|A UMNS photo by Linda Green
Members of Africa University's development committee flank the Rev. Joseph Whalen (second from right), a pastor from Bermuda.
March 16, 2005
By Linda Green*
BEACH, S.C. (UMNS)—Africa University’s fund-raising committee is
focusing on forging new partnerships and finding fresh ways to
financially assist the United Methodist-related school in Zimbabwe.
of the Africa University Development Committee met March 15 to
brainstorm ways to finance capital projects at the university, increase
its endowment and help the school become a self-sufficient international
and ecumenical institution.
committee also discussed “fresh ways to tell Africa University’s story”
through United Methodist Communications, in consultation with the
United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry and the
university’s development office, according to its chairman.
people hear the Africa University story, they will be moved by the
story to support the educational enterprise called Africa University,”
said Bishop Ernest Lyght of West Virginia.
university’s endowment is at $25.5 million, with at least $60 million
needed for sustainability. Committee members noted the critical need for
United Methodist congregations to pay 100 percent of their
apportionments by 2008 to address the university’s daily operational
needs. United Methodist Communications is developing new ways to educate
people about the school’s accomplishments.
“The focus we
have as a development committee is to find ways to raise the
university’s endowment fund to a higher level,” Lyght said. “Africa
University is not yet self-sufficient, and the reality is that no
university is self-sufficient, but they are funded better than we are.”
he said. “It is a reminder to the United Methodist Church that
Africa University needs its help if it is going to continue.”
said he hopes the United Methodist Church will always realize that
“Africa University is a jewel on the continent of Africa.”
and annual conferences have supported the university by providing
scholarships and dormitories and through other mission-oriented
projects. The committee applauded two endowed projects under way from
the Greater New Jersey and Mississippi annual conferences to support the
university’s newest discipline, the Faculty of Health Sciences. A group
of nurses in Northern Virginia will take the concept of parish nursing
to the university in August to promote the link between theology and
Rev. Lloyd Rollins, a staff member of the university’s development
office, has worked to cultivate support in African-American United
United Methodists in Mississippi and Louisiana will bring capital
campaign proposals to their annual conference sessions this spring and
summer—Louisiana churches for $850,000 and Mississippi churches for $1
million for capital projects and the university’s HIV/AIDs initiative.
there has been support of the university from African Americans, the
proposed campaigns are the result of the leadership that has emerged
from these conferences,” Rollins said. “This is the first time this
segment of the conference populations has stepped out in leading a major
partnerships is another goal of the development committee, which heard
overtures from Marsden First United Methodist Church on the island of
Bermuda. The Rev. Joseph Whalen, pastor of the 105-member church,
discussed forging a partnership among Africa University, the church and
the island. He proposed a cross-cultural immersion experience with a
Marsden delegation traveling to Africa University in 2006 for a mission
project and tour of the region and continued scholarship support for a
thought that we could also support the university in some way,” Whalen
said, as he presented an undisclosed check to Africa university
officials for scholarship support.
partnership with Marsden First United Methodist Church and the island
of Bermuda would be an extension of our ministry to the United Methodist
Church in the world,” said James Salley, Africa University’s vice
chancellor for institutional advancement. “It is an opportunity to
be connected locally with a United Methodist church and have that
church open doors with citizens, corporations and multinational agencies
in another community.”
In other action, committee members learned:
a U.S. Department of Agriculture-funded project between Africa
University and Clemson (S.C.) University to research areas of pest
management and explore possibilities to link public health and
- The partnership among Africa University, Methodist
Hospital and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.,
is ongoing, and two leading St. Jude immunologists working to develop an
HIV vaccine ended a four-week assignment in February teaching health
sciences at the university.
- Construction of a building to house
the university’s Institute of Peace, Leadership and Governance has been
delayed until May or June.
- Growth in the student population
will require new facilities such as dormitories, classrooms and a
student-dining hall, as well as increasing faculty and staff.
- The university will introduce a diploma in public health, and a four-year degree program in health sciences in being prepared.
education programs are being developed and the university is working
with colleges, universities and churchwide agencies to get the programs
*Green is a United Methodist News Service news writer in Nashville, Tenn.
News media contact: Linda Green, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or firstname.lastname@example.org.