This facility, built in 1971, was named for Lucile E. Godbold, Professor of Physical Education for 60 years. It is home to the department of athletics, the campus fitness center, dance studios, tennis courts, the Greer Natatorium (named in honor of Jacque Greer ’71), and the Porter Gymnasium (named in memory of Mrs. Julia Inabinet Porter).
Lucile Godbold is perhaps one of Columbia College’s most legendary personalities. She graduated from Winthrop College in 1922 with a degree in physical education. During her years at Winthrop she was an outstanding athlete setting Winthrop records in many events. At the annual spring track and field meet her records were so outstanding that the outside judges sent her times by telegraph to California where all winners were determined. Her points (including breaking the women’s record in shot put) earned her an invitation to try out for the International Team Tour to go to Paris and compete (forerunner of Olympics).
She won the events in New York, won a place on the team and set sail for Paris on August 1, 1922. She carried the flag for the team and won 1st place in the shot put; 4th in the 300m run; 3rd in the javelin throw; 3rd in the 1000 m run,. The United States was 2nd with 31 points and Ludy Godbold scored 10 of them and brought home 6 medals.
Lucile Godbold accepted a job teaching physical education at Columbia College where she influenced the lives of generations of girls for 58 years. She taught everything except golf and dance. The physical education building at Columbia College is named the Godbold Center in her honor. In 1961 Lucile Godbold was the first women inducted into the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame. In her later years tennis was her favorite sport and she continued as a tennis instructor after she retired from Columbia College. Ludy Godbold died in 1981.
An interesting fact about Godbold Center is that water for the building is heated by rooftop solar panels that were installed thanks to a federal grant awarded to Columbia College in 2011.