Called to Be Generous
| by Carol Best firstname.lastname@example.org
“Want more happiness in your life? Be a more generous person,” says Tim Buchanan, co-chair of MNU’s Bright Futures capital campaign. Buchanan and fellow MNU Trustee Dan Rexroth lead the campaign’s executive committee—a group of individuals lending their influence to encourage others to seek funds for the $60 million, five-year effort. Though the task is daunting, both have faith that God is multiplying these efforts to meet the challenge.
Both men have strong ties to MNU and Nazarene higher education. Buchanan’s wife and children are alums. Rexroth’s daughter is an alum and he and his wife are both alums of Olivet Nazarene University. Buchanan and Rexroth were together recently to discuss their work for the campaign and why they think this is the time to answer the call to make the new Cunningham Student Center a reality.
Why is giving and generosity so important?
TB: In my own life, many of the opportunities I’ve had were provided by the giving of other people. Generosity entered my life as a recipient. I’ve always just felt a great responsibility and it’s my heart’s desire to give back.
DR: There are a lot of ways you can spend your life. I want to spend mine investing in others. MNU has the winning combination of a Christian focus and a smaller campus. And there are people here who have a calling to invest in students’ lives. For me, that’s the secret sauce of MidAmerica, and I want to support MNU any way I can.
What compelled you to co-chair the Bright Futures Campaign?
DR: I believe everyone should have an opportunity for higher education. Neither of my parents had a college degree. They saw the importance of higher education but couldn’t pay for that. So, there were people who came beside me and helped me. Part of Bright Futures is for scholarships, so I am very passionate about that.
TB: I like the holistic approach to the campaign. It's not just about a building or scholarships. It involves a lot of things that contribute to the fabric of the university and to its future. Every campaign needs individuals willing to be spokespeople and leverage their resources on behalf of the effort.
When you heard about the scope of the projects and the amount of funding needed, what did you think?
DR: Impossible—but with God all things are possible. I think the impossibility of it was the most exciting part. Only with God's help, with every alum and friend joining together can this happen. But wow, what if we can help make it happen? What great things that will do!
TB: Part of my attraction was the fact that it is large, it is aggressive, and it can't be done on our own power. I think God rewards the faithfulness of His believers if we will step out and trust Him to lead others. Giving doesn't start in the wallet, it starts in the heart. It's our job to introduce others to it and then let the Holy Spirit do the balance of the work.
Right now, there’s a push to fund the Cunningham Student Center to achieve the Mabee Foundation Challenge. Why is that so important?
TB: The new student center at MNU will be the focal point and the presentation piece for the campus experience and will help highlight the quality of everything else that occurs here.
DR: It's not just about the building. Anybody can build a pretty building. It's about what happens inside the building and the people and the space that brings people together.
TB: With the proper amenities, the proper components and the proper spaces arranged in a particular way, community can happen. Having a vibrant student center where people can do a variety of activities, both recreational and educational, will help add to the sense of community and the strengthening of relationships.
DR: The student center is a key tool in being able to achieve a well-rounded transformational experience that develops the whole person.
TB: Part of the richness of the experience at MNU is the community and a great student center has a tremendous impact on students' ability to create relationships. To have a central place that is welcoming with a variety of activities, so people can cross paths on a more frequent basis and have comfortable places to sit and talk; it will build interaction and connections.
What makes the Bright Futures campaign urgent?
DR: Higher education is very competitive, and MNU distinguishes itself as the distinctively Christian school in the Kansas City Metro area. So, we need MNU to thrive going forward. People are drawn to a school for a variety of reasons, and sometimes the reason they're drawn is not the ultimate experience they'll have. They may come for one reason, like a great facility, but it’s our goal they leave with a deeper faith and with a family of friends and mentors. The critical importance of the campaign is to sustain that mission for the next 50 years.
TB: Putting it in the context of alumni, I think of two things. One is that MNU graduates want to be proud of their institution, they want to recommend the university to others. And for that to occur the institution must stay relevant in a lot of different contexts. So, I think alumni will be impacted by this in a tremendous way with increased pride in the university.
When I see graduates of MNU, I see a fairly consistent, strong, Christian worldview, that has a heart and a desire to impact the world for Christ. It's just critical that we raise up great Christian leaders who understand their role in the world.
DR: Picking up on that, MNU is where you want to be to achieve what or who you want to be. And I like that, because sometimes we need to think more deeply about where we are as it relates to who we want to become.
What would you like the alumni and friends of MNU to know about supporting MNU?
TB: Consider what God could do with your resources of money and in-kind gifts or by making an introduction to like-minded givers. There's a variety of ways to give to the campaign.
DR: And a variety of projects in the campaign. Though we hope you’ll consider the Cunningham Student Center and help us meet this challenge!
Want to learn more about the Mabee Foundation Challenge?