William Jewell College has successfully met the terms of a $1 million challenge grant from the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation to complete fundraising for the new $15 million Pryor Learning Commons.
“We are very grateful to receive this grant from the Mabee Foundation in support of this far-reaching project,” said Dr. David Sallee, President at William Jewell. “Pryor Learning Commons will allow William Jewell to meet the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s students by placing emerging technologies in their hands in an environment that stimulates creativity and collaboration.”
Construction is underway for Pryor Learning Commons, which is scheduled to open in August 2013. A groundbreaking will be held September 7 at approximately 11:15 a.m. on the college’s quad following Opening Convocation ceremonies.
Pryor Learning Commons will feature digital learning studios, recording and editing suites, presentation rehearsal studios, a welcome center, café and various study spaces for individuals and groups, all in a comfortable, flexible environment. Anchoring the east side of the college quad, the three-level, 25,300-square-foot facility is designed with a commitment to sustainability, and site development is allowing the college to take significant steps toward a more energy-efficient, pedestrian campus.
“The learning commons is fully funded by Jewell alumni and friends,” said President Sallee. “The Jewell and Kansas City communities believe in the value of a liberal arts education and take an active role in helping prepare our students for the future.”
In addition to the naming gift from 1956 alumni Fred Pryor and Shirley Pryor, some other key contributors include the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation, the Hall Family Foundation and the William T. Kemper Foundation. Pryor Learning Commons is the signature project of “Shaping the Journey: The Campaign for Jewell” which concluded this summer, raising more than $58 million to support engaged and experiential learning initiatives, faculty development and student scholarships. With 12,800 contributors, Shaping the Journey received the most donor support of any campaign in Jewell’s history.
The J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation, Inc., a Delaware non-profit corporation, was formed in 1948 by John E. Mabee and his wife, Lottie E. Mabee, with its office in Tulsa, Okla. The Foundation aids institutions of higher learning, hospitals and other charitable organizations. The Mabee Foundation has provided support previously for several William Jewell College projects, including a $1 million challenge grant to complete fundraising for the Dianne C. Shumaker Hall Sorority Houses & Greek Commons, which opened in 2009.