Thanks to a major gift from Max and Gayle Dillard of Dallas, Texas. Abilene Christian University has purchased the apartment building formerly owned and operated by Christian Village of Abilene and is renovating it as a sophomore women’s residence hall.
The three-story Gayle and Max Dillard Hall at 633 E.N. 19th St. will house about 170 students, serving as ACU’s 11th residence hall and providing much-needed living space for its growing enrollment. The university’s 2015-16 freshman class is its largest in three decades.
“Max and Gayle believe strongly in honoring women for the role they play in the development of the faith of their children,” said president Dr. Phil Schubert. “Their gift is a tremendous blessing as it helps provide an important living space for women on this campus.”
Established by University Church of Christ, Christian Village opened in 1986 as a nonprofit independent living facility for seniors. Land for the project was donated by ACU. Residents often were alumni and retired faculty and staff, as were many of Christian Village’s trustees.
Seeing the facility’s future in jeopardy in recent years because of shrinking occupancy, Christian Village board members approached ACU in 2015 about the possibility of purchasing the property and restoring its initial connection to the university. The Dillards’ gift made this a reality.
“We’re very grateful to ACU for purchasing Christian Village’s building,” said David Swearingen, president of Christian Village’s Board of Trustees. “We can’t think of a better way for Christian Village to be used in the future – as a place for students to live as they prepare for life as young Christian adults.”
Gayle Dillard attended in ACU in the late 1950s, and together the Dillards have seen three children and three grandchildren attend the university. Max Dillard is managing director of The Dillard Group of Texas, LTD.
“Dillard Hall will be treasured for generations, and I am grateful for Max and Gayle’s leadership and dedication to ACU,” Schubert said.
Apartments at Dillard Hall will contain a living space, bedroom and kitchen for two to four students. The first two floors have an indoor commons area and the third floor has an outside deck.
The renovation includes new wiring, plumbing, flooring and furniture, said Kevin Roberts, vice president of planning and operations.
“Dillard Hall is an exciting addition to our on-campus housing,” Roberts said. “It has fantastic living spaces and some much-needed public spaces. This combination will provide a wonderful place for our students to grow, live and learn.”
Dillard Hall will be open to students beginning August 2016.