Baker project receives grant
The J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation of Tulsa, Okla., has issued a $500,000 challenge grant for the renovation of Collins Library at Baker University, Daniel M. Lambert, president, announced today.
The grant is part of a $6.3 million campaign to transform Baker's library into a state-of-the-art learning resource center. Baker has received gifts totaling $3.8 million for the project and must raise an additional $2.5 million by July 2001 to receive the foundation's gift.
The campaign for Collins Library is the largest single capital project in the university's 142-year history.
"The library is the heart of the university," Lambert said. "The successful transformation of Collins Library will ensure Baker's position as one of the Midwest's finest independent universities. Generous gifts are essential to any successful campaign and we are profoundly grateful to the Mabee Foundation which has played a vital role in this campaign."
The renovation for Collins Library will substantially change the scope and appearance of the building and will emphasize technology and small-group learning. The facility will be expanded by more than 14,000 square feet, add high-technology and distance-learning classrooms and provide a state-of-the-art learning resource area with an adjacent coffee bar. In addition, the building's main entrance will face toward the center of campus. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2001.
Baker has had a long-standing relationship with the Mabee Foundation which participated in the renovation of Mabee Memorial Hall in 1972 and 1994, Rice Auditorium in 1982, Mulvane Science Hall in 1970 and Parmenter Hall in 1977 and 1989.
The Mabee Foundation was established in 1948 by Mr. and Mrs. J.E. Mabee, longtime residents of the Southwestern United States. The Mabees became financially successful in the oil business. The foundation makes grants in support of the founders' interests. The grants, often involving capital improvement projects, are given to a variety of institutions and organizations primarily in the Southwest. Priority is given to the fields of education, social services and health care.
Baker's previous largest capital project was a $3.4 million renovation of Mabee Memorial Hall in 1994. The university has spent more than $15 million in the last 10 years on physical plant improvements.
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