Chris Gavin (left), president and CEO of Midwest Bank of Western Illinois, was on campus earlier this semester to present a $120,000 check to Monmouth College president Mauri Ditzler. The gift is for the construction of the college’s Center for Science and Business, which is scheduled for completion next year.
While announcing a recent gift of $120,000 to Monmouth College to support its new Center for Science and Business, Midwest Bank of Western Illinois president and CEO Chris Gavin explained what makes the “town-gown” partnership between his bank and the college such a good fit.
“Midwest Bank continues to look for ways to serve our communities, and we seek to partner with others, such as Monmouth College, to find solutions and look for opportunities,” Gavin said. “We have been a sponsor of Monmouth’s ‘Midwest Matters’ program, and we commend the college for having the vision to offer it to their students.”
“We appreciate such strong support from the Monmouth community, as is evidenced by this significant gift,” said Monmouth College president Mauri Ditzler.
Gavin said there was a time when other regions of the U.S. reaped financial rewards, but now is the Midwest’s time to shine, as the region is increasingly becoming a player in the major global issues of the day.
“Rural America is waking up to more and more opportunity,” he said. “We are the world’s leader in agriculture, and we are surrounded by companies like John Deere, Monsanto, Caterpillar, Big River Resources and Farmland Foods. We are also becoming a major source of energy through the production of ethanol and newly-constructed wind turbines.”
Ditzler shares Gavin’s optimism about the Midwest, considering its economic potential a major impetus behind the construction of the Center for Science and Business, which is scheduled for completion next year. A mixture of innovative science and sound business principles is necessary, he believes, to create and market the solutions to the global “food and fuel” issues that lie ahead. By integrating business and science in the same building, Ditzler and other college officials believe that Monmouth can train many of the future leaders who will need a working knowledge of both disciplines.
“Not only does Midwest Bank’s gift show a strong community partnership, but we are also excited to receive such a generous gift targeted for our new academic building,” said Ditzler. “The Center for Science and Business will be a major part of our academic landscape for the rest of the century, so a gift toward its construction is really a tremendous investment in the college and the city’s future.”