President's Honors, MidAmerica Nazarene University's premier fundraising gala for student scholarships, set a record again. A total of $709,126 was raised through sponsorships, bids, and gifts April 7. This brings the total amount raised through President’s Honors over the last six years to more than $3.2 million.
All of MNU's living past presidents were in attendance and together with current president, David Spittal, they honored the community of Olathe with the first-ever Pioneering Spirit Award. A video commemorating the partnership between Olathe and MNU was shown at the event.
"As an expression of our gratitude and in recognition of the significant impact this vibrant city has had on the university during our first 50 years, it is my privilege to honor the community of Olathe by presenting the 2017 Pioneering Spirit Award," Spittal said. "This year's award recipient, though broad in scope, recognizes the critical importance of individuals rallying together and moving forward with a common commitment to blaze new trails to achieve the dreams and hopes of a new generation."
Olathe Mayor Mike Copeland, a 1984 MNU graduate, accepted the award on behalf of the community.
Honorary co-chairs for the event were community leaders Bob and Julie Drummond, who served at MNU as resident educators early in their careers. In ensuing years, Bob served as an administrator, professor, department chair, and finally vice president for campus life at MNU before taking the helm of KidsTLC in Olathe, where he was president and CEO until his retirement in 2014. Julie is a retired Olathe public school teacher.
“We’re humbled and honored to serve as this year’s honorary co-chairs for President’s Honors,” Bob said. “The value of having MNU in Olathe is immeasurable. So many of Olathe’s civic leaders, teachers, doctors, nurses, public servants, business owners and other citizens have benefitted from an MNU education. We want to do whatever we can to help the university assist more students to have that experience.”
The evening ended with the Scholarship Challenge when brisk bidding provided additional scholarship dollars for students. The date for the 2018 President's Honors will be April 13, 2018.