Groundbreaking Ceremony Held at Southern Nazarene University

BETHANY, OK (March 5, 2013) - Energized by the excitement of the historic event,a large crowd braved a brisk March breeze to take part in the groundbreaking ceremony for construction of the J.D. & Mary West Science Laboratory March 1, 2013, on the main campus of Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, Oklahoma.

As part of the multi-year, multi-phase Campaign for the Sciences, the $5.5 million dollar, 26,000 square feet structure will house classrooms, laboratories, offices and gathering spaces for students of Chemistry, Biology and Physics, and is anticipated to open in the fall of 2014.

Lead donor, Mr. J.D. West of Rogers, Arkansas, was present for the groundbreaking of the facility which will bear his and his late wife’s names, as well as members of his immediate and extended family. Chairman of the SNU Board of Trustees and President of Hallmark Hall of Fame, Mr. Brad Moore, gave greetings and expressed the support of the entire governing board for the Campaign for the Sciences.

Dr. Loren Gresham, President, stated, “Because of the generosity of the Wests, and hundreds of faithful alumni and friends, as well as charitable foundations, such as the J.E. & L.E. Mabee Foundation, this new academic facility will serve to secure and enhance the high esteem in which our graduates are held by professional and graduate schools across the nation.” He added, “Our hope and prayer is that many more will join in support of the Campaign for the Sciences in order to accomplish the next phases of completion and renovation of Science facilities for current and future students.”

A number of local, state and national government representatives were on hand for the ceremony, including several City of Bethany council members, alumnus State Rep. Gary Banz, and, representing U.S. Congressman James Lankford was his Chief of Staff, alumnus Mr. Randy Swanson.

Also present was Dr. Stan Toler, General Superintendent for the Church of the Nazarene, as well as a number of members of the SNU Board of Trustees, and the SNU Foundation Board of Directors. Other special guests included emeriti faculty of the Sciences. Following the reading of Psalms of praise and a responsive Litany of Thanks, architect Mr. Troy Rhodes of Troy L. Rhodes & Company, Inc. and Mr. Stan Lingo, of Lingo Construction Services, general contractor, joined Mr. West, Dr. Gresham, Mr. Moore, and others in the ceremonial groundbreaking.

Mr. West expressed his appreciation for the University and for its impact on the lives of his family members, and his hope that future generations of students would benefit from this new facility.

Southern Nazarene University's mission is to transform lives through higher education in Christ-centered community. As a Christian community of scholars, we model the hospitality of grace, the pursuit of truth and the practice of discipleship, all within the Wesleyan-holiness tradition, as we prepare graduates who THINK with clarity, ACT with integrity and SERVE with purpose.