March 4, 2022
Nearly a year and a half after the start of construction on Asbury University’s newest building project, a name unveiling ceremony for the $26 million facility took place on Friday, March 4, 2022.
With the University’s Board of Trustees, President’s Cabinet and campus community present, the Walt and Rowena Shaw Collaborative Learning Center was unveiled at chapel.
“I can think of no better couple to represent the vision of the CLC than Walt and Rowena Shaw,” said Asbury’s Board of Trustees Chairman Larry Brown ’80. “They are a couple who grew a successful business focused on scientific research and production that was run with Christ at the center. Desiring to grow the Kingdom of God and invest in a place they love, Walt and Rowena made a gift of $10 million to complete the full funding of the CLC and to advance the sciences.”
The Shaws are 1963 Asbury graduates and founded a successful lipid synthesis and manufacturing company they grew from a rented 900 square-foot garage to a 25-acre FDA approved campus. Their generous gift for the construction of the CLC is far from the first time the couple has given of their time, treasure and talents to their alma mater.
“With blessings beyond anything we could imagine, our desire is to bless Asbury,” said Rowena Shaw in a video message because the couple was unable to attend in person. “It’s God’s money… and we wanted to have Asbury first in our donations. We believe in the mission of Asbury; we believe in their holiness stance in the community. This is the foundation of the future for our young people.”
Addressing the student body, Walt Shaw added, “This part of your life is going to be very exciting. You need to ask God to direct you. He’ll lead you to paths that you have no idea; it will be exciting. We’re honored to be part of the CLC, and we can’t wait to be there on campus to celebrate its opening.”
The Walt and Rowena Shaw Collaborative Learning Center is 100 percent funded through charitable gifts.
“God moved in the hearts of alumni, parents and friends and unleashed a new level of generosity,” noted Larry Brown.
More than 450 donors gave toward the construction of the CLC as part of Ignited: The Campaign for Asbury University that raised more than $83 million for scholarships, facilities, academic and community life programs, faculty development, athletics and so much more.
“I am especially excited about the CLC because it is part of our vision for providing a rigorous, relevant 21st century education for our students,” said Asbury President Dr. Kevin Brown. “Collaboration, innovation, and entrepreneurialism were at the core of the building’s design.”
The CLC will bring together future entrepreneurs and scientists, health-care professionals and marketing experts to learn from, and with, each other. The building will be the new home for the Dayton School of Business; the School of Science, Health and Mathematics’ and SEARCH, AU’s hub for collaborative research and creative activity.
“I’ll venture to say that every undergraduate student will have classes and attend various functions in the building,” remarked President Brown.
During chapel, students, donors and other guests got a virtual look inside the building, celebrated representatives from the construction crews who were able to attend, and heard a message from Dr. David Stevens ’73. Stevens was a chemistry and biology major at Asbury and is the retired CEO of the Christian Medical and Dental Association.
Construction on the Walt and Rowena Shaw Collaborative Learning Center is nearing completion, and it is scheduled to open for classes for the upcoming fall semester. A dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony is planned for June 25 during Asbury’s Reunion.
To view the naming ceremony, visit: https://www.asbury.edu/about/spiritual-vitality/chapel/live/
To see the name unveiling video, visit: https://vimeo.com/684657597/e4c9c80990
To learn more about the Walt and Rowena Shaw Collaborative Learning Center, visit: https://www.asbury.edu/collaborative-learning-center/