Tabor College President Jules Glanzer announced Friday at his annual donor appreciation dinner that the public phase of the Signature Campaign is intended to raise the final $6.25 million of the $16.2 million needed to build and endow the new facility, meet the college?s annual fund needs and provide other campus enhancements.
About 300 donors, faculty, staff and students attended the dinner to hear the presentation made by Glanzer about the importance of the new facility for Tabor College.
?We are excited to elevate Tabor College to the next level when it comes to the fine arts,? Glanzer said. ?We want our students to be able to learn, grow and perform in this brand new 50,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility. This will finally give us a place for our students to come and worship under one roof, all together.?
Before Friday?s dinner, held at Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren Church, patrons walked around a display of artwork and graphic designs by Tabor College students.
After the meal, Glanzer showed the audience a video promoting the new project, and several others spoke about the importance of the Signature Campaign.
The facility, an expansion of the Wohlgemuth Music Education Center, will include a performance auditorium, a small theater, a grand lobby and a visual arts education wing.
Not only will the new facility benefit students and faculty at Tabor, he said, but it will also be a blessing to the people in the broader community.
?Those who live in Marion County and surrounding areas regularly attend our music concerts, theatrical shows, art exhibits and community dinners,? said Ron Braun, vice president of advancement.
?This facility will accommodate everyone, including the elderly and disabled people in our community,? Braun added. ?With the facilities we have now on campus, we are unable to accommodate everyone.?
The new facility will be named the Shari Flaming Center for the Arts in honor of a $2 million contribution made by Chuck and Shari Flaming, a farm couple from Paxton, Neb.
Neither one of them are alumni of Tabor College, but Chuck Flaming decided to make a considerable contribution to the Signature Campaign for a definite reason.
?I knew the college needed this building, it is for Christ?s kingdom,? he said. ?I love my wife so much that I could think of no better way to honor her.?
Last month, Tabor College received word from the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation in Tulsa, Okla., that it will award a challenge grant of $1 million in January 2015. However, the college must first meet the challenge and raise $2.7 million by next January to receive the grant.
To date, Tabor has received gifts and commitments totaling $6.3 million for the new facility.
Groundbreaking for the Shari Flaming Center for the Arts is expected in October 2015 with construction to begin soon after. The entire project is expected to be completed and dedicated in 2017.