Press Release

Mabee Foundation Issues Challenge Grant for New HLG Library

Thursday, April 22, 2010
by Rhonda Hufty

Hannibal, MO—The Mabee Foundation, a non-profit corporation formed in 1948 by Mr. John E. Mabee and his wife, Lottie E. Mabee, has issued a challenge grant of $450,000 to Hannibal-LaGrange College to help in the construction of a new 20,000 sq. ft. library.  The purpose of the Mabee Foundation is to aid Christian religious organizations, charitable organizations, institutions of higher learning, hospitals, and other charitable organizations. “The Mabee Foundation gives toward the completion of a campaign,” shared Dr. Woodrow W. Burt, HLG President.  “It [grant] is intended to serve as a challenge to our donors to help us complete fundraising efforts toward the building of this new facility.” 

The current library facility, L.A. Foster Library, built in 1966, is no longer adequate to meet the ever-increasing educational needs of today’s students. “The current library was built when the college was a junior college and the enrollment was half the current size, or smaller.  The new library would allow us to provide a state-of-the-art facility to meet the 34 majors and much larger enrollment we now enjoy,” continued Burt.  “Even though the economy has necessitated that we scale back the size of the building, we will double the size of the current library.”

Amenities of the new handicapped-accessible library facility include multimedia-equipped computer classrooms, computer labs, private and group study rooms, audio and video editing stations, a coffee corner and fireplace lounge, children’s reading area, and added space for expanded print and audiovisual collections. “The proposed new library will profoundly influence Hannibal-LaGrange College in a number of ways,” said Mrs. Julie Andresen, HLG Library Director.  “The perception of the library as just a storage place will be shattered.  It will become a place for students to gather and develop a sense of community, to exchange ideas and explore untold information.  It will become a cultural center of sorts allowing librarians to offer programming such as book talks, cultural speakers and other academic pursuits.”

Not only will HLG students benefit from the new facility, the proposed library will allow the College to expand its outreach to the communities of northeast Missouri. HLG has an open door policy that encourages the public to use print materials on the premises at no charge.  For those who wish to checkout materials, the college provides a community borrower card for a minimal fee.  For several years, HLG has opened its doors to Hannibal elementary, middle and high school students who have used the library for various school research projects and participated in the HLG-sponsored GateKeepers mentoring program.  The proposed library will enhance these opportunities by providing additional space and materials to help community children.  The new library will complement the Hannibal Free Public Library by offering Hannibal residents research materials that might not otherwise be provided by the public library.

The $450,000 Mabee grant has a matching component and completion timeframe attached to the offer. HLG has one year to raise the funds through pledges and donations. The grant money will be given once the funds and/or pledges have been received.  “We have until next April to raise an additional $1 million to complete the campaign, and if we are successful we will receive the Mabee grant. We will not break ground on the new library until we have all the gifts and pledges in hand,” said Burt. 

Mr. Steve Miller, vice president for institutional advancement at HLG, sees the challenge grant as a great incentive to alumni and friends of the College.  “The Mabee Foundation issues challenge grants to help organizations complete projects.  This grant will be a significant shot in the arm to our current campaign to build a new library,” said Miller.   “A new library will help HLG move forward in a significant way as we strive to touch the lives of our students of promise.”

Small and large naming gift opportunities are still available ranging from book stack shelving to the children’s reading area. “When I speak with donors, I share that financial gifts of any size can make a difference.  This is a perfect time to join the campaign to develop cutting-edge educational resources and access for both the College and the community,” said Miller.

Andresen sees the long-term benefits of a new library and added resources.  “The library is the heart of academic life on any college campus.  It provides materials and access to information to support the intellectual, spiritual, and social growth of its students.  Without access to quality materials and resources, our students will lack the necessary knowledge to compete in an increasingly tough job market,” said Andresen.

In order to meet 21st century needs, Hannibal-LaGrange College has developed a long-range plan and a vision that has met with the unanimous support of the college’s board of trustees.  A new library is part of this strategic plan for the College.

“The growth of Hannibal-LaGrange College has come about as a result of God’s favor, the hard work of our personnel and the generous support of those who believe in what we are doing,” continued Burt.  “Completion of a new library facility will help equip a new generation of future leaders who remain dedicated to their historic mission and college motto to provide “Knowledge for Service.” 

For more information on the Mabee Challenge Grant or how you can be part of reaching the matching funds goal, contact the HLG Institutional Advancement Office at 573.629.3120.

Contact Information

Carolyn Carpenter
Director of Public Relations