Donor Commits $12 Million for Business and IT Center as CIU Announces $22 Million in Expansions

October 17, 2017

A Columbia International University donor has committed to giving $12 million toward a Business and IT Global Initiative Center at CIU, part of a $22 million facility expansion plan for the campus.

The Center will provide enhanced hands-on business and IT training for CIU students as well as students of Ben Lippen School, CIU’s Pre-K to 12th grade Christian school. The community will also benefit from the project, with a corporate training room for Columbia area business professionals as a centerpiece. In addition, the facility will improve campus IT functions. The building will be located near the front of the 400-acre campus, located on Monticello Road, two miles north of I-20. The university is seeking additional donors to assist in its completion.

CIU President Dr. Mark Smith made the announcement in October to the faculty and staff of CIU after the expansions were approved by the CIU Board of Trustees.

Smith says for nearly 100 years, CIU has been distinguished for its excellent biblical and theological programs that train graduates for the ministry, and now is increasing its focus on marketplace academic programs taught with a global perspective, equipping students with the business skills needed for the marketplace as well as the mission field.

“It’s important for employees to have the correct value system and a strong work ethic,” Smith said. “There is a direct correlation between a biblical worldview and good citizens. Employers want people who are not only competent in their trade, but trustworthy, honest and hard-working.”  

Meanwhile, CIU is looking toward making CIU’s dining facilities a banquet location for the Columbia area with a $2 million renovation of the CIU dining hall.

Smith says that as a Christian institution, the glory goes to God for making the expansions possible.

“We want to do great things for Christ as we take the gospel around the world by training both professional ministers such as pastors and missionaries, as well as ministering professionals, those who make a difference in the marketplace.”  

For more information on donating to CIU’s expansion plans, contact the CIU Advancement Office at (800) 777-2227, ext. 5500.