ETBU obtains grant to build Great Commission Center | Education
MARSHALL – East Texas Baptist University will soon have new construction on campus after the private Christian University based in Marshall received a $ 1.5 million grant from the JE and LE Mabee Foundation to build its Great Commission Center .
The ETBU was challenged last summer by the foundation to raise $ 6 million for the construction of the Great Commission Center.
The university recently achieved this $ 6 million goal through donations from alumni and donations from the University and the Marshall community, including the Marshall Economic Development Corp. With the goal achieved, the Mabee Foundation awarded the $ 1.5 million grant so that construction can begin soon.
“Reaching the $ 6 million goal by the Mabee Foundation challenge deadline is a significant achievement in the history of the institution,” said Scott Bryant, ETBU vice president for advancement. . “We made our proposal to the Mabee Foundation before the start of the pandemic and weren’t sure to move forward when we received the challenge grant in July 2020. We didn’t want to miss the opportunity to receive such an important gift from the Mabee Foundation and decided to go ahead on faith. “
ETBU President J. Blair Blackburn said construction of the 23,500 square foot facility is scheduled to begin in August and is expected to be completed in the spring of 2023.
“The Great Commission Center will be built in the open space between the Rogers Spiritual Life Center and Marshall Hall (adjacent to the Ornelas Student Center),” said Blackburn. “As visitors arrive on campus and walk up the hill on Tiger Drive, they will see the Great Commission Center to their left, facing the light on the hill. “
Jim Teague, an East Texas Baptist College alumnus and CEO of Enterprise Products Group, gave the first gift to put the vision into action, Blackburn said.
The Great Commission Center will be home to the university’s Fred Hale School of Business, the Office of Career and Development, and the Great Commission Center program which will connect students, faculty and staff with local communities in the east. from Texas, cities in the United States, as well as cultures around the world in fulfilling the call of the Great Commission in the scriptures, Blackburn said.
“There are approximately 300 students enrolled in programs through the Fred Hale School of Business, but the new building will house space for other academic programs and the expected growth in enrollment over the next decade. Blackburn said. “The facility includes 12 faculty and staff offices for the Fred Hale School of Business, the Great Commission Center program and the Career Development Center. The multi-purpose building is designed for use by the ETBU campus and the university’s community organization partners. The facility includes a large conference hall, classrooms, boardrooms and study areas that can accommodate a capacity of 1,400 students throughout a typical classroom day. The large multipurpose room will accommodate up to 300 banquet-style seats and approximately 500 theater-style seats.
The facility will not only be used for educational purposes, but also for spiritual growth, he said.
“On the south side of the new Fred Hale School of Business building, the Calling Garden featuring” The Great Commission Sculpture “by Max Greiner will inspire students to consider with prayer and reflection their professional vocation and career opportunities at- beyond their studies at ETBU, ”said Blackburn. .