Lubbock Christian University

LCU Receives Generous Donation from J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation

Lubbock Christian University announced today that it has received a generous donation of $3 million from the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation. This gift was given specifically to the university’s Honors College, which will now be known as the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation Honors College. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the Mabee Foundation, and they are celebrating this milestone by funding even more projects than usual in the course of their regular funding cycle.

The Mabee Foundation has been investing generously in Lubbock Christian University for over 57 years, and this most recent gift to endow the Honors College not only accentuates the need for preparing gifted young women and young men for lives of service and purpose through education, but also validates the significant influence of Honors upon the life and mission of the university.

Raymond Richardson, Vice President for University Advancement, shared, “Congratulations to the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundations’ amazing and fruitful 75 years! The Mabee Foundation has been an integral part in the growth and maturity of this university since the first Mabee gift in 1966. Thousands and thousands of young people at Lubbock Christian University have and will continue to benefit academically and spiritually because of the work and commitment of the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation.” 

The Honors Program at LCU began over 20 years ago and has grown from an average of approximately 50 students in the first ten years to over 200 students at its peak. In 2016, the Honors Program transitioned to a college, and its impact as one of the university’s colleges continues to grow. The program began with the goal of attracting and inspiring academic excellence in academically gifted students and has developed into a major university component with campus-wide influence.  

The gift from the Mabee Foundation comes as a validation of over 20 years of Honors programming and its increasing impact on the LCU campus and overall mission. From the Scholar’s Colloquium to the LCU in Washington program, and from undergraduate research to graduate preparation for prestigious scholarships, initiatives of the Honors College provide students of high academic ability an exceptional college experience that prepares them for advanced study and lives of Christian service.

The gift also enhances our efforts to fulfill the goals of the university’s strategic plan, which highlights the need to continuously improve this already successful academic program. It will provide funding for an increased number of scholarships to attract students to the prestigious program. Honors colleges are highly sought after by gifted students, and the competition between universities to attract honors students is significant. Honors students increase retention and graduation rates, and former honors students become important advocates for and supporters of the university. This endowment from the Mabee Foundation allows for developing the kinds of scholarships, curricular and co-curricular programs, and academic spaces that draw honors students and that keep them engaged in vital and invigorating study.

Receiving this kind of donation gives the Honors College the ability to start funding major projects like coaching for prestigious graduate scholarships, such as Rhodes and Goldwater fellowships. Dr. Stacy Patty, Dean of the College of Honors and Liberal Arts, stated, “The additional endowed funding helps improve programming and provide opportunities for students such as study abroad at Oxford and prestigious graduate fellowship programs. It helps our university overall to improve faculty satisfaction and overall classroom interactions.”

Thanks to the generosity of the Mabee Foundation, LCU has been given the opportunity to renovate and elevate a key historic building on campus. The Mabee American Heritage Center will now house the Mabee Honors College, continuing the legacy and history provided by the foundation and offering new opportunities for growth for the Honors College.

Dr. Scott McDowell, LCU President, commented, “The $3M grant to establish the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation Honors College at Lubbock Christian University will have a transformational influence. We are deeply grateful for our longstanding relationship with the Mabee Foundation that has already impacted generations of LCU students. We will steward this gift well to continue to impact the lives of our students for generations to come.”

Learn more about the LCU Honors College.