Asbury University receives $4.5 million commitment from anonymous donors

This is a rendering of the interior of Asbury University’s planned Collaborative Learning Center.
This is a rendering of the interior of Asbury University’s planned Collaborative Learning Center.

Asbury University in Wilmore has received a $4.5 million gift commitment to help fund scholarships and the construction of a new learning center.

The gift, the second largest in the school’s history, came from the parents of an Asbury alumnus, according to a press release. The donors wished to remain anonymous.

The commitment will give $2 million over the next five years, and another $2.5 million fulfilled through an estate provision.

The new Collaborative Learning Center is anticipated to cost $25 million. It will accommodate 130 students majoring in the natural and allied sciences, 70 students in the quantitative sciences, and 400 majoring in business.

The building will include 10 to 14 science laboratories, 10 to 13 classrooms, 20 to 25 faculty offices, and a 300-seat auditorium. A little less than $9 million has been raised for the building.

Sandra Gray, president of Asbury University, recently announced the gift to the campus community and the board of trustees.

“We’re extremely encouraged by the many people who believe in Asbury and the difference it makes in the lives of young people,” Gray said in the release.

This latest gift comes on the heels of an $8 million gift announced in June. That donation from an anonymous alum was the largest in the school's 125-year history.

Of that $8 million, $4 million will help build the learning center, $3 million will pay for scholarships and $1 million will pay off debt.

Asbury has also announced that 1961 graduate Wynelle Scott Deese has made estate plans to support the Asbury Initiative Program, which allows about 10 Asbury upperclassmen per year to perform volunteer service in developing countries. Upon her death, the proceeds from Deese’s estate will fully endow the program.

The initial funds for the program, which started in 2004 and have covered more than 160 trips to nearly 60 different countries, are exhausted. The program awards about $80,000 each year. Though Deese and others are currently contributing each year to keep the program going, Deese wanted to fund it permanently through her estate gift.

“I love the idea of not giving just generally but to a specific thing that I know will have an impact,” Deese said.