Southwestern Adventist University (SWAU) celebrated the grand opening of the new Larry R. Moore Nursing and Administration Building on Tuesday, September 26, 2018. The ceremony took place on the front steps of the new building, located at 114 West Hillcrest Street in Keene, Texas, United States.
SWAU’s nursing students, alumni, friends, members of the Board of Trustees, and administrators were in attendance, along with Texas state representative DeWayne Burns (R-Cleburne) and the mayor of Keene, James Chapline. The community was invited, with more than 500 visitors witnessing the event.
The US$16-million building is officially debt free, with 100 percent of the funds raised through gifts. “In 1893, Keene as we know it did not exist,” said vice president for advancement Tami Condon. “The first recorded fundraised building cost $2,500. Today, we’re building a state-of-the-art nursing building, and our nursing program is ranked well above the national average.”
Representative Burns said bricks and mortar don’t change the lives of people. “People change the lives of people, and our God changes the lives of people,” he said. “What happens in the brick and mortar behind us today, hopefully, will change lives for the better. And I believe that it will, not only in this community but around Texas, around the United States, and the world.”
With new medical mannequins and simulation labs, the new building will support the growth of the nursing department, whose students already comprise a quarter of the university’s enrollment.
Mayor Chapline said he’s proud of all advances in Keene. “This building is truly a game changer as it moves the university to a new level of excellence and achievement,” he said.