Student Center To Be Named After Cunninghams

Nov. 17, 2016 - by Carol Best

When MNU’s Bright Futures: the campaign for MNU was announced last month, many were delighted to hear that the new Student Center would be named after two of the most loyal and enthusiastic supporters of the university. After all, if not for the vision of Dr. Paul Cunningham, and the prayerful support of Dr. Connie Cunningham, MNU might never have been located in Olathe, Kansas.

Cunninghams 2014 Cathedral Builders AwardDrs. Paul G. and Connie R. Cunningham receiving the Olathe Cathedral Builders Award in 2014, an honor from the Office of the Mayor of the City of Olathe, Kansas. 

Paul Cunningham was a young minister in his first pastorate in the small Olathe Church of the Nazarene in 1964 when the denomination voted to start a new college. Convinced that his city of 15,000 held the best potential location, Cunningham approached bank president and civic leader R.R. Osborne with the idea.

An enthusiastic leader with tremendous vision for what Olathe could become, Osborne jumped on board and put together a group of business leaders who donated 40 acres of land in addition to his own 40-acre donation. The location became MidAmerica Nazarene College and opened its doors in 1968.

“Throughout its history, the Cunninghams have welcomed, pastored and befriended students from all over the world as the university and the church that became College Church of the Nazarene grew,” says Dr. David Spittal, MNU president. “It is safe to say that MNU would not be in Olathe today, if not for the vision and enthusiastic support of Drs. Paul and Connie Cunningham.”

The new, state-of-the-art 50,000- square-foot Cunningham Student Center will replace the nearly 50-year-old Campus Center building, and more than double it in size. The center will feature multi-use spaces for meeting, a larger, enhanced dining area, outdoor areas, a fitness center and the campus store. The second floor will house Enrollment Development, Student Financial Aid Services and Student Development with space specifically designed for visiting prospective students and their families.

Bright Futures: the campaign for MidAmerica Nazarene University is a three-priority, multi-year campaign for $61 million.

Over the next five years, funds raised in the campaign will be designated for three priorities at MNU:

  1.     Academic Programs:         $6,989,043
  2.     Capital Projects:               $28,109,262
  3.     University Support:           $26,214,328

For more information on Bright Futures: the campaign for MNU, visit BrightFutures.mnu.edu.

 

 

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Latest Photos
LC-Ribbon-1 Mabee Learning Commons now includes the Academic Success Center and the Library.
LC-Ribbon-44 The team that helped bring these changes to Mabee Learning Commons through the US Dept. of Education grant, poses together. Left to right: Dr. Linda Alexander, Rick Hanson, Julie, Lon Dagley, Whitney Gray, Marcelle Cooper, Christine Snyder, Bruce Flanders, Jon Spence, Janelle Jefferson, Lauren Hays, Brenda Ebert, Dr. David Spittal, Mitch Hazen (Nabholz Construction).
LC-Ribbon-26 US Representative Kevin Yoder joined President Dr. David Spittal, Library Director Bruce Flanders, Director of Facilities Services John Spence, Associate VP for Academic and Professional Success Rick Hanson, Mayor Mike Copeland, Mitch Hazen (Nabholz Construction) and Olathe Chamber CEO Tim McKee for the Ribbon Cutting.
LC-Ribbon-8 A large group of students, faculty, staff, alumni and the community gathered for the Learning Commons ribbon cutting October 21, 2016.
LC-48 Several rooms are available for meeting, testing or other working groups.
LC-41 Alumni who have toured the Learning Commons in person find the new space surprising. All the books are upstairs and the first floor is an excellent area for a variety of meetings, conversations and even hanging out.