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MVNU, community unite for Stephen W. Nease Center dedication

MOUNT VERNON, Ohio – The Stephen W. Nease Center in downtown Mount Vernon was dedicated Friday, Oct. 12 with a joint ribbon cutting and open house with Knox Labs, Inc.

“It is a privilege to name the new engineering center in honor of Dr. Stephen W. Nease, our founding president, who stands for everything that is good about MVNU,” said Henry W. Spaulding II, Ph.D., president of Mount Vernon Nazarene University. “Dr. Nease was a man of integrity and vision. He belongs among the great builders of the Church of the Nazarene.”

In addition to Dr. Spaulding, speakers for the event included Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Mavis; Rev. James Smith, MVNU’s Vice President for University Relations; Dr. Linda Nease Scott, daughter of Dr. Stephen W. Nease, MVNU’s founding president; Mauricio Odio, President of Knox Labs, Inc.; and Jeff Harris, Vice President of Knox Labs, Inc.

“Dad’s faith was unwavering, but he understood that creating a just world wasn’t simply about a faith in God, but also about a willingness to trust people even when it meant taking a risk,” said Dr. Linda Nease Scott, at the ribbon cutting event. “He would be proud to see you making strong attempts to build bridges and personal trust with your peers, professors, students, employers and employees. Look up at his name each time you walk in the door and feel his trust in you to carry him past the last 50 years and have enough courage to step on through and continue his path.”

Located at 104 S. Main St. in downtown Mount Vernon, the Stephen W. Nease Center houses MVNU’s Department of Engineering and the community makerspace, Knox Labs, Inc., in the newly renovated 10,824-square-foot facility. The building and its renovation was made possible by a generous grant from the Ariel Foundation.

“The collaborative efforts that led to the creation of The Stephen W. Nease Center are a reflection of the relationship between the people of Knox County and MVNU since our beginnings,” said Smith. “This community has played an integral role in MVNC/U since before we officially existed. Members of this community worked tirelessly to bring the dream of a second college in Knox County to life.

Since that time, the collaboration has only grown stronger, from investments on our main campus to the more recent developments downtown. The innovative collaboration to breathe new life into downtown Mount Vernon began with the Buchwald Center and has continued with Hunter Hall, The Grand Hotel and now The Stephen W. Nease Center. The partnership with Knox Labs is a visceral example of how MVNU and the community can dream big dreams together and then bring them to life. We are stronger together.”

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Mount Vernon Nazarene University is a private, four-year, intentionally Christian teaching university for traditional age students, graduate students, and working adults. With a 327-acre main campus in Mount Vernon, Ohio, and several convenient Graduate and Professional Studies locations throughout the state, MVNU emphasizes academic excellence, spiritual growth, and service to community and church. MVNU offers an affordable education to more than 2,200 students from 32 states and 19 countries/U.S. territories.