Wednesday, December 17, 2014

OU project gets $100K boost from Goppert

By The Herald Staff | 11/1/2013

Ottawa University’s vision became a little more clear Friday with another hefty gift to its library and student center project.

The Goppert Foundation of Kansas City, Mo., announced Friday a $100,000 grant to benefit OU’s Gangwish Library and Gibson Student Center. The building project represents the largest effort of the university’s $24.3 million “Advancing the Vision” capital campaign.

The new student center and cafeteria now are under construction, OU said, with a scheduled completion date of summer 2014. The library is slated for completion by fall of 2015. A technology-enabled conference room in the new library’s conference center is expected to bear the Goppert name.

Mike Skidmore, vice president and branch manager of Goppert State Savings Bank of Ottawa and Pomona, presented the gift Friday on the OU campus, 1001 S. Cedar St., Ottawa.

“When you think about the Goppert Foundation, you think about the large amounts of money it has invested in recreation, in health care and in education in the communities where its banks are located,” Skidmore said. “We personally know the Gangwish and Gibson families, who are the benefactors of the new facilities being built. Beyond the gifts that they have given, they are terrific people of character, and we appreciate the opportunity to have the Goppert name associated with theirs on this building.”

Kevin Eichner, OU president, offered thanks from the university community.

“We are so grateful for the Goppert Foundation’s generosity and faith in our endeavor,” Eichner said. “Their work in this community is exemplary, and we feel very fortunate to be supported by such an outstanding organization. This terrific gift helps us to sustain the significant momentum we have been able to achieve toward our ultimate goal for this project.”

The Goppert Foundation is no stranger to supporting Ottawa-area projects. Not only has the foundation given previous gifts of $200,000 and $100,000 to OU, other area beneficiaries have included Ransom Memorial Hospital, the Elizabeth Layton Center For Hope and Guidance, Ottawa Recreation Commission, Neosho County Community College, the Ottawa Library and a 4-H Scholarship to Kansas State University.

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