Sunderland Foundation commits $3 million for new MNU student center

Olathe, Kansas

The Sunderland Foundation awarded MidAmerica Nazarene University an additional $2.4 million in support of the new Cunningham Student Center, bringing its total gift to $3 million for the university’s Bright Futures campaign.

“The Sunderland family’s legacy and generosity has made a significant impact on this region and the lives of many over the years,” said David Spittal, MNU president. “The foundation’s support is a tremendous inspiration as we gain momentum toward our goal of completing fundraising for the Cunningham Student Center by the end of this year.”

The Sunderland family and foundation are known for supporting visionary projects in the region that result in places where young minds grow and thrive and where communities come together for celebration and inspiration.

“This incredible gift from The Sunderland Foundation will help transform the student experience at MNU,” said Jon North, vice president for university advancement. “Their ongoing support of providing spaces for our students to learn and grow provides even greater motivation for others to join in the campaign.”

The gift was announced at the perfect time because university officials are engaged in a challenge from the Mabee Foundation to raise the remainder of the funding for the Student Center in just one year. Meeting the challenge will result in a $1 million gift from the Mabee Foundation. Already $12 million has been raised in gifts and pledges, leaving $8 million to fund the building by the end of 2019.

The Sunderland Foundation has supported two previous capital projects at MNU — one for the Cook Center athletic and academic facility between 1996 and 1997 and another for the Bell Cultural Events Center in 2005 and 2006.

For more information on the campaign, visit

--MidAmerica Nazarene University

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