SterlingNOW: An ambitous campaign

By Micah Watney and Jase Brandt Sterling, KS — April 25, 2018, 10:20 A.M.

If you are a student on the Sterling College campus, you most likely have heard bits and pieces of the campaign titled, “SterlingNOW.” However, there are probably many pieces to the campaign that you are unfamiliar with. SterlingNOW is being titled, “The capital campaign for Sterling College.” For those who are unfamiliar, SterlingNOW is not just another marketing campaign being done to gather donations from alumni. This campaign is a massive and ambitious endeavor to grow Sterling College exponentially.

The campaign is split up into three main goals for what needs to get completed: upgrade the science and academic facilities by building the Zaid-West Center and renovating Thompson Hall, Expand the Gleason Physical Education Center to meet the needs of growing academic and athletic programs and grow our endowment, guarding the College against volatility in the higher education environment.

sterlingNOW science building
The design for the Zaid-West science and research building featuring multi-use labs and a greenhouse.

The first and primary goal of the campaign is the construction of the new science and research building, Zaid-West. Placed between Cooper Hall and Kelsey Hall, Zaid-West will be a 34,000 square-foot, two-story building which will include, but is not limited to, brand-new science equipment, multiple-use labs, a greenhouse, as well as allowing for more classroom space on campus. The construction of Zaid-West will also include a new parking lot to complement it.

Currently, Thompson Hall is being used as the main building for science and research courses, however, with the Zaid-West construction plans, Thompson Hall will be renovated for new purposes as another step for the campaign. According to the SterlingNOW campaign website, Thompson Hall’s renovations will make it “look and feel like a brand-new building.” The renovation plans to add new offices, multipurpose classrooms, and improve the quality of the outside structure.

SterlingNOW gym
The plan for Gleason’s renovations which include new classrooms and an auxiliary gym.

Thompson Hall isn’t the only building on campus being treated to a renovation through the campaign. Gleason Physical Education Center needs more preparation for Sterling College’s first ever master’s programs: Master of Science in Athletic Training and Master of Arts in Sports Ministry. On top of the renovation, Gleason will also get an extension added to it. These new changes include new classrooms, an auxiliary gym, and overall improvement to the building. The renovation and the extension will cover a 33,000 square-foot area.

The final step of the SterlingNOW campaign is increasing the current endowment for Sterling College. With new funds, Sterling College will no longer have to worry as much about its financial dependency. A more secure endowment means better finances for the campus as a whole. This relates to scholarships, department funds, and student life which all increase enrollment and attract more students to Sterling College.

To help Sterling College reach their goal, the J.E. & L.E. Mabee Foundation is offering a grant for the SterlingNOW campaign, also known as the Mabee Challenge. If Sterling College can achieve $20 million of its $25 million goal by Oct. 10, 2018, the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation will donate $2 million to the campaign. So far, the campaign has raised $17.45 million from 1,132 donations and pledges. If you are interested in contributing towards the goal, click here and follow the given steps to show your support and help them reach their goal.

As of right now, there is no solid timeframe as to when the projects will be completed once fully funded. However, according to David Landis, Vice President for Administration, “The architect and contractors are telling me that each project should take about 12 months. I am thinking more like 15-18 months per project due to weather delays. However, we might do more than one of the projects at a time. Most likely, the order will be: Gleason, Zaid-West, Thompson, and the Front Entry Parking Lot.” This means that not many current students are going to be seeing the full benefits from the physical structures of the SterlingNOW campaign.
For more information on the SterlingNOW campaign, visit or contact to see how you can help with the growth and future of this campaign.

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