The J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation, Inc. has committed a matching gift of $723,000 to Oklahoma Christian University to complete the university's Science Facility Initiative. The funds will be used to complete the third and final phase of the project – a new wing housing classroom and office space on the north side of Herold Science Hall. Phase one included the renovation of the science laboratories in the first floor of Herold Science Hall in the summer of 2006. Phase two featured the renovation of Vose Hall, completed in the fall of 2008. Altogether, this three-phase project has been in excess of $6 million.
“We are deeply indebted to the Mabee Foundation for this generous gift which we consider an investment in the future of Oklahoma,” said Dr. Mike O'Neal, president of Oklahoma Christian. “The expansion and enhancement of our science facilities has been our top academic capital project and this gift will help ensure that our students have an outstanding science facility. The addition of classrooms and faculty offices and storage space will take pressure off of other academic facilities and will enhance the ability of our outstanding science faculty to do what they do extraordinarily well—teach, mentor and research—all with excellence and from a Christian worldview. Our science students have an exceptional record of achievement in competition with other universities and our graduates enjoy a 90 percent plus acceptance rate into medical and graduate schools.”
The Herold Science Hall project, which began in May 2006, includes the complete modernization of the existing facility and the addition of about 14,000 square feet of classroom and laboratory space.
O'Neal said the university is finalizing plans and seeking cost estimates and that construction is expected to commence by June 1 with an expected completion date during the summer of 2010. The Mabee Foundation, formed in 1948 by Mr. John E. Mabee and his wife, Lottie E. Mabee, aids Christian religious organizations, charitable organizations, institutions of higher learning, hospitals and other organizations of a charitable nature. Since its founding, the Mabee Foundation has contributed more than $840 million to those organizations.