Wed, Sep 19 2012
LeTourneau University announced a historic fundraising initiative and broke ground on a new, 60,000-square-foot student center at 11:45 a.m., Monday, Sept. 17, following a celebration chapel at 10:50 a.m. in the S.E. Belcher Jr. Chapel and Performance Center, according to LETU President Dr. Dale A. Lunsford.
The historic, $27.5 million fundraising campaign is the largest in the university’s history and is the university’s first comprehensive campaign to fund student scholarships, academic excellence, global service learning, a center for faith and work initiatives and campus facilities, including a new student center and athletic village.
“Our campaign theme is ‘For Such A Time As This,’ taken from the Bible when Mordecai challenged Esther to consider whether God had placed her in a position of influence ‘for such a time as this,’” Lunsford said. “Our “For Such A Time As This” campaign will invite people from all over the community and all over the nation to join in the work that God is doing here at LeTourneau University. It is the most ambitious in our history with a $27.5 million goal to be reached by December 2014. It will also be a pioneering effort because it is a comprehensive campaign – with a goal to fund not just facilities but also faculty and students.”
The campaign’s fundraising priorities are based on the university’s 2010-2015 strategic plan. Priorities include:
• Scholarships for high ability students challenged by the economy to fund their education. When this campaign is complete, the university will have tripled the number of endowed scholarships to benefit students for decades to come.
• Capital projects necessary to meet the changing needs of the traditional residential student experience. These projects include a new student center and athletic village that change student life at LETU.
• Academic Excellence initiatives that will support the university’s five schools in their work to deliver Christ-centered, exceptional professional programs and unique hands-on learning experiences.
• Support for the university’s initiative to be a university of global influence especially for its innovative programs through the new Center for Global Service Learning.
• Programming of its new Center for Faith & Work and other initiatives to prepare students to be ambassadors for Christ in their workplaces all over the globe.
The LETU president noted that the university has been sharing its vision for this fundraising campaign during its “silent” phase with leaders and foundations across the country and can report that over $18 million has already been pledged toward the $27.5 million total campaign.
“There is strong support for our mission and the opportunities we have in the near future,” Lunsford said.
ANNA LEE AND SIDNEY ALLEN FAMILY STUDENT CENTER
The new $14 million student center will be located in the high traffic center of campus along the university mall beside the Margaret Estes Library and will be named in honor of local supporters Anna Lee and Sidney Allen of Longview.
The new Anna Lee and Sidney Allen Family Student Center is designed to serve as a dynamic hub for the entire campus to build community among students from all over campus.
“We are pleased to honor a family who loves Longview and LeTourneau University and has supported students for many years in many ways,” Lunsford said. “The Allen family understands that every great city has a great university. They have partnered with us in significant ways over the years, from supporting our students in the auto society to helping students experience international travel. The Allens have encouraged the university to serve the community with scholarships for local students and sponsorship of the arts at our Belcher Center. Their support ensures that LETU students find that great university in Longview, Texas.”
The first floor of the new Allen Student Center is designed as a crossroads on campus where students can meet. The Allen Family Center will be home to the university mail center, bookstore, print shop, admissions office and alumni offices. The open design of the two-story commons area is intended to provide a place for the community of students, faculty, staff, alumni and guests to meet over coffee or enjoy a meal from an expanded Hive Coffee shop, which will supplement the university’s main Corner Café dining hall. The Hive will feature an expanded grill, pizza oven and ability to prepare made-to-order hot and cold foods like burritos and submarine sandwiches.
A multi-purpose is planned for the east side of the building, with moveable walls designed to accommodate a single, large group, or be sectioned off into five separate rooms for maximum functionality for meetings and projects.
Just outside a two-story glass wall facing the university mall is a terraced patio area for eating al fresco and enjoying outdoor concerts and other activities designed to bring the student community together.
On the second floor of the Allen Family Student Center will be located Student Life offices and various student services, including health, counseling and career services, the Achievement Center, as well as administrative offices. Also upstairs, overlooking the huge commons area, will be a specially wired video gaming room for students to conduct multi-player video games.