Winter 2017: Campus News

Feb. 20, 2017 - by Carol Best

Passion to Serve

More than half of the funding, over $20,000, for this year’s annual student-led Passion to Serve project, LQVE Haiti, has been raised through chapel offerings, employee-payroll deductions, MNU Giving Tuesday and a grant from the Kansas City District Church of the Nazarene. Continuing MNU’s long-term partnership with Heart to Heart International and the communities of southeast Haiti, MNU is once again adopting Haitian communities for this project. This year’s project has three objectives.

  • Funding teacher stipends for the Cascade Pichon Community School, constructed in 2015 (in part through Passion to Serve).
  • Funding stipends for a local Haitian nurse working at four health clinics in remote areas of southeast Haiti.
  • Assisting with the launch of an educational program for new entrepreneurs through Mutual Solidarity (MUSO), a program created for Haitians by Haitians.

In addition to fundraising, students conducted a care kit packing event Oct. 13, 2016, packing 1,200 kits for the area devastated by the category 5 Hurricane Matthew which hit Oct. 4, 2016.

A mission trip to the area is planned for spring break, March 13-20, under the direction of student-leader Shay Foster. Students will assist with the renovation of a cholera unit in Cascade Pichon’s health clinic (cholera has increased in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew) and the addition of another classroom at the community school.


Korean Students Immerse Themselves in Midwestern Culture


While Kansas isn’t usually the top winter destination for most international college students, 16 Korea Nazarene University students are spending six weeks at MNU for an intensive learning experience at Winter English Camp. The students spend their mornings in English class, their lunch hour in the dining hall and afternoons in small group conversational English with MNU student ambassadors. The small-group leaders are MNU students studying English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) in their education classes.

“They’re here to improve their English and be immersed in American culture,” says Alison (Weinstock, ’03) Johnson, MNU ServiceCorps coordinator. “Some are beginning English speakers, while others are more advanced.”

The students go on excursions to venues like Liberty Memorial, Union Station and the Nelson Atkins Art Gallery in Kansas City, Missouri, as well as to a grocery store, a mall and other places that are both fun and allow them to practice their English. By staying with host families, the students experience Midwestern hospitality and have many opportunities to improve their English speaking and understanding.  

This is the first year for the partnership between KNU, MNU and Nazarene Language Institute. The partners hope to repeat the camp, providing opportunities for more KNU students to visit the U.S. and MNU. 


MNU President Elected to Second Five-Year Term 


MidAmerica Nazarene University’s Board of Trustees unanimously passed a renewal vote for a five-year term of its fifth president, Dr. David J. Spittal, during its annual meeting November 15-16, 2016. 

“The unanimous vote of the MNU Board of Trustees is a clear expression of confidence in the leadership of President Spittal," said Dr. Michael Palmer, Board of Trustees vice chair. "The board is energized by the university’s progress and by several growth initiatives including the $61 million Bright Futures campaign that was launched during our 50th Anniversary celebration."  

Spittal assumed the presidency of MNU in February of 2012 after serving as president for 17 years at Southern Wesleyan University in Central, South Carolina. During his five years at MNU, the university has achieved renewal of accreditation, celebrated its 50th anniversary and embarked on the largest capital campaign in its history.

"I have been honored to serve and grateful to the Board of Trustees for the opportunity to continue to work with our faculty, staff and students who inspire me every day," Spittal said.

Information about MNU and the Bright Futures campaign may be found at and


Scholarship Challenge Winners Announced 

Meet Our 2017 Recipients

High-achieving high school seniors were invited to compete for one of three prestigious full-tuition scholarships at Scholarship Challenge Weekend Jan. 27-28. The 42 candidates submitted essays and portfolios and then were interviewed by faculty. More than 30 faculty participated in the weekend by evaluating the submissions, interviewing and presenting to the applicants.

The top three winners of the competition, announced by MNU Provost Mary Jones, PhD, are:

  • Tyler Collins, Omaha, Nebraska
  • Kayla Cossins, Spring Hill, Kansas
  • Chloe Salts, Manhattan, Kansas



Tyler Collins – Omaha, NE  

Major: Bible & Theology

Tyler has a broad range of interests and activities including varsity marching band, newspaper, student government, and serving as a freshman mentor at his high school. He also participates in theater, Socratic Circle Club and National Honor Society. In the community Collins volunteers at his church and at a retirement center.   

His website,, answers peers’ questions about the Bible, faith, or anything related. So far he has written to peers about the nature of truth, dragon legends, death and suffering and radiometric dating.

Kayla-17.1-Edited-webKayla (Kady) Cossins – Spring Hill, KS

Major: English

Kady is accomplished in dance, theater, piano and voice. She has been in 10 major productions through Greenleaf Performing Arts Academy. One of her favorite roles was Zerech, Haman’s evil wife in The Thirteenth Day, an original musical retelling the story of Esther.

Kady loves to write and in 2016 won the Go Teen Writers award for her 85,000-word fantasy novel, Work of My Hands.

Chloe-Salts-webChloe Salts – Manhattan, KS  

Major: Graphic Design

Chloe is a middle hitter on the Chief volleyball team. Serving the community in a variety of roles through the Sunflower State Scholars, a home school honors society, Chloe has organized fundraisers, hosted a spelling and geography bee and volunteered at local food drives.

Her interests include piano, design, blogging and she even has her own Etsy shop. 



Mabee Learning Commmons 

Learning Commons


Thanks to a five-year,Title III Department of Education Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP) grant, MNU’s Mabee Library has been transformed. With spaces for the Academic Success Center, an expanded computer lab, expanded seating at Dewey’s Book and Bean, and new computers for library research, the building is now called the Learning Commons. The Academic Success Center offers homework and tutoring assistance, exams and testing services and disability accommodations. The building also houses the library, computer labs and career services. All student-use spaces have benefitted from extensive remodeling. Enjoy a short tour through photos.




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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.