| “This Is Our Campaign”
Creativity and Commitment Are the Hallmarks of Faculty Giving
WHEN THE EQUIPMENT WISH LIST for the new Science Building
approached $4 million, the
Seattle Pacific University faculty knew it would need to match donor dollars with
some creative acquisition techniques.
Associate Professor of Biology Rick Ridgway was one who took on
|Among the many
faculty members who have contributed in various ways to The Campaign
for Seattle Pacific University
are (from left) Patricia Brown, Stamatis Vokos, Eric Hanson and Rick Ridgway.
To help create biology laboratories that would be at
the forefront of teaching and research, Ridgway sent the word out
to his network of friends in the national science community that
Seattle Pacific needed a transmission electron microscope — a
workhorse for examining biological samples, particularly viruses.
New, such a precision instrument would cost $240,000 or more. Ridgway
asked his contacts whether one could be donated or sold to the University
at a substantial savings.
A vendor who eventually sold Seattle Pacific
other microscopic equipment knew that Cedars Sinai Medical Center
in Los Angeles had purchased a new transmission electron microscope
and was removing its old one from service. Dr. Christina Bertolotto
in pediatrics contacted Ridgway, and the Cedars administration agreed
to donate the 12-year-old instrument to SPU for the cost of dismantling,
shipping and installation.
“They wished us well in our continuing research endeavors,” Ridgway
says. “Now we can conduct and publish research that will increase our capability
to apply for science grants — which, in turn, will help us in securing
new or upgraded equipment.
”Such in-kind contributions to The Campaign
for Seattle Pacific University are one
of the creative means by which faculty members
give their support to the growth and
stability of SPU over and above their regular teaching load. “I don’t have a
lot of personal funds to give,” explains Ridgway, “but by working
to get equipment donated at a fraction
of the cost, I’ve been able to contribute in ways I otherwise could not afford.” His
connections thus far have saved the University an
Seeking grants from foundations and corporations
to fund specific programs and research constitutes another major faculty contribution.
More than 50 professors have been involved in obtaining a variety of grants for
the University, in areas as diverse as vocational learning and the arts.
Dean Carrell, director of annual giving, held meetings to urge Campaign participation
on the part of faculty and staff members
in every academic discipline and departmental area, he found strong support. “Almost
without fail, the personal invitation to make a Campaign contribution was welcomed,” Carrell
says. “The overwhelming attendance at these meetings is almost unheard of among
our peer institutions.”
Though Eric Hanson, professor of music, thinks his pledge
may be more symbolic than substantial, he wanted to take part. “While I can’t
afford to give very much, it was important for me to say that I am committed
to our calling here at SPU, that I as a faculty member am a major stakeholder
in our community mission.”
Stamatis Vokos, associate professor of physics, agrees. “This
is our campaign. The clarity of our vision and the excitement among colleagues
and students about the direction of the University propel us all to help.”
Professor of Christian Formation and Education Ministry Patricia Brown joined
the faculty in 2003. “I’m new to SPU, and I’m excited to be part of a top-notch
School of Theology that is part of a first-class university. To be able to teach
and work beside globally known theologians is one of the greatest honors of my
life. I have no qualms about giving to such a fine endeavor.”
In addition to gifts
in kind and deferred gifts (such as wills and trusts), faculty and staff are
giving financially in record numbers. Since the start of The Campaign in July
1999, monetary gifts from Seattle Pacific employees have totaled nearly $930,000
in cash and pledges. Participation among the 560 employees at SPU rose dramatically
in the past year from 22 percent to 55 percent, propelling the University to
the top quartile in this category among member institutions of the national Council
for Christian Colleges and Universities.
— BY CLINT KELLY
— PHOTO BY JOHN KEATLEY
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