Last fall Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU), Waxahachie, Texas, announced a $5 million gift toward a $21 million World Communication Center. Since that announcement, another $4.3 million has been received, including a $2.5 million commitment from alumnus Dr. John Hagee and his wife Diana, another $1.8 million from the family who contributed the original $5 million, and a $1 million challenge grant from the Mabee Foundation.
On Friday, April 13, SAGU was notified by the Board of the Mabee Foundation (Tulsa, Oklahoma), that Mabee had issued a challenge grant in the amount of $1 million toward the World Communication Center, provided the university meets specified requirements and raises the balance toward the total project from other contributors by April 10, 2013.
The J. E. and L. E. Mabee Foundation, Inc., was founded in 1948 by Mr. John E. Mabee and his wife, Lottie E. Mabee. The Mabee Foundation regularly supports Christian organizations, charitable organizations and institutions of higher learning.
"We are grateful for Mabee's generosity. The challenge grant, added to the generous gift from the Hagees, puts SAGU within reach of fully funding this project," said University President Kermit Bridges. "The Mabee foundation has been instrumental in several SAGU expansions, including the construction of Sheaffer Full Life Center and Teeter Hall."
President Bridges added, "The $2.5 million commitment from our dear friend Dr. Hagee is a tremendous and timely gesture in view of the news from the Mabee Foundation."
Dr. John Hagee is the founder and senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, an evangelical church with more than 20,000 active members. Pastor Hagee is president of John Hagee Ministries, which telecasts his national radio and television teachings throughout 245 nations.
In the last 10 years, SAGU enrollment has increased 16 percent.
Growth in the communication arts led to the need for the World Communication Center. Preliminary work has already begun, with plans to break ground during spring commencement, Friday, April 27.
The 79,000-square-foot World Communication Center with be the second-largest building on campus. The facility will house a performance arts auditorium, black box theater, TV and film studio, audio recording studio, digital video editing lab and suites, piano lab, music library and listening lab, music practice rooms, classrooms, rehearsal halls, film screening/preaching and speech labs, offices, concessions, café, workshops, dressing rooms and more. The goal is to complete construction for Fall 2013.