WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP)–The John and Kay Prince Facilities Management Building was dedicated Oct. 11 on the campus of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C.
The 17,000-square-foot, $1 million building has been named in honor of seminary supporters John and Kay Prince of Raleigh, N.C. It will house the facilities management and housing offices, as well as shop space for facilities management. The building also doubles the amount of space provided for the Sunshine Seniors Food Ministry, which offers free food to qualifying students and their families. Last year more than $700,000 in food was distributed to Southeastern families.
“This school could not do what it does, or be what it is, without the love and support of people like John and Kay Prince,” Southeastern President Daniel Akin said at the dedication service. “They make it possible for our students to go to the hard places and do the hard work. This building dedication is the very least that we can do as a way of saying thank you.”
The Princes were unable to attend the dedication because Kay Prince is undergoing cancer treatments in Houston. Members of their family -– son Jack and his wife, Jami, daughter Mary Mack and John’s “second mother,” Myra Prince — attended in their stead.
“Our prayers go out to Kay as she continues her treatments in Houston,” Akin said, “and a big thank you goes out to both John and Kay for their support in what God is doing here at Southeastern.”
Eddie Keith, president of Steel Dynamics of Raleigh, a company John Prince once was a principal of, said the naming of the building in the Princes’ honor was fitting since it houses offices that provide services and support to Southeastern’s operations. Keith said that is how he thinks of the Princes, as servants.
“I think it is a wonderful tribute to two wonderful people,” he said.
Ryan Hutchinson, Southeastern’s vice president for administration, said the Prince Facilities Management Building will meet a variety of important needs for the seminary, noting, “The building will have an incredible impact on our ability to support the educational enterprise of the school…. This building will give us expanded facilities offices, more conveniently located housing offices for the students and a space for the Sunshine Senior Food Ministry that will be able to minister greatly to the students and their families.”
Previously, the housing and facilities management offices had been located a couple of blocks from the school in downtown Wake Forest. The Sunshine Seniors had been operating out of a duplex near the campus.
The Princes have been supporters of Southeastern Seminary since 1997 and received the Distinguished Service Award presented by Akin in an April 12 chapel service as well as honorary alumni designations. John Prince currently serves on Southeastern’s board of visitors, and the Princes have partnered with the seminary over the years through their prayers, sacrificial support and personal involvement.
Through his Steel Dynamics firm, Prince has been involved with Southeastern’s operations including overseeing renovations to Stephens-Mackie Hall and the building of the Jacumin-Simpson Missions Building.
During these projects and at other times, Prince saw firsthand what Southeastern Seminary was all about as he interacted with members of the Southeastern family on campus as well as being a member of Bayleaf Baptist Church in Raleigh.
“John saw what we were trying to do -– more than just build buildings –- he saw the students we were investing in and training, and he got to know personally the type of students that were coming to Southeastern,” Anthony Allen, vice president for institutional advancement, said. “I think that probably had a great deal to do with his interest in helping us over the years.”
Hutchinson added that people like the Princes who support Southeastern are making an eternal investment.
“We thank the Lord for John and Kay Prince,” he said. “The Princes are precious servants of God whose love and dedication to this institution will have an incredible impact on the Kingdom of God and Southeastern Seminary for many decades to come.”