An Overview of the
Vision in Action Projects

After receiving $55 million from three donors – including its largest gift ever – Abilene Christian University embarked on an initiative that transformed the campus in a way not seen for 50 years.

Together, the gifts make possible with additional fundraising five new facilities:

1. Robert R. and Kay Onstead Science Center, a transformation of the 85,000-square-foot Foster Science Building to include classrooms, labs and offices for the engineering and physics, mathematics, and agricultural and environmental sciences departments. The front half of Onstead was completed in November 2015, with the remainder of the facility scheduled for completion in August 2018.

2. Halbert-Walling Research Center, a 54,000-square-foot building for science labs, classrooms and offices located between Phillips Education Building and Nelson Hall. Halbert-Walling opened for classes in January 2017.

3. Engineering and Physics Laboratories at Bennett Gymnasium, providing classroom, laboratory and office space for the fast-growing department. The new Bennett was opened for classes in August 2015.

4. Wildcat Stadium, an 8,500-seat football facility, with room for up to 12,000 total fans, the first on campus since 1942. Its playing surface is called Anthony Field. Wildcat Stadium’s first game was Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017.

5. A new Elmer Gray Stadium, a combined facility for the university’s successful women’s soccer program and legendary track and field program that seats 1,000 fans. The new Elmer Gray was dedicated in April 2015.

“Through our 21st-Century Vision, ACU promises to deliver a world-class academic education in a Christ-centered environment where students grow in their faith and are equipped to make a real difference in the world. One of the priorities of our Vision also is creating spaces to strengthen the community aspect that makes our campus so unique. Thanks to God’s provision through these donors, we are delivering on our promise.” – Dr. Phil Schubert, President


The historic gifts comprise:

  • $10 million from Kay Onstead of Houston, Texas, for a science center honoring her late husband, Robert Onstead, member of the ACU Board of Trustees from 1978-2004. The gift is the sixth-largest in ACU history.
  • $15 million from alumni Kathy and David D. Halbert of Colleyville, Texas, through the Caris Foundation, for a science research center that also honors David’s grandparents, the late Dean and Thelma Walling. David’s grandfather, Dean Walling, was an ACU trustee from 1976-83 and founding chair of the National Development Council during Design for Development campaigns that built numerous iconic buildings on the campus in the 1960s and ’70s. The Caris Foundation gift is the university’s third largest.
  • $30 million from alumni April and Mark Anthony of Dallas, Texas – the largest gift in ACU history. The Anthonys’ commitment includes $15 million for construction of an on-campus football stadium; $7 million for ACU’s College of Business Administration, where April and Mark studied; $5 million for a science and humanities building in honor of Robert R. Onstead; and $3 million in undesignated funds. April Anthony is chair of ACU’s Board of Trustees.