A $2.9 million challenge grant from the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation of Midland, Texas, will help Southwestern University bring new life to Mood-Bridwell Hall, one of its most historic buildings.

The challenge grant, totaling $2.9 million, is part of $11 million in gifts being raised for the renovation of Mood-Bridwell Hall, which will commence in summer 2023 and include a reconfiguration and expansion of the university’s second-oldest building.

Constructed in 1908 as a men’s dormitory, Mood-Bridwell Hall was converted to the home of the Brown College of Arts and Sciences in 1965 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. Currently home to faculty offices, multiple classrooms, and space for student organizations, renovations will include a skylit central atrium, updated classrooms and office spaces, and a coffeehouse. In addition, the historic upper terrace will be reopened for outdoor classroom use and social gatherings. The project will also include a three-story addition for more classrooms

As part of an extensive campus master planning process completed in 2019, the Mood-Bridwell Hall renovation was identified by the board of trustees as the university’s most critical capital project. Located in Georgetown, Texas, Southwestern University is working with Austin-based architectural firm PBK to create a plan that addresses 21st century needs, including sustainable design and changing technologies while maintaining the scale and character of the building’s original structure.

Mabee Foundation Challenge Grants have enabled many organizations to finish projects in a timely fashion. The grants help insure the long-term health of an organization by attracting and encouraging additional donors to meet funding challenges. Southwestern must raise $2.9 million by April 12, 2023 to meet the terms of the Mood Bridwell Hall challenge grant. 

Since 1978, the Mabee Foundation has contributed nearly $10 million to Southwestern University, including this latest challenge grant.