University News Service

Howard Payne Univer-sity has received a $750,000 challenge grant from The J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation of Tulsa, Okla., to support the 2006-2007 project goals for the university’s Sharing the Vision Capital Campaign.

To qualify for the grant, HPU must raise the balance needed for the total group of projects by January 2008. The total cost of the projects is $7,625,000. More than $5.2 million has been raised to date. Adding the anticipated $750,000 from the foundation, a balance of approximately $1.6 million remains to be raised within the next 12 months.

“We are very excited by the affirmation shown by the Mabee Foundation and look forward to working with them to reach our goal,” said Dr. Lanny Hall, HPU president. “The planned campaign projects are urgently needed and this generous grant will make a significant impact as we move ahead to secure the additional funding from alumni, friends and other foundations.”

The J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation, Inc., was formed in 1948 by John E. Mabee and his wife, Lottie E. Mabee, with its office in Tulsa, Okla. The purposes of the Foundation are to aid Christian religious organizations, charitable organizations, institutions of higher learning, hospitals and other organizations of a general charitable nature. The Mabee Foundation has played a vital role in past Howard Payne University campaigns. HPU projects that have benefited from the foundation’s support include the Mabee University Center, the Davidson Music Complex, the McCullough Athletic Center and the Thompson Academic Complex, as well as a variety of student housing renovations and technology needs.

The Mabee grant and additional funding will be used toward a set of key facility needs — the Art Program Facility, the Faith and Life Leadership Center and the Welcome Center — as well as endowments and scholarships.

A historic, two-story structure originally built in the late 1920s as Brownwood’s Coca-Cola bottling plant is being renovated to house HPU’s Department of Art. When the project is finished, the unique Art Program Facility will not only provide students with a well-designed environment in which to develop their artistic abilities, but will attract new students as well. Additionally, student and community art exhibits and events hosted at the facility would play a key cultural role for area residents.

The Faith and Life Leadership Center will utilize classroom space in the Phelps Bible Building, the chapel and Mims Auditorium. The renovation of the Phelps Bible Building will create a two-story lobby and a large, multi-purpose conference room for lectures and banquets. The renovated chapel will serve as a laboratory for student preachers as well as a location for worship, weddings and other events. The historic Mims Auditorium, the “spiritual center” of the campus since the 1920s, will be renovated and repaired with upgraded seating, staging, technology and general modernization and will continue to serve as the location for university chapel services and special programs. Through the Faith and Life Leadership Center, HPU will have first-class facilities to attract a variety of special leadership development seminars and workshops and serve as the foundation for HPU’s continuing commitment to Christian leadership development.

In addition, the university plans to add a Welcome Center to the Packer Administration Building to provide a centrally located area for HPU representatives to meet with visitors. The remodeling would include an expansion of the building, providing the needed additional space. The completed project would produce a reception area; separate offices for admissions counselors to consult with prospective students and their families; comfortable waiting areas featuring a variety of displays about HPU’s past, present and future; and an impressive courtyard offering guests a striking view of the heart of the campus.

HPU is also working to increase endowments for student scholarships and programs. To strengthen HPU’s curricular offerings, the university is seeking additional endowments for academic programs. A major focus will be the Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom and its experiential learning initiatives. The Academy of Freedom is the multidisciplinary honors program of the university.