ORIGINALLY WRITTEN SARA SCHALL
Tabor College is in the process of presenting its $10.5 million capital campaign to the local community, and promoting its conviction that what benefits Tabor ultimately benefits Hillsboro and Marion County.
Two meetings were scheduled within the past week, the first on Sunday evening, Nov. 16, in the chapel for Tabor friends and alumni in Marion County.
The other meeting was scheduled for Marion County businessmen at 6:45 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 18. Both meetings were by RSVP only.
The relationship created between Tabor and the community of Hillsboro should play a positive role in the outcome of the campaign, President Larry Nikkel said.
“The health of Tabor and the health of the Hillsboro community are absolutely interrelated,” Nikkel said.
This relationship provides many opportunities for both Tabor and Hillsboro, added Kirby Fadenrecht, vice president for business and finance.
Fadenrecht pointed out many areas in which Tabor is able to supply for not only educational needs, but also exposure to the arts.
“The activities and the cultural, academic and social events that the community can enjoy because Tabor is here is something you can almost not put a price tag on,” Nikkel said.
The school gives local residents a close place to obtain a higher education and utilize research facilities.
Tabor provides a location to host social events such as dramas, concerts and conferences.
The recent production of “Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat” and the Jeremy Camp concert during homecoming weekend, as well as the Bible conference in September, are examples of events that have already occurred this school year.
“The social and the cultural additions that it brings to our community play a vital role in making Hillsboro the community that it is,” said Delores Dalke, Hillsboro mayor.
Tabor provides economic benefits to the community as well.
“Tabor College is the biggest employer in Marion County, which is extremely important to a community our size,” Dalke said.
During the 2002-2003 school year, Tabor provided 140 jobs, with 115 of those employees living in Hillsboro.
According to formulas used by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the total estimated cash infusion-or the amount of money the students, visitors and college, among others, spent during the 1999-2000 school year-was nearly $8 million.
The estimated annual regional impact-or the amount of money spent in the region because of the estimated cash infusion-was nearly $20 million.
Tabor provides all of these things and more, but the relationship is not one-sided. The Hillsboro community gives back to Tabor in many ways.
“It’s a very positive relationship,” Fadenrecht said. “The community has been very supportive of the campus.”
The local city government has done things such as installing streetlights, painting the crosswalks and putting in the flashing yellow lights for the campus.
“They understand the importance Tabor is to the community,” Fadenrecht said. “They try to accommodate the needs of the college as best as they can.”
Dalke also mentioned the cooperation in using facilities, especially for sports.
For example, because the community is allowed to use the baseball field during the summer, it had lights installed to repay the school.
“It’s the cooperative spirit with the community that works to our advantage,” Nikkel said.
There are many more advantages about Tabor being located in Hillsboro, Nikkel said.
“While very small communities are disadvantaged in many ways, I think Hillsboro as a host community for Tabor College gives us some distinct advantages,” he said.
Nikkel said people in the area can be involved “even to the point of getting to know individual students,” and that Hillsboro provides a place where students feel safe.
“Hillsboro also provides many students with an aspect of their education that they aren’t even explicitly aware of,” he said.
Nikkel said Hillsboro offers a “good, small, close-knit community with distinct ethnic flavor.”
Overall, Nikkel said he sees the relationship between Tabor and Hillsboro as essential for both parties.
This should help the college gain community support for the capital campaign.
“I can’t see a healthy Tabor without a healthy Hillsboro,” Nikkel said, “and I can’t see a healthy Hillsboro without a healthy Tabor.”
This article appeared in the Nov. 5 issue of the Tabor College View and is reprinted here with permission. Sara Schall is an English and communications major at Tabor, and recently joined the Free Press staff as a part-time proof reader.