Mabee Foundation issues $1 million challenge grant to William Woods University

William Woods University has
received a $1 million
challenge grant from the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation toward
completion of its Imagine
Campaign, Dr. Jahnae H.
Barnett, university president,
announced today.
Mabee Million, as we’ve dubbed
it, will allow us to
build upon the William Woods mission to distinguish itself as a
student-centered institution and fulfill its vision to be
recognized as a progressive and growing leader in higher
education,” Barnett said.
The campaign to “imagine the
future” contains three parts:
  • A Sorority Circle and
  • The Center for Ethics and Global
  • An Alumni and
    Visitors’ Center
Sorority Circle residential complex will house all
four sororities (Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Phi, Chi Omega and Delta Gamma),
freeing up space in other
residence halls for an increasing number of students on campus.
amphitheatre, with a capacity of approximately 250, is intended for all
students and the community. It is designed to be flexible and useful for
theatrical, musical and ceremonial events and festivals.
The Center for Ethics and Global Studies is an endowment of
an academic program that builds on
several existing initiatives/projects. It has four components:
  • Ethics and Global Diversity
  • Short- and Long-term
    Study Abroad
  • International Student Services
  • Gateway to Service Opportunities
In addition, the
university plans to renovate the former presidential
residence into the Tom and
Claudine O’Connor Alumni and Visitors’ Center. When completed, the center will provide
lodging for alumni and
visitors, serve as a gathering space for the William Woods community and create
a space for university archives.
Mabee Foundation was formed in 1948 by John
E. Mabee and his wife, Lottie E. Mabee, natives of Missouri.
in Tulsa, Okla.,
the foundation aids Christian religious organizations, charitable
organizations, institutions of higher learning, hospitals and other
organizations of a general
charitable nature in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
have already made significant progress toward our
goal,” Barnett said. “In addition to
the Mabee grant, we received the largest gift from a foundation in the history of WWU.
The Lucille and Bruce Lambert Charitable Foundation Inc.’s gift of $2.5 million is also
the largest gift in that
foundation’s history.”
added, “Also, an anonymous donor made a gift of $2 million toward the
Imagine Campaign. This represents the largest gift from an individual in the
university’s history.”
In addition, the
university has received a number of important leadership gifts from WWU’s
supporters who have risen
to the challenge to help ensure a
successful campaign.
Dan Diedriech, vice president
for university advancement, is confident the Mabee grant will encourage
additional gifts toward campaign
completion. The $1 million matching
grant will allow
individuals or groups of alumni, donors
and friends to claim naming rights for various entities for half the
originally listed price.
Naming rights opportunities range from $10,000 to $500,000, so a
room, for example, now could be named for as little as $5,000 and the
amphitheatre named for $250,000. Mabee will provide the
other half.
To receive the $1 million Mabee
challenge grant, the university must successfully raise an additional $907,611
to complete the Imagine Campaign by May 28, 2014.
fact that the grant
was funded at the full amount of the request is both inspirational and
humbling,” Diedriech said. “We are grateful for the Mabee Foundation’s
continued support and faith in the mission
and vision of William Woods University.”
In a letter to
the vice chairman of the
foundation, Diedriech asked that the
university’s gratitude be relayed to all the members of the foundation’s board “and ensure them all that we will live up to their
expectations by completing the campaign and successfully initiating these
projects and programs to the benefit of our
For more information or to
participate in the Mabee Million match,
contact Dan Diedriech at 573-592-4220 or by email at