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Columbia College receives challenge gift

The gift could mean $600,000 for the new student commons.
Tuesday, November 4, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 7:28 p.m. CDT, Friday, June 27, 2008

Columbia College is $300,000 closer to paying for the new Atkins-Holman Student Commons, thanks to a challenge gift from 1954 alumna Mary Agnes McQuinn.

McQuinn and her husband, Al McQuinn, have pledged to match 100 percent of every gift for the student commons — up to $300,000 — from now through September 2004. That means the college could get $600,000.

Mary Agnes McQuinn said that she and her husband have always been active alumni of their colleges.

“My husband graduated from MU, and I graduated from Columbia College, and we have both always had a strong attachment to our schools,” McQuinn said Monday from her home in Naples, Fla. “When I heard about the new student commons, I thought it was a great idea because of all the day students there that need a meeting place. I thought it would be a great opportunity to contribute to my former school.”

The $4 million Atkins-Holman Student Commons has received several other gifts and pledges, including a $600,000 lead gift from Tom and Linda Atkins of Columbia and a $1.2 million challenge grant from the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation Inc. of Tulsa, Okla.

The commons is scheduled to be completed by fall 2004 and will offer students several facilities, including a student health center and a campus bookstore. Columbia College has more than 10,000 students in its day, evening and online programs.


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