Abilene Christian University has received $55 million from three donors – including the largest gift in university history – to begin a series of construction projects that will transform the campus in a way not seen for nearly 50 years.
at Bennett Gynmasium
Robert R. Onstead
Center for Sciences
Track & Field
and Soccer Stadium
Text of ACU President Phil Schubert's remarks in chapel, Feb. 14, 2014:
This is an historic day in the history of Abilene Christian University.
For several years now, we have recognized the need to upgrade our science facilities. In fact, it’s a part of our 21st-Century Vision, which the Board of Trustees approved in 2008, to enhance or replace the Foster Science Building.
Since 2012, ACU has actively been asking donors to take a leadership role in helping us provide the world-class facilities to match the world-class science programs we already have.
After a lot of hard work by a lot of people on this campus, we have some exciting news to announce.
About a year ago, Kay Onstead, who never attended ACU but whose generosity has helped hundreds of students come here in recent years, said she would give $10 million to a new science facility. At the time, it was the fourth-largest gift in our history.
Then, late last year, ACU alumni Kathy and David Halbert, whose family has deep connections to our campus, agreed to give $15 million to the new science building. That was the second-largest gift ACU had ever received.
Together, that makes $25 million – enough to allow us to move forward with plans for a new science building that will showcase the premier programs we have in biology, chemistry and biochemistry, engineering and physics, and mathematics. We are incredibly grateful for the continuing generosity of Kay Onstead and Kathy and David Halbert.
But that’s not all!
Ever since ACU began the process of moving our athletics program to Division I, perhaps the single question I’ve been asked most is, “When are we getting an on-campus football stadium?” And my answer has always been, “We’d love to have one, but it’s not something we will actively pursue unless someone wants to step up and fund a significant portion of it.”
Well, just before Christmas break, two of our most generous alumni – April Anthony and her husband, Mark, who were major donors to the Money Student Recreation and Wellness Center – gave me a call and said, “We’d like to make a significant gift to help build an on-campus football stadium.”
So this morning, I am proud to announce that April and Mark Anthony have made the largest gift in Abilene Christian University history – $30 million.
Their gift includes $15 million to help fund Anthony Field at Wildcat Stadium, a new on-campus football venue; $5 million for a science building in honor of Kay Onstead’s late husband, Robert; and $7 million to benefit the College of Business Administration.
This is truly an historic day. These three gifts total $55 million. They include the first-, third- and sixth-largest gifts in our history. They will begin a series of projects that will transform the campus to a degree not seen since the 1960s.
Construction will not begin until we have raised finished raising the funds for each of these five projects, something I am confident will happen quickly because I know our alumni and how much they care for you and for the continued success and growth of ACU.
And, most important, I know that God, who has provided us with such incredible blessings – not just this year but for 108 years – will continue to do so as we move forward.
Abilene Christian University is the premier university for the education of Christ-centered, global leaders, offering an exceptional education to about 4,600 students annually from nearly every state and 43 nations. This private, comprehensive university, founded in 1906 in Abilene, Texas, offers 71 baccalaureate majors in more than 125 areas of undergraduate study in addition to its graduate programs. Abilene is a friendly city of 117,000 people, located about 150 miles west of the Dallas/Fort Worth area. As an educational center for a large region, Abilene provides cultural, entertainment and support programs and services normally associated with cities twice its size.
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