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Seattle Pacific University
Spring 2007 | Volume 30, Number 1 | Campus

Large Cash Gift Supports a Student’s Dream

$1 million

Amy Archibald
Amy Archibald, recipient of the Reimann-Thomas Scholarship
What things impact a person for life? Freshman Amy Archibald was transformed when a middle school friend invited her to a Young Life camp. There she heard the Christian gospel for the first time, and soon after made a commitment to follow Jesus Christ.

At Heritage High School in Littleton, Colorado, she became a soccer standout and graduated in the top 7 percent of her class. But impressive athletic and academic achievements were by no means the entire story for Archibald. She also served on a Mexico mission trip and became a Young Life leader who challenged middle school students to trust in Christ just like she had chosen to do at their age. Because it was Amy Archibald, they listened.

The road to adulthood wasn’t entirely smooth. Along the way, a difficult family situation left Archibald shaken, her faith tested.

But she dreamed of attending a private college with a strong sense of community, one where she would be encouraged to learn more about the faith she professed. She discovered that Seattle Pacific University had the faith commitment; the supportive environment; and the academic reputation she wanted. But no matter how she and her mother did the math, they couldn’t come up with a way to finance the dream.

The day the phone rang and she learned that an endowment established by Bill and Phyllis Waters of Toronto, Canada, combined with other financial aid from SPU, would provide her with a near full-ride scholarship was one of the most exciting of Archibald’s life. Funded with a generous cash gift to Seattle Pacific — $1 million — the Reimann-Thomas Scholarship honors the memory of Phyllis’ parents, Leonard and Virginia Reimann, and grandparents, James and Pearl Thomas.

A 1962 Seattle Pacific psychology graduate, Phyllis was grateful for all the support she received from her family as a young girl. “Especially my grandmother,” she says. “She gave so much of herself to family and friends. Our gift will keep giving by helping worthy students achieve their dreams and pass on to others what they have learned and experienced.”

Archibald wants to major in political science and attend law school. “SPU’s vision is to change the world,” she says. “If I can get into law or politics, I believe I can do that.”

Often all that success requires, says Bill Waters, is knowing someone believes in you. The retired professor of finance and business economics at the University of Toronto sees it this way: “Sometimes just a little bit of financial aid galvanizes a student to believe in himself or herself and find more resources with which to complete that degree.”

How will Archibald “pay it forward” in the spirit of the Waters gift? For now, she plans to study hard and again become a Young Life leader who tells kids about the love that transformed her life.

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Department Highlights

Destination: Asia
President Philip Eaton joined a historic delegation of U.S. university presidents who traveled to Asia

Perspectives on the 21st Century
Global awareness was the theme of two recent SPU events.

John Perkins Ministers to His “Adopted” City
Perkins spent two months in Seattle, spreading the message of biblical reconciliation.

A New Sound: Gospel Symphony
The Gospel Choir and Symphonic Wind Ensemble took a new symphony in Portland, Oregon.

Largest-Ever Cash Gift Supports a Student’s Dream
A $1 million gift to SPU enables the Reiman-Thomas Scholarship to make dreams come true.