Asbury University Receives $8 Million Gift

A historic gift will help support Asbury's new Collaborative Learning Center (CLC).
A historic gift will help support Asbury's new Collaborative Learning Center (CLC).

WILMORE, Ky. — On Saturday night before several hundred Reunion 2015 guests, Dr. Sandra C. Gray — president of Asbury University — announced that a gift commitment of $8 million has been made to the University.

During a celebration of Asbury’s 125th anniversary in the school’s historic Hughes Auditorium— and with four former University presidents plus alumni, their families and other friends of the University in attendance— Gray announced the gift as the largest in the institution’s history.

“The administration, board of trustees, alumni, faculty and staff have created a vision to propel Asbury’s mission into the future, and this historic generosity will ignite the University’s momentum toward that vision,” Gray said. “It is evidence, along with the many other important gifts we’ve received recently, that alumni, parents and friends believe in Asbury and the difference it makes in the lives of young people.”

Asbury — a private, Christian liberal arts university that is ranked No. 1 in the South in the 2014-15 U.S. News & World Report Regional College Rankings — provides financial aid to more than 95 percent of its students, was named one of America’s most affordable Christian colleges in 2015 and just a few years ago opened the state-of-the-art, $12.5-million Miller Center for Communication Arts.

The $8 million gift announced Saturday is historic not only in amount, but in kind, representing the largest single gift ever made to an Asbury building project, the largest single gift made to student scholarships and the largest single gift made by an Asbury alum. Offered by a donor who has chosen to remain anonymous, the gift will be utilized to support multiple areas: $4 million going to the University’s new Collaborative Learning Center(CLC); $3 million directly to funding student scholarships; $1 million to debt reduction.

At an anticipated cost of $25 million, the CLC is anticipated to accommodate 130 students majoring in the natural and allied sciences, 70 students majoring in the quantitative sciences and 400 majoring in business. It is expected to include 10-14 science laboratories, 10-13 classrooms, 20-25 faculty offices and a 300-seat auditorium.  

The CLC will house programs in Natural Science and Math, as well as the Howard Dayton School of Business.
The CLC will house programs in Natural Science and Math, as well as the Howard Dayton School of Business.

“The intersection of business, math and science represents a new world of opportunity for our students both in their academic studies and in their career prospects,” said Dr. Michael Kane, Dean of the Howard Dayton School of Business. “This new center will benefit students by providing a collaborative learning environment that crosses disciplines to create new professional opportunities.”

With $3 million funding student scholarships, the gift also addresses one of the greatest needs among Asbury’s student body — a significant number of students are first generation college students and/or come from families who’ve devoted themselves to serving society.

For Charlie Shepard, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, the gift is affirmation of how the University’s alumni and friends understand that their philanthropic investments, regardless of the amount, have a significant influence on the students who are striving to impact the world.

“There is no corner of society that Asbury alumni aren’t influencing,” said Shepard, a 1999 graduate of Asbury. “The fingerprints of Asbury alumni are everywhere, from business, science and education to the church, equine, media and social work. This gift is a vote of confidence to the thousands of alumni spread across the globe that their work is important and valuable to society.”

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