Shawnee-based St. Gregory’s University announced that it has received a challenge grant in the amount of $1.5 million from the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation, Inc. The challenge grant, a conditional grant based on future dollars raised, would provide funding toward construction of new student resident halls for SGU.
“Building new residence halls is an integral part of our strategic plan, and this grant would significantly help us with achieving that goal,” said Dave Wagie, Ph.D., president of SGU in a press release. “We are extremely grateful to the Mabee Foundation for this opportunity and grateful to our donors for getting us this far.”
SGU has pledges totaling $5.2 million toward the $10.2 million project. When the university comes up with an additional $3.5 million in pledges, the Mabee Foundation will complete the funding with its $1.5 million grant. The foundation has set a deadline of April 9, 2009, for SGU to come up with those additional funds. SGU has plans to break ground on the new residence halls in August and estimates a completion date by the fall of 2009.
“This grant is significant because it not only provides us $1.5 million in additionally money, but it also provides our donors incentive to make their pledges in the coming months so we can complete the project,” Wagie said.
The J. E. and L. E. Mabee Foundation, Inc. was formed in 1948 by Mr. John E. Mabee and his wife, Lottie E. Mabee, with its office in Tulsa, Oklahoma. As stated in its charter, 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 geographical area of interest of the foundation includes the states of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. In its 60 years of existence, grants by the foundation to various educational, religious and charitable institutions have totaled in excess of $800 million.
The Mabees were natives of Missouri. They had no children. Mr. Mabee died in 1961 and Mrs. Mabee died in 1965, leaving a substantial portion of their personal estates to the foundation. The benevolences of this foundation are evidenced throughout the Southwestern United States and many edifices bear their name, including the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art and the Mabee Aerobic Center on the SGU campus.