The night after his mother and eight others were shot and killed at Emanuel AME church, Chris Singleton, surrounded by family, friends and Charleston Southern University teammates, stood in front of television cameras and spoke about love.
Love was the greatest gift Sharonda Coleman-Singleton gave to her son, and that night — that moment — Chris’s response inspired a community and a country.
“Love is always stronger than hate,” Chris Singleton said. “If we just love the way my Mom would, the hate won’t be anywhere close to what love is.”
This past fall, Singleton was back in front of cameras talking about his mom, as Charleston Southern broke ground on the Singleton Baseball Complex. The 3,500-square-foot facility is being built to honor the life and legacy of Sharonda Coleman-Singleton.
He thanked the CSU staff and his teammates saying, “You are there for me every day.” Singleton then recognized his family saying, “My brother is 13, and my sister is 16, they are 10 times as strong as I am.”
CSU head baseball coach Stuart Lake ’94 added, “I’ve never been prouder than what Chris said that night … It changed our state and country.”
The $1.5 million project will feature a baseball locker room, training room and the Singleton Enrichment Center, and will include a “Love is Stronger” memorial courtyard and plaza at the entryway to CSU Ballpark.
CSU president Dr. Jairy C. Hunter explained, “Our sincere desire is that future generations will see the Singleton Baseball Complex as more than a building, but as a symbol of love and hope.”
Rev. Eric Manning from Emanuel AME added, “With all the accolades that have gone out this day to honor Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, let us pause and reflect on the phrase ‘love is stronger than hate.’ Contemplate what it took for a young man in the face of adversity, when he could have said anything else to incite a riot. To face a world that would always have us be divided, those words brought us together, they are a constant reminder that hate will never win.”
Charleston Southern alum Kevin Futrell ’89 spoke on behalf of former CSU baseball players and parents of current players. He thanked the project architect and construction teams for their tireless efforts to ensure the facility would be completed.
“I believe unfortunate incidents are a chance for us to demonstrate our faith in God,” said Futrell.
While the complex is expected to be complete during the 2017 season, CSU continues its fundraising efforts to offset the cost of the facility.
For information on giving opportunities, visit: charlestonsouthern.edu/singleton.