MNU news

Student Center To Be Named After Cunninghams

Dr. Paul and Dr. Connie Cunningham
University News

When MNU’s Bright Futures: the campaign for MNU was announced last month, many were delighted to hear that the new Student Center would be named after two of the most loyal and enthusiastic supporters of the university. After all, if not for the vision of Dr. Paul Cunningham, and the prayerful support of Dr. Connie Cunningham, MNU might never have been located in Olathe, Kansas.

Paul Cunningham was a young minister in his first pastorate in the small Olathe Church of the Nazarene in 1964 when the denomination voted to start a new college. Convinced that his city of 15,000 held the best potential location, Cunningham approached bank president and civic leader R.R. Osborne with the idea.

An enthusiastic leader with tremendous vision for what Olathe could become, Osborne jumped on board and put together a group of business leaders who donated 40 acres of land in addition to his own 40-acre donation. The location became MidAmerica Nazarene College and opened its doors in 1968.

“Throughout its history, the Cunninghams have welcomed, pastored and befriended students from all over the world as the university and the church that became College Church of the Nazarene grew,” says Dr. David Spittal, MNU president. “It is safe to say that MNU would not be in Olathe today, if not for the vision and enthusiastic support of Drs. Paul and Connie Cunningham.”

The new, state-of-the-art 50,000- square-foot Cunningham Student Center will replace the nearly 50-year-old Campus Center building, and more than double it in size. The center will feature multi-use spaces for meeting, a larger, enhanced dining area, outdoor areas, a fitness center and the campus store. The second floor will house Enrollment Development, Student Financial Aid Services and Student Development with space specifically designed for visiting prospective students and their families.

Bright Futures: the campaign for MidAmerica Nazarene University is a three-priority, multi-year campaign for $61 million.

Over the next five years, funds raised in the campaign will be designated for three priorities at MNU:

  1.     Academic Programs:         $6,989,043
  2.     Capital Projects:               $28,109,262
  3.     University Support:           $26,214,328

For more information on Bright Futures: the campaign for MNU, visit


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