The Wege Foundation continues to generously support MUM, recently bestowing a grant for $524,100 that will support a wide range of initiatives, from repairs for the Argiro Student Center to a solar array to power campus to organic vegetables for the dining hall.
“This is the fourth consecutive year we have received grant support from the Wege Foundation, and we are all so grateful for these thoughtful, high-impact gifts,” said Craig Pearson, vice president of academic affairs.
About $200,000 will go toward fixing up the Argiro Student Center and repairing Henn Mansion. Plans for Argiro include resurfacing the floor in the dining hall, repairing the front steps, and new carpet for Dalby Hall, Festival Hall, and the Trustees Boardroom.
Work on Henn Mansion will include critical structural repair of this iconic building, the oldest in Jefferson County.
Another $100,000 will go toward MUM’s plans to provide a third of the electricity on campus via a solar array that will be one of the largest in Iowa. “This will help move the university toward energy self-sufficiency and position us as a leader in sustainability,” Dr. Pearson said.
Improving education is also a major focus, with $100,000 earmarked for faculty and staff development, such as attending professional conferences on state-of-the-art knowledge and bringing in outside experts to speak to classes and the community. Other initiatives include support for research and writing books.
In addition, $17,500 will go toward helping create interdisciplinary learning communities – a new approach to education that helps students synthesize knowledge and develop critical thinking skills. The funding will support the development and implementation of an innovative new first-semester program designed to enhance student learning and student satisfaction, as well to support the development of upper-level courses based on the same model.
Again this year funding will go toward the purchase of locally grown Maharishi Vedic Organic Vegetables, with $25,600 designated for this purpose.
The grants also include $45,000 for improvements to faculty on-campus housing and $36,000 for Maharishi School to support program and instructional development.
“We’re especially grateful to Trustee Laura Wege and Dr. Chris Wege for inspiring and helping facilitate these grants from the Wege Foundation,” Dr. Pearson said. “The foundation has helped support and improve the university across the board – endowment, academics, facilities, energy, communication, and more.”
The Wege Foundation, based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, has as its mission “Planting seeds that develop leaders in economicology, health, education, and arts, and enhance the lives of people in West Michigan and around the world.”
Wege Foundation gifts to MUM now total over $1.3 million.