The Sunderland Foundation in Overland Park, Kansas has given Missouri Western a contribution of $1 million for the construction of the Drew H. Brown Arts Annex for Potter Hall, home of the arts programs.
The Drew H. Brown Arts Annex will house the Department of Art’s sculpture and ceramics programs. Space vacated by the three-dimensional arts will be used for Missouri Western’s growing graphic design program.
Dr. Doug Davenport, provost and vice president for academic affairs, noted that Potter Hall is one of the oldest buildings on campus and that many of the programs have outgrown the space available. “There have been times when we’ve had students working on computers in the hallways because our labs didn’t have room. The annex will provide us with greater flexibility in providing appropriate teaching environments, and we’re very grateful.”
The new structure is named for St. Joseph resident Drew Brown, who announced his own $1 million gift toward the project this past April.
The Potter Hall project is part of Missouri Western’s Centennial Capital Campaign, launched in January 2015, the University’s centennial year. The campaign so far has exceeded the initial celebration goal of $20 million by more than 50 percent.
The Centennial Capital Campaign funded significant improvements Spratt Memorial Stadium and the Looney Arena, endowed a first-of-its-kind population health management degree program and grew the Foundation’s endowment. The five-year campaign will end in January 2020.
“We are extremely grateful to the Sunderland Foundation for their investment in our students and their futures,” said Matt Wilson, Missouri Western’s president. “The facilities made possible by this gift will foster creativity, problem-solving and critical thinking, skills that make our students valuable contributors to society.”
The Sunderland Foundation, based in Overland Park, Kansas, was established in 1945 by Lester T. Sunderland, who served as President of the Ash Grove Cement Company for 33 years as a highly respected leader in the cement industry. Since its inception, the Foundation, which continues to be led by Lester T. Sunderland’s descendants, has focused on supporting construction projects, awarding grants to nonprofits in the Kansas City region and other markets traditionally served by the Ash Grove Cement Company.