FORT WORTH, TX (Aug. 11, 2010) — The J.E. and LE. Mabee Foundation has approved a $1,500,000 challenge grant to Brite Divinity School to complete funding for a new academic building. The grant from the Tulsa, OK, foundation is contingent on the school’s securing the balance required to complete its Building a Brite Future Campaign.
“The Brite Divinity School community is profoundly grateful to the trustees of the Mabee Foundation for this very generous gift,” Dr. D. Newell Williams, president of the seminary, said. “This is an exciting challenge and I am confident our friends and alumni will respond with equal generosity.” Already friends, alumni, churches and other foundations have committed $12,015,000 toward the campaign begun in 2005.
The new W. Oliver and Nell A. Harrison Building will be located directly east of the seminary’s current Wayne and JoAnn Moore Building. Its 24,000 square feet will provide new classrooms, seminar rooms, a technology-enhanced preaching laboratory, faculty and administrative offices, and a large multi-purpose area for lectures, musical events, and special dining functions.
The Moore Building was built when Brite Divinity School enrolled only 100 students and had a half dozen faculty members. The current enrollment is approximately 250 with 23 full-time faculty members. “The additional classrooms will facilitate more flexible class scheduling and enhance teaching and learning,” President Williams said.
This is the second grant made to Brite Divinity School by the Mabee Foundation. A decade ago the foundation granted funds to assist in building a residential complex for students of the divinity school.