Bethany College has received a $50,000 planning grant from the Kresge Foundation’s Green Building Initiative. The grant will be used to fund planning activities related to the new Pearson Chapel and Welcome Center.

Bethany was one of only seven organizations awarded funds among nearly 230 applicants. The Kresge Foundation evaluates grant requests on the basis of how closely an organization’s mission, programs and community outcomes align with and advances their values criteria.

Because the design for the Pearson Chapel and Welcome Center utilizes principles of environmentally sustainable design and construction, the Kresge Foundation supported the project without hesitation. According to Jessica Boehland, Program Officer of the Environment Program, “We were excited about Bethany’s project because of its own merits and because of the need for green building models in the Plains states.” Bethany’s grant is the first and only Kansas project funded through Kresge’s green building planning grants program.

The Kresge Foundation, headquartered in Detroit, is a $2.8 billion, national foundation. According to its Web site, they seek to “influence the quality of life for future generations through its support of nonprofit organizations in six fields of interest: health, the environment, community development, arts and culture, education and human services.”

Bethany has raised over $760,000 towards the Pearson Challenge, a $1 million challenge grant from the late Gerald “Bud” Pearson, to be met by June 2010. The total project cost is $3.5 million.