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Autumn 2002 | Volume 25, Number 4 | Features
SPU Kicks Off Its Largest-Ever Fund-Raising Campaign

$52.85 Million Drive Begins With Three Days of Celebration

At the Campaign Gala in Seattle’s Westin Hotel, President Philip Eaton captured the critical mission of SPU in an address titled “The Power of Hope to Change the World.”
The Campaign for Seattle Pacific University is an investment opportunity that promises enormous returns,” said President Philip Eaton as he officially launched the most ambitious fund-raising effort in SPU’s history this fall. “Our vision is to engage the culture with the gospel of Jesus Christ, and to equip graduates with the competence and character they need to influence their communities and the world for good. Quite simply, the Campaign is a call for people to invest in changing the world.”

The $52.85 million Campaign for Seattle Pacific University is comprised of four key initiatives: the Science Initiative, the Center for Scholarship and Faculty Development Initiative, the Endowment Initiative and the University Fund Initiative. At a later stage, funding will be sought for a Chapel/Arts Initiative. (For more information on the initiatives, see "Campaign Initiatives Position SPU for the Future.") By the end of a three-year quiet phase in which Campaign leaders trained a network of volunteers and met with potential major donors, the drive had already raised close to 60 percent of its goal. Now, during the Campaign’s public phase, alumni and other friends of the University are being invited to contribute financially to the SPU vision.

Three days of celebration marked the public Campaign launch. On October 17, faculty, staff, students and area residents turned out to hear Yale Law School Professor Stephen Carter speak on the topic of integrity. Carter’s visit coincided with the opening of SPU’s new Center for Scholarship and Faculty Development, one of the four Campaign initiatives.

On October 18, The Bite of SPU brought the campus community together again in Brougham Pavilion for a festive event featuring ethnic cuisine and entertainment. President Eaton, Campaign Chair Bruce Walker and Vice President for University Advancement Bob McIntosh spoke to the group, encouraging broad-based participation in the fund-raising effort.

On the following evening, Seattle Pacific took the celebration downtown. The Campaign Gala in the Grand Ballroom of Seattle’s Westin Hotel was a banquet designed for regional leaders to encounter the vision of the University. The nearly 500 guests received video greetings from local and national leaders who support SPU: alumnus and neurosurgeon Rick Delamarter ’77; Seattle Foundation President Ann Farrell; and former U.S. Secretary of Education William Bennett.

Seattle Pacific’s rising visibility and position of leadership in higher education are due to the clarity of its vision, says Walker, chairman of Valco Graphics. “SPU’s vision for making a difference in the world has resulted in an aggressive plan of construction, endowment growth and excellence in scholarship.”

The Campaign was initiated to fund that plan. “When the Campaign was first approved by the Board of Trustees,” says McIntosh, “they made their own historic commitment.” The 32 trustees pledged $2 million, agreed to collectively raise another $3 million, and with significant gifts from other individual donors and foundations, the funding effort was underway.

Despite a shaky economy and other national concerns, The Campaign for Seattle Pacific University is on track to meet its goal, says Eaton. He believes donors clearly understand that the University’s vision is more important than ever.

“When science raises difficult ethical questions, or corporate business practices come under public scrutiny, who better to address the issues than SPU’s faculty, students and graduates?” he asks. “With rumors of war and human suffering all around, the power of the gospel brings hope. The Campaign is an investment in hope. This is our calling for such a time as this.”


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