Bethel Begins Student Enrichment Center after Largest Gift in School History


Robert Low (right) of Springfield, Mo., looks on as his mother, Vera Low (left) is honored at the groundbreaking for the Bethel Center for Student Enrichment that will bear her name. Low and his wife, Lawana, gave Bethel $7 million to the project. This is the largest single gift in the school's history.

A celebration dinner on Friday, Nov. 12 commemorated the announcement of the largest gift to Bethel University in the school’s history. A groundbreaking on the Vera Low Center for Student Enrichment was also part of the evening’s festivities. Robert and Lawana Low of Springfield, Mo., gave the $7 million gift that will go toward the new enrichment center which will be named to honor Low’s mother, Vera Low, also of Springfield. The new facility will house a student center, a gymnasium, a chapel, and a center for the performing arts.
     Robert Low is the President of Prime, Inc. – North America’s most successful refrigerated, flatbed, and tanker carrier company. His mother, Vera, is a long-time supporter of Bethel University and of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church with which Bethel is affiliated. Mrs. Low is also a former trustee of Bethel.
     “I didn’t know what possibility thinking was until I met Vera Low,” said Bethel President Robert Prosser. “Ms. Vera, you have inspired us to not be satisfied with mediocrity. Your no limits, make it happen approach has become a way of thinking for the Bethel family. Thank you, Ms. Vera for inspiring excellence in us.”
     According to Prosser, Bethel grew by 26 percent last year.
     “This new facility will help us better accommodate that growth,” Prosser said. “This is going to be a state-of-the-art facility for our students. We are so grateful to the Low family for this gift.”
     Prosser says the student center portion of the building including a new cafeteria will be completed by August of next year.
          Bethel University is affiliated with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. It offers both bachelor’s and master’s degrees through both face-to-face and online platforms.