By Phil Schubert, Ed.D, president of Abilene Christian University
About Abilene Christian University: In our vibrant, Christ-centered community, Abilene Christian University contributes to our students’ spiritual and intellectual growth in ways that encourage confidence and vocational formation. Our mission is to educate students for Christian service and leadership throughout the world.
Tell us about your relationship with the Moody Foundation.
The relationship between Abilene Christian and the Moody Foundation dates back more than 50 years. In the 1960s, the university began working toward a 10-year development plan that would change the face of campus. A critical piece to that plan was the construction of a venue to accommodate the ACU community, serve as home for our athletics programs, and host major campus and local events. Thanks to a cornerstone gift of $500,000 from the Moody Foundation, construction of Moody Coliseum began in September 1966, and in February 1968, Mary Moody Northen and William L. Moody IV joined us to celebrate the grand opening. We are thankful the Moody Foundation continues to be a vital partner. The foundation’s commitment of $5 million in 2021 is making possible vital renovations currently underway to make Moody Coliseum a state-of-the-art hub for campus and community life.
What renovations are being done at the Moody Coliseum?
Our venerable coliseum saw more than a half-century of use with only minor improvements. However, significant upgrades are underway to bring Moody up to date, including new and more accessible seating, enhancements to lighting and sound systems, new classroom and office spaces, expanded lobbies, a hospitality suite and more. Renovations will provide a better and more exciting experience for event attendees and participants, student-athletes and their fans, and for the growing number of televised events in ACU’s modern NCAA Division I era.
What is the significance of the Moody Coliseum for ACU?
No other place brings us together as a community quite like Moody Coliseum. Since its construction, it has been a home for big things in Abilene, and it has proven to be an essential space in the life of ACU and West Texas.
Home to some of the university’s biggest traditions, the coliseum has served as the soul of campus for decades. Weekday Chapel gatherings alone bring thousands of people into the facility, in addition to Sing Song performances, Commencement, concerts, basketball games, volleyball matches and other major events. From the time our freshmen say farewell to their family members at the Freshman Blessing to the time they walk across the Commencement stage, Moody provides bookends to the ACU experience and so much more in between.
In addition, Moody is one of the largest gathering venues in the Abilene area, and it hosts numerous community events each year, including local high school graduation ceremonies, invited speakers and University Interscholastic League sporting events.