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The Restore Alexander Campaign

Alumna Gives $2.5 Million to Alexander Project

Becky Arnett Gilliam

“I offer my gift to honor the legacy passed down by the Arnett family: a deep-seated love for God, a belief in the value of a Christian education, and a great respect for Seattle Pacific”

– Becky Arnett Gilliam ’80

Becky Arnett Gilliam ’80, whose family ties with Seattle Pacific University go back more than 100 years, recently committed $2.5 million to help restore Alexander Hall, SPU’s oldest building. Her gift places the Restore Alexander campaign, led by SPU President Dan Martin, at nearly 40 percent of the needed $6.2 million total to complete the project.

To Gilliam, who serves on the SPU Board of Trustees, the restoration of Alexander Hall holds special meaning. “My father’s father went to Seattle Pacific when it was a seminary in the early 1900s, and my father attended Seattle Pacific and lived in Alexander Hall in the ’40s,” she says. “As a student, I would go to the chapel in Alexander Hall to be alone and pray. It was extremely moving to me to know that both my father and grandfather had worshipped in that same chapel as young men.”

The restoration project, which includes a seismic retrofit and interior improvements such as upgraded heating, ventilation, and air conditioning; new restrooms; the installation of an elevator; and an interior aesthetic and design that reflects the period of construction, is being funded by contributions. Gilliam structured her donation as a “challenge” gift, which means that although there are no strings attached, it is intended to inspire others to participate.

Update: This article has been revised to reflect the renovation campaign goal of $6.2 million.

For more information about Alexander Hall and its restoration, visit Read part two of Response’s series on the history of Alexander Hall.