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Evangel University president announces largest gift in Evangel’s history

Published on Jun 14, 2022 by Erin Hedlun

SPRINGFIELD, Missouri – Evangel University President Dr. Mike Rakes today announced a $10 million gift from the Green family, owners of Hobby Lobby and Mardel, to support several presidential initiatives, including the complete renovation of a Residential Dorm, a new state-of-the art Arena, and a Field House on campus.

This is the largest gift given to the university in its 67-year history and will serve as the lead gift for a $22 million new construction campaign.

“We thank the Greens for their landmark contribution,” said Rakes. “This gift fuels growing momentum as we expand the university’s footprint to raise up Spirit-driven students full of compassion with the skills to innovate in every vocation. This investment is the spark needed to continue transforming the student experience and move the university into the future.”

The gift comes as EU continues to build momentum with Rakes’ first year at the helm.

Once the campaign is fully funded, campus upgrades will include:

  • The complete renovation of a Residence Hall. The new state-of-the-art dormitory for students will be a modernized environment and include the latest living spaces along with private study areas and innovative meeting and lounging areas.
  • A new Arena that will provide opportunities for the entire student body to not only enjoy varsity basketball and volleyball games together but also provide a new space for concerts, chapel, and other activities.
  • The construction of a new Field House that will be home to the university’s football program, coaches’ offices, athletic trainers, and state-of-the-art varsity weight room.
  • A new lighted artificial Intramural Field which will enhance EU’s student community.

These construction projects address the top presidential strategic priorities of Rakes to elevate the student experience and advance the brand of Evangel University.

Construction timelines and details about these projects will be announced soon.

Dr. Mike Rakes, Evangel University President

Evangel’s President

Rakes was unanimously elected president of Evangel University in July of 2021. Rakes’ first year as EU president saw several major upgrades to enhance the spatial core of campus, totaling over $2 million, including LED screens for the chapel, new outdoor basketball courts, and a revitalization of the student union.

Under Rakes’ leadership, the university experienced record setting fundraising with the highest giving total to date in an academic year.

He is focused on developing students into compassionate innovators as they enter the next generation of vocational careers and ministry leadership.


About Evangel University

Evangel University, with its embedded Assemblies of God Theological Seminary (AGTS), is a comprehensive Spirit-led Christian university located in Springfield, Missouri. It is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. Under the leadership of Dr. Mike Rakes, EU is committed to excellence in educating and equipping students to serve the Church and society globally and becoming compassionate innovators in their chosen vocations. EU offers more than 70 degree programs, including cutting-edge majors, pre-professional programs, and affordable and flexible online degree options.

EU is highly regarded and has been ranked:

  • Colleges of Distinction Best Christian University
  • Top 10 Best Universities by
  • Third Most Beautiful Campus in the Midwest by Christian Colleges & Universities
  • Top 10 Best Colleges in Missouri by

With additional accreditations in business, counseling, music, social work, and theology and certification as an Excellence in Giving university, EU is focused on providing students with hands-on experience and real-world training for today’s professional careers.