By Karis Rogerson
Recently, Asbury University received a $50,000 donation from the restaurant chain Zaxby’s; the money will “support the building and construction costs of the Miller Communication Arts building,” said Charlie Shepard, vice president for institutional advancement.
According to a Sep. 27 article on Asbury’s official website, the donation was presented by Zaxby’s CFO Blake Bailey, whose wife, Shannon Czaplinski Bailey, graduated from the university in 1992. The Baileys believe that students involved in media should gain the industry’s respect through excellence in their work, and that Asbury’s media departments prepare their students to do so.**
Bailey said, “When Asbury media students go on to jobs for the Olympics, ABC Sports or CNN, the media executives know Asbury students are going to be some of the best-trained high achievers with solid character.” He added that Zaxby’s donated the money because they “[want] to give to programs that develop people into leaders.”
Jim Owens, department chair for the school of com- munication arts, explained that, because of this donation, one of the computer labs in the building, room 312, will be named “The Zaxby’s Multimedia Lab.”
Fifth year senior Dylan Schatko said, “I don’t think that Asbury should name anything after a commercial company,” and added, “I ask this question: do Zaxby’s mission goals match those of the institution?”
The building cost $12.6 million dollars to build, and it has not been completely paid for yet. Owens said, “The school would be glad to have more donations that cover some of the building costs.” He added, “There are still rooms in the building that have not been named.”
Despite the fact that this building is yet to be fully paid for, Asbury has continued with several other con- structions, including 2012’s Jewell Walk, and has plans for other buildings, as mentioned in previous “Asbury Collegian” articles.
Junior media communication major Anna Phillips said, “The university should probably reconsider any new construction projects,” and suggests the administration look into how it might serve the community before moving forward with other construction plans.
In regards to Asbury’s remaining debt, Schatko said, “Deficit spending is a slippery slope.”
In regards to whether or not the administration expects more donations in the future, Shepard said, “The University is constantly working with alumni, parents, friends and others to encourage financial support of our programs, buildings, scholarship and faculty.”
Phillips said, “I am so grateful for this generous gift, I just hope Asbury practices good stewardship.”