When Cameron University's McMahon Centennial Complex is dedicated approximately one year from now, one of the focal points of the state-of-the-art student activities building will be the McCasland Ballroom. CU President Cindy Ross announced today that the large, multi-use divisible ballroom will be named in honor of the McCasland Foundation of Duncan to recognize the foundation's $600,000 donation to CU's recently completed Centennial Changing Lives Campaign.
The donation was one of the first major gifts received by the campaign, an unprecedented fundraising initiative that was launched as part of Cameron's Centennial Celebration and which raised more than $12.5 million. The McCasland Foundation's gift has been applied toward the construction of the $14 million McMahon Centennial Complex, the cornerstone project of the Changing Lives campaign. The McCasland Ballroom will be a unique venue in the city of Lawton, seating 400 people with a balcony overlooking the beautiful Bentley Gardens.
"The trustees of the McCasland Foundation have supported Cameron University for more than 20 years, and their generosity with this gift to the McMahon Centennial Complex is deserving of special recognition," President Ross said. "The McCasland Ballroom is a fitting tribute to the foundation's generosity. The ballroom will be a valuable campus and community resource for all types of events from conferences to weddings and high school proms."
"The McMahon Centennial Complex will be the centerpiece of the Cameron University campus," said Barbara Braught, Executive Director of the McCasland Foundation. "We believe in the excellent education that Cameron is providing for the students of southwest Oklahoma and are happy to assist the university in achieving its goal of providing a complete college experience for every student."
In total, the McCasland Foundation has provided more than $2.5 million in funding and pledges to Cameron University. The foundation's donations have provided critical funding for projects such as the initiation of the CU graduate program in 1998, capital funding toward the Sciences Complex, the lead gift for the Center for Emerging Technology and Entrepreneurial Studies (CETES), endowed chairs, and support for KCCU and the Southwest Area Health Education Center.
Additionally, one of the most significant and lasting contributions from the McCasland Foundation has been its tremendous support of Cameron's endowed faculty lectureship program. Through the McCasland Foundation Challenge Grants, the foundation matches an initial donation of $12,500 to form a $25,000 lectureship. Those funds, when matched by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education (OSRHE), form a $50,000 endowment. The McCasland Foundation has provided matching gifts for 45 of Cameron's 54 endowed lectureships.
When the "multiplier effect" of the endowed positions is taken into account, the total of gifts from the McCasland Foundation to Cameron University exceeds $4 million.
December 2, 2008