith, a proponent of education and the Proctorville community agreed. Today, the Ohio University Proctorville Center stands in honor of the commitment of these two men and the numerous others who donated money to make today’s 18,000 square foot center a reality.
 
Ohio University Proctorville Center director Stephanie Burcham said, “Since Marshall’s passing, we have been looking for a way to honor his legacy at the Proctorville Center. We reached out to his family when we began organizing this year’s golf tournament, and they were very supportive of our efforts.” Burcham added, “We all knew that Marshall had an impact on our community, but weren’t aware of how far-reaching until we began speaking with people in the area. It was incredible to hear how many lives he had touched.”
 
The Electronic Media program and the Proctorville Center share responsibilities for the tournament organization and funds raised benefit each in alternating years. Proceeds from this year’s scramble will be used for the purchase of a flag pole and flag at the Ohio University Proctorville Center as a tribute to Smith, who was laid to rest in December. Greg Smith Hall at the Center also honors Smith’s late son.
 
Bernard L. Edwards family team
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Photo: The Bernard L. Edwards family team took home first place for this year’s tournament. Pictured from left to right are Gary Leep, Bryan Ward, Rusty Leep and Greg Pittman.

 
Rusty Leep, a member of the Edwards family and this year’s winning team, said that the tournament is important because each year it raises money for the regional campus – aiding the Southern Campus to continue its commitment to higher education. Smith also said, “This tournament raises awareness of the higher education opportunities available to our community through Ohio University.”
 
Leep added, “As a member of Bernard’s family, I feel the tournament is important because I know what it meant to Bernard to bring Ohio University to our community. I see the tournament as a tribute to him and two of his passions – Ohio University and golf.” 
 
Ohio University courses were first offered in Proctorville in 1979 at the Lawrence County Fairgrounds. From 1980-1990 they were held in Fairland High School and for the two following years at the Chesapeake Community Center. Since 1992, Ohio University courses in Proctorville had been offered in an annex of the Proctorville Village Hall. In 2001, university officials changed the name of the center from the Eastern Lawrence County Center to the Proctorville Center. This year marks the tenth year in the current facility.