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MNU Awarded $2 Million Mabee Foundation Challenge Grant

by Carol Best
Rendering of proposed athletic stadium

MidAmerica Nazarene University announced the award of a $2 million challenge grant from the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation toward the construction of a new athletic stadium and several athletic facility upgrades. The project is the third phase of capital improvements in the Bright Futures campaign which so far has raised nearly $27 million in support of building projects such as the new Cunningham Center.

“MNU has been blessed by the support we have received from the Mabee Foundation through the years,” says university president, Dr. David Spittal. “This award represents the university’s seventh Mabee Foundation challenge grant.”

The Foundation’s support of MNU is evident in several strategic areas around campus including the Cunningham Center, Bell Cultural Events Center, Cook Center athletic facility, Weatherby Chapel and the Mabee Learning Commons.

The athletic stadium and other project components will create an exceptional collegiate experience for athletic teams that already compete at an outstanding level.

“The new facilities will match the quality of student athletes we enroll at MNU and will help us attract more who are seeking that competitive ‘home’ advantage in the facilities they perform in,” Spittal says.

Bright Futures Campaign Co-chair and MNU Board of Trustees Chair Dan Rexroth anticipates a high level of involvement from alumni and university donors in this next phase of the campaign.

“A challenge grant from the Mabee Foundation provides important momentum to the fundraising efforts for this part of the campaign,” Rexroth says. “We know there will be strong support among alumni and others who appreciate the benefits of providing an athletic facility of this caliber.”

The funding from the Mabee Foundation will be awarded to the university as a challenge grant requiring the remaining $4.7 million needed funds, to be raised in cash and multi-year pledge commitments by mid-July 2023.

“This gift provides energy and focus for donors to invest in future generations of young people,” says Dr. Jon North, vice president for university advancement. “We are thrilled by the opportunity before us to create something important and lasting for our community.”

For more information on Bright Futures: The Campaign for MNU, visit

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