BOLIVAR, Mo. – The Sunderland Foundation presented a gift to Southwest Baptist University in late June as part of the expansion of parking lots and repair of concrete across the Bolivar campus.
“The faithful support of the Sunderland Foundation since 1987 has propelled the campus forward in countless ways,” said Dr. Brad Johnson, vice president for university relations at SBU. “The Sunderland Foundation’s most-recent gift is the second $500,000 gift to the University in as many years to assist with concrete projects.”
Completed projects for the 2019-2020 academic year include:
• Replacement of the parking lot for Beasley and Leslie halls
• Replacement of a section of sidewalk north of Casebolt Music
• The elimination of 224 trip hazards in walkways around campus, while maintaining American Disabilities Act compliance using a concrete cutting method that prevents replacing those sections, saving the University 73 percent in replacement costs of those areas.
• Replacement of a section of sidewalk near the west entrance of Mellers Dining Commons
Currently in the planning stage is the construction of a new parking lot to be located on the north side of the McClelland Dining Facility.
“As McClelland is getting utilized more frequently, it has become necessary to address the need for parking at this facility,” said Robbie Bryant, director of SBU’s physical plant.
“We are blessed and excited to receive these gifts from the Sunderland Foundation. Concrete is costly and we would not have been able to accomplish the improvements made throughout campus without their generous support.”
During 2018-2019, the Sunderland gift funded:
• Replacement of a section of Andersen Drive
• Replacement of approximately half of the south parking lot behind Gott Education
• Replacement of the west parking lot of Meyer Wellness and Sports Center
• Capping of brick walls at McClelland Dining Facility and Mabee Chapel
In addition, sections of sidewalks, the loading dock at Mabee Chapel and the stairs on the west side of Plaster Hall have all been replaced across the Bolivar campus.
“For their faithfulness, the University inducted the Sunderland Foundation, which was established in 1945 by Lester Sutherland, into its most prestigious gift club, the Southwest Baptist University Philanthropy Hall of Fame,” Johnson said. “Led by Kent Sunderland and family, the Sunderland Foundation continues to grow the depth of its philanthropy, and remain committed to the mission of ‘improving the quality of life by reinvesting in the communities where the Ash Grove Cement Company has historically operated.’”