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Breaking Ground For Future Generations

Accent Fall 2020 Magazine
The Cunningham family was first to break ground with Dr. and Mrs. David Spittal.

Groundbreaking on the $20 million Cunningham Center was held Friday, August 28, on the Campus Mall at MNU. The new building, which is part of the Bright Futures Campaign for MNU, will house multiple dining options, student services, the admissions office and more. Plenty of space for community gatherings, meetings and socializing is planned. The building will replace the Campus Center, one of the university's five original buildings.

The building is named for Dr. Paul G. and Dr. Connie Cunningham, whose ministry and vision have been part of MNU since before its inception.

The ceremony began with remarks from Dr. Jon North, vice president for university advancement, an invocation and remarks from Board of Trustees Chair Rev. Jim Bond and remarks from Craig Garrett, a senior student and president of Associated Student Government.

"This building will be a huge asset to the students," Garrett said, adding that it will be a place to form friendships and make great memories. He thanked university leaders and generous donors who helped make the vision of the building a reality for generations of students to come.

Campaign co-chairs Tim Buchanan and Dr. Dan Rexroth also spoke. Buchanan expressed thanks to the 21 Campaign Executive Committee members. The J. E. and L. E. Mabee Foundation’s $1 million challenge gave the university just 12 months to raise the remaining $11 million for the building. Calling that achievement miraculous, Buchanan explained how individuals and foundations joined to support the vision for this building. 

Buchanan expressed thanks to the 21 Campaign Executive Committee members. The J. E. and L. E. Mabee Foundation’s $1 million challenge gave the university just 12 months to raise the remaining $11 million for the building. This is not about dollars and cents or bricks and mortar,” Buchanan said. “The headline here is about lives that will be changed…lifetime relationships that will be made…right here on this soil beneath us which we will break today.”

Rexroth thanked the building committee, architects and builder for previous and continuing work on the building. 

“We want to be the best stewards we can be of the money that many of you have given,” he said. “We want every dollar to be put to work. We are standing on the shoulders of the long legacy of people who have made MidAmerica great. I hope we are able to honor that, give back in some way and in some way be able to leave our own legacy for those that follow us.”

A recording played of the late Dr. Paul Cunningham's address at a former General Assembly, as an introduction for Dr. David Spittal. 

As Cunningham recalled the events that led to the founding of MidAmerica, he said MNU is the result of the sacrifices made. He called it, “reaping kingdom rewards.” 

“MidAmerica Nazarene University’s past, present and future have always been dependent on the generosity of God, and people like you, who have given sacrificially for the students of our region,” Cunningham said in the recording.

President David Spittal then expressed thanks for sacrificial fundraising support, to a crowd of about 200. Social distancing was employed at the event.

Dr. Spittal introduced Dr. Connie Cunningham, who spoke with enthusiasm about seeing the dream of this campus, and the student center, become a reality. Eleven members of the Cunningham family have earned degrees at MNU, she added. The entire immediate family was in attendance.

Dr. Cunningham spoke about standing on approximately the same spot more than 50 years ago with her husband. They were scouting the location for the yet unnamed college and the spot on this hilltop was then a cornfield. Paul had a scripture he felt the Lord had given him, Matthew 5:14, she said. 

“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden." NLT version. 



This Issue

Fall 2020

With gratitude we present this issue featuring God’s blessings in allowing MNU students, faculty, staff and administration to be on campus and in classes during the pandemic. Many institutions were not that fortunate. Read all about it and enjoy surprising news about increases in enrollment and other progress happening during this unprecedented time.

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