Tabor College celebrated two milestones in its four-year “Continuing a Legacy of Distinction” capital campaign Sunday afternoon.
The first was a groundbreaking ceremony signaling the start of construction on the new student townhouses it plans to build at Adams and C streets.
The other was an announcement by President Larry Nikkel, prior to turning the sod, that the college had achieved its goal of raising $1.2 million within one year’s time, qualifying it to receive a $750,000 challenge grant from the Mabee Foundation of Tulsa, Okla.
The grant will be the largest single gift to the current capital campaign and the second-largest in the college’s history.
At the heart of the capital campaign when it was launched in 2002 was the expectation of building a three-story residence hall to accommodate growth in student enrollment.
But the college’s board of directors decided in February 2005 that it was financially unfeasible to pursue that housing option.
Instead, the board opted to build several townhouses along Adams Street that will house between 80 and 100 students.
The groundbreaking ceremony took place following remarks by Delores Dalke, mayor of Hillsboro, Lyndon Vix, chair of the school’s board of directors, Kelsi Suderman, student body president, and Eric Codding, dean of students.
Joining the five speakers in breaking ground were Jim Elliott, vice president for advancement, David Riffel, architect, and Roger Penner, construction manager.
“This place will benefit Tabor students for many years to come,” Suderman said, “and I can’t help but think about all the good times that will be shared here.”
Codding echoed her sentiments and said the townhouses will allow upperclass students to share their lives and Tabor experiences with some of their closest friends.
“The hoped-for goal is that the residence halls soon to fill this site will be a place where students really encounter one another in supportive and challenging community,” he said, “and that they’ll create stories together-good and noble stories-that are worthy of telling and retelling for the rest of their lives.”
Nickel said receipt of the Mabee Foundation money will complete the residence-hall portion of the capital campaign. The college still needs to complete the Tabor Fund and endowment portion.
“We hope to be able to complete the remainder of the campaign in the next five weeks,” Nikkel said.
“We are grateful to God, to our advancement staff and to the thousands of people who responded to the need for improved residence halls,” he added. “We now look forward to this dream becoming reality.”