First impressions often are lasting impressions, especially for prospective college students and their parents.
Tabor College intends to enhance its visual impact by building a new welcome center as the first stop for a campus visit experience. The two-story, 8,400 square-foot building will be built in the parking lot south of the college library.
The new welcome center is a generous gift from Chuck Flaming to honor his wife, Shari, and will be named the Shari Flaming Welcome Center. The new building will replace the one Tabor has used as a welcome center for several decades. The goal is to start construction by mid-August and to finish the building by June 1, 2020.
“Mr. Flaming has found great joy in seeing his previous gift to the Shari Flaming Center for the Arts impact the lives of young men and women,” Glanzer said. “So, instead of waiting until his estate matures for Tabor’s benefit, he has decided to make a gift now so he can enjoy seeing his philanthropy at work in furthering Christ’s kingdom.”
Glanzer said Flaming has a passion for seeing young men and women be impacted with the good news of Jesus and going into the world to make it more as God intended it to be. He believes Tabor is participating in God’s mission in the world and wants to be a part of that mission.
“The way Mr. Flaming understands and practices Christian stewardship is a model for all of us,” said Ron Braun, vice president of philanthropy said. “He inspires and encourages each of us to a life of generosity and stewardship. He lives out his faith in Christ, sharing his deep love for his wife Shari and the resources with which God has blessed him.”
President Glanzer said the Shari Flaming Welcome Center project supports five objectives. It creates a grand campus entrance, enhances a visitor’s first impression, helps with student recruitment, contributes to the college’s culture of hospitality, and supports Tabor’s ongoing commitment to excellence.
“Tabor has never had an entrance to its campus,” Glanzer noted. “We want to create a grand entrance on campus so the first time you are exposed to Tabor you say, ‘wow.’ We need to direct them to an attractive place to start their Tabor experience. The current welcome center along D Street has served the college for many years, but it is no longer adequate for meeting the needs of the Admissions and Advancement departments.”
Rusty Allen, executive vice president of operations, agrees.
“Tabor College hosts hundreds of prospective students and their families each year for campus visits,” he said. “All of these people arrive at our welcome center. A new welcome center is a bit of a game-changer for us. The ability to invite visitors into a space that demonstrates excellence and hospitality will significantly improve the first impression. We thank God for moving Chuck Flaming to be generous toward Tabor College and are excited for the opportunity to continue to steward well all God entrusts to us.”
“Tabor has been through some difficult financial times,” Glanzer said. “Mr. Flaming has been on our campus and he saw our need. I still remember the day when he said, ‘You need to do something about your welcome center.’ I told him, ‘You’re exactly right.’ Then I Iooked at him and grinned.”
Flaming responded, “I would like to help you build a welcome center.”
“It brought tears to my eyes,” Glanzer said. “Chuck Flaming’s generosity toward Tabor is transformational, both in this world and the one to come.”
The first floor will be dedicated to Admissions and will provide a hospitable setting for prospective students and their families to get a taste of the Tabor Experience.
“The new Shari Flaming Welcome Center will give prospective students and parents a beautiful place to begin their journey at Tabor College,” said Grant Myers, dean of enrollment. “It will allow us to welcome and serve our prospective students, current students, alumni, donors and community members at a much higher level.”
The second floor of the building will bring together the offices of Advancement and the president’s office. These two offices work closely, and having them in close proximity will increase their efficiency and effectiveness.
Once the Shari Flaming Welcome Center is completed, the former welcome center will be torn down, as will two college-owned houses behind it, which will provide space for parking, increasing our total available parking for events.