Jewell receives $2 million challenge grant from Mabee Foundation


William Jewell College has received a $2 million challenge grant from the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation in Tulsa, Okla., to help in the final stages of the college’s fundraising campaign for The Link Project. The donor-funded, 56,000 square-foot-building will be a state-of-the-art multipurpose facility with space for health, wellness, fitness, athletics, classrooms and social gatherings. To meet the challenge requirements, William Jewell must secure the final $8 million in pledges toward the $20 million project by July 2022. 

“The Link is a metaphor for new connections—east and west sides of campus, the athlete and non-athlete, Jewell and the community,” said Clark Morris, vice president for advancement at William Jewell. “We are committed to making the highest quality education and the highest quality physical spaces accessible to all students. With the Mabee Foundation alongside our alumni and donors, we can bring our dream of The Link to fruition and open the doors in 2023.”

The Link, Jewell’s largest capital project to date, will face Pryor Learning Commons and become a hub for students and community members, housing a gymnasium, locker rooms, fitness center, dance room, classrooms, offices, outdoor terrace and climate-controlled spaces for large groups and gatherings.

The five main elements of the project include:

  • A new entrance road on the southeast side of campus. This will solve an accessibility issue for both the College and stadium entrances, creating a welcoming arrival spot and a unified aesthetic.
  • A tree-lined walkway and campus arrival point
  • A multipurpose building featuring an academic studio and classrooms as well as fitness, athletic and social spaces
  • Four large terraces for outdoor gatherings or classes, a sculpture garden (part of the Kemper Art Walk), and a walking and bike path
  • A new Amphitheater Stadium, which will replace the antiquated stadium, will fit seamlessly into the east end of the Hillside Terraces.

With The Link and Jewell’s existing Mabee Center, built in 1979, the college can offer multi-sport training facilities for athletics, open needed scheduling for practices and activities such as intramurals, and create more space for training during the winter months and inclement weather. Jewell currently offers 24 varsity sports, 20 of those being NCAA Division II teams.

“We are humbled and honored to receive the challenge grant from The Mabee Foundation,” Morris said. “The Foundation has made significant investments in William Jewell over the last four decades, and we are thrilled with its endorsement of this transformational upgrade to our student and visitor experience.”

The J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation, Inc., a Delaware non-profit corporation, was formed in 1948 by John E. Mabee and his wife, Lottie E. Mabee, with its office in Tulsa, Okla. The Foundation aids institutions of higher learning, hospitals and other charitable organizations. The Foundation has had a tremendous impact on the living and learning experience at William Jewell College. Previous partnerships with the Mabee Foundation have assisted with renovations and construction projects, most recently Pryor Learning Commons in 2013 and Dianne C. Shumaker Sorority Houses & Greek Commons in 2009.