Mabee Foundation donates $750,000

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A mixture of excitement, chaos and new beginnings fill the offices of Mulvane Hall as dreams are coming true for the Baker University Science Department.

The enthusiasm radiated by the faculty is a result of the $750,000 grant the university received from the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation.

“I’m so excited I can’t contain myself,” Professor of Biology Darcy Russell said. “Dr. Long, Lyn Lakin and Dr. Lindahl have worked very hard on the fundraising especially this summer.”

University President Pat Long and members of the Office of University Advancement have been on the road fundraising throughout the summer.

Baker University’s greenhouse is under construction as part of the Mulvane Hall transformation. The University received a $750,000 grant from the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation and will be able to keep the entire sum if Baker’s Office of Advancement can match the sum through private donors.Rachel Dannen

“We’ve had a lot of success over the last few months,” Patrick Mikesic, senior director for university advancement said. “Our alumni and donors have been very receptive and very positive about the new direction of this project.”

In order to keep the entire sum of the Mabee grant, Baker administration and the Office of Advancement must match the $750,000 total through private donors and naming opportunities.

“There are tremendous opportunities for individuals to find a match between their interests and their passion for this area,” Chief Operating Officer Susan Lindahl said. “That really is how we will establish the match for the Mabee Foundation.”

The foundation challenge grant is the largest gift Baker has ever received, but it is not the first time the Mabee Foundation has donated to Baker.

“The Mabee Foundation has provided grants for the library renovation, obviously Mabee Hall renovation and in fact they were one of the original funders of the last renovation of Mulvane Hall,” Mikesic said.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the addition to Mulvane is scheduled for Oct. 7, but construction will begin sometime in September.

Construction will begin with the 9,000 square foot addition on the east side of the building and renovation on the existing building will take place in the spring.

“I’m a little sad for the seniors because they are just going to have the last year of pain and chaos,” Russell said. “But the students who start school next fall are going to have all four years in a whole new building.”

The first step in the Mulvane transformation was tearing down the greenhouse and moving the structure to a different location.

Lindahl described the entire transformation process as being “very Baker.”

“It honors our past and transforms Mulvane to meet current needs and future needs,” Lindahl said. “I think that is the beauty of this project.”