Alums Pay It Forward For The Next Generation
| by Carol Best firstname.lastname@example.org
God’s blessed us, and we have the ability to give. It’s just the right thing to do.
Accent asked alums David (’82) and Cherie (Brown ’94) Martin why they are supporting the Bright Futures Campaign for the Cunningham Student Center.
Cherie is an RN, BSN. She served at St. Anthony’s Hospital after graduation from 1994-1997 and then worked for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City 1997-2003 and 2009-2012.
David is the CEO of Hotel Management and Consulting, where he has served since 2004 after owning a retail establishment. HMC manages 59 hotels across the country.
The Martins are grateful for the education they received at MNU. They also value the friendships, spiritual deepening and life-long relationships that were forged there. Now they’re helping a new generation experience what they did.
Accent: Why did you choose to attend MidAmerica?
Cherie: My high school friends were enrolling at MANC, so I looked forward to enjoying dorm life and social interaction while getting an education.
David: Like Cherie, I grew up near MidAmerica, and I knew other people from around here were attending. I went to Blue Valley High School, which was nearby.
Accent: What stands out in your memory about college?
Cherie: My favorite memories at MANC center around the first few weeks of my freshman year. I remember being excited to meet kids with strong beliefs and values centered on the Christian faith. In addition to classes, our days were filled with class parties, special chapel services, and late-night concerts. Some of the most meaningful hours were spent in Campus Center, visiting about our days and spending time together around the table.
David: I remember fellowshipping with friends at dinner in the Campus Center, intramural sports, and late-night fun in King’s Court. (Apartment complex formerly owned by the university).
Accent: Did MNU prepare you for your career?
Cherie: Definitely. My education at MidAmerica was invaluable. Time spent in the classroom, labs and in the clinical setting prepared me for my work in the hospital. I had nursing instructors who prayed with us and over us before our clinical days began. It was so reassuring to know that God was in control of our days.
As I went on to work after college, I could fall back on that training and was grateful daily for the education and instruction I had received.
David: I enjoyed my business courses. It’s not that I can point to any one thing. I remember Professor Jim Ackerson, Sr. told us we should think about investing in this start-up called Apple. I wish I had. But the connections I made, I wouldn’t have gotten into the business I am in without the [college] connections.
Accent: You’ve supported MNU through scholarships for some time. Why is that important to you?
Cherie: As students, we received financial assistance from our families and scholarships for academics, athletics and from our local church. Now that we are able to give, it is our privilege to help current MNU students.
David: The cost of college when I attended was much different. I paid for half, I had a good job at a grocery store, and my parents paid for half. I graduated with no college debt. Now it is so much more, and I feel that it is our chance to give back. God’s blessed us, and we have the ability to give. It’s just the right thing to do.
Accent: What will the Cunningham Student Center mean for MNU and its students?
Cherie and David: We feel the Cunningham Center needs to be built to allow students to have a place where they feel comfortable and where they can engage in meaningful relationships with one another and share life together.
An important part of home life is dinner time. We come together as a family to eat, share our day, tell stories, laugh, express concerns...so also in college. Connecting with people over shared mealtime is crucial to our wellbeing. Joining with friends in the Cunningham building during the day will help fill the hole that’s created when students leave home. These are the ties they will remember. Sometimes it’s not a specific memory, but just the warmth of connection with others—a place to belong.
We are so pleased that MNU has chosen to honor the Cunningham family in the naming of the new student center. Pastor Paul and Connie Cunningham impacted Cherie’s life from early childhood and into her college years. They challenged Cherie to believe in a God who can provide more than we can ask or imagine. The Cunninghams lived out this vision, giving leadership to College Church and the development of MNU.
Accent: Why is the campaign a worthy investment?
Cherie and David: We feel there is a great value to Christian education in today’s society. MNU is equipping the next generation of students to be sent out into the world to teach and serve Christ in the areas in which they are called.
Like these alumni who love MNU, you can be a part of helping the next generation of MNU students gain important career preparation, spiritual growth and life long connections.
Visit MNU.edu/give to make your mark on the next generation of Pioneers.