Belton, Texas – Almost three hundred visitors attended a special groundbreaking ceremony for the new Isabelle Rutherford Meyer Nursing Education Center on the southern side of UMHB campus on Friday, October 21.
Special guests for the day were representatives of the Meyer family, the Leroy and Merle Weir Charitable Trust and other donors to the new facility. Guest and dignitaries were welcomed to the ceremony by nearly one hundred UMHB nursing students. Dressed in purple scrubs the students created a cross walk across 9th Street, clapping and showing their appreciation.
University president Randy O’Rear began the ceremony by thanking all of the generous benefactors who have already pledged their support of the project. He also announced that the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation of Tulsa, Oklahoma, has approved a $2 million challenge grant for UMHB, to be used to help fund construction of the new Isabelle Rutherford Meyer Nursing Education Center. Under the terms of the agreement, the university must secure a total of $18 million through gifts and grants for the project by October 1, 2012; the foundation will then give UMHB the final $2 million to complete the funding needed for the project.
“We are on our way to great fundraising success with this building, and we praise God for the many friends who are stepping forward to bring this much needed facility to life,” O’Rear said.
Dr. Sharon Souter, Dean of the university’s College of Nursing express joy and excitement for the occasion.
“This building is a culmination of many years of dreaming,” Souter said. “This building will represent God’s love for the community as we prepare spiritually informed students to go out and provide his care.”
The groundbreaking for the Isabelle Rutherford Meyer Nursing Education Center was the second to be held for a series of projects outlined in the university’s Campus Master Plan. Work on the $20 million facility will begin immediately, and it is expected to be finished and ready for use in the spring semester of 2013.