As MVNU entered the 21st Century, there was an in-creasing need for student space — a place where they could gather, relax and enjoy recreation in the form of a student union. MVNU President Dr. E. LeBron Fairbanks announced that, thanks to a generous gift from Wayne and Peggy Penrod and their family, dreams of a student union were going to become reality.
The financial gift arranged by the Penrods of Dayton, Ohio, was given in honor of former MVNU President Dr. William Prince and his wife, Evelyn. Prince also served as the Penrods’ pastor at Dayton Parkview Church of the Nazarene and had a significant influence in their lives.
“I visited the Penrods several times and asked if they would prayerfully consider a gift. Miracles continue to happen — all in God’s timing,” commented President Fairbanks.
Wayne Penrod also used to pass by the buildings on campus and hope that someday he would be able to give something back to the school.
“Our gift is a gift to God — for Christian men and women. It is important to our family that young people receive the message of holiness,” said Penrod. “When people walk by and see the name of Dr. William Prince on the building and ask who he was, we want them to know he is a great man who loves this school.”
The Penrods’ philosophy stems from something Dr. Prince told them long ago as their pastor, “Just keep saying ‘yes’ to Jesus. You can trust him.” The Penrods have three children who attended MVNU: Lara (Penrod) Mastin, Alison and Daniel.
In April of 2002, a Student Union/Wellness Center Task Force was formed, led by Dean of Student Development, Peggy Oldham, and made up of students, alumni, faculty and staff members and Steve Luchtenburg, the lead architect on the project.
“As this building eventually becomes a new hub of student activity, we needed to determine what it would look like and how it would function,” explained Old-ham. Some features of the addition would include a large glass atrium entrance; an eating area; a room for pool tables and other recreational equipment and additional restrooms.
The PSU's ribbon-cutting ceremony took place at Homecoming 2004.