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Last updated November 24.

Feb. 27, 2006 issue

Tabor receies its largest gift

Wyoming businessman gives $1.2 million

By Sara Cook Tabor College

HILLSBORO, Kan. — A businessman and entrepreneur from Cheyenne, Wyo., has presented Tabor College with the largest gift in the school’s history.

Joel Wiens, left, with sons Tom, center, and Tim, speaks at the Tabor College President’s Dinner.

Joel Wiens, left, with sons Tom, center, and Tim, speaks at the Tabor College President’s Dinner.

Joel Wiens made the donation of $1,218,500. He and his sons, Tom and Tim, were recognized at Tabor’s 33rd annual President’s Dinner on Feb. 17.

“Mr. Wiens’ gift provides tremendous encouragement to our campus,” said Tabor President Larry Nikkel. “We are committed to being good stewards of this resource.”

While $218,500 of the gift will go toward Tabor’s capital campaign for new residence facilities, the remaining $1 million will be tentatively designated for improvements to athletic facilities, pending further planning.

“Because of this gift and others made by our loyal constituency, we will be able to provide quality housing for our students and upgrade our existing athletic facilities in partnership with our local school district, benefiting both schools and the Hillsboro community,” Nikkel said.

A graduate and former board member of the now-defunct Phillips University in Enid, Okla., Joel Wiens’ connection to Tabor dates back to his grandfather, whom he remembers writing $5 checks to the institution.

“We are so proud to be a part of this tradition,” Tom Wiens, a Colorado state senator, said at the President’s Dinner. “Thank you for this opportunity.”

Joel Wiens is founder, vice chairman and major shareholder of FirsTier Bank. He also owns the Kearney (Neb.) Event Center and the Nebraska Cranes, a professional basketball team in the United States Basketball League.

Tom Wiens is a rancher, businessman and chief executive officer of New West Capital, a mortgage company and venture capital firm. He also is a director of FirsTier Capital and chairman of Wiens Ranch Co.

Tim Wiens, a real estate developer in the Denver and Loveland, Colo., area, is launching two sports teams, the Rocky Mountain Rage, a minor-league hockey franchise, and the Colorado 14ers, a Continental Basketball Association club. He also is opening the Broomfield (Colo.) Event Center.

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