Africa University gets biggest-ever gift for scholarships, projects
8/15/2003 News media contact: Linda Green · (615) 742-5470 · Nashville, Tenn
Tenn. (UMNS) - United Methodist-related Africa University has received
an anonymous gift of real estate valued at US$5.2 million, the largest
donation in the school's 11-year history.
"This is a week of hope
and affirmation for Africa and its people," said Rukudzo Murapa, Africa
University's vice chancellor, Aug. 15. "Earlier this week, we witnessed
African leaders bringing their influence and resources together in
Liberia, showing that with the right help at the right time, Africans
can work to confront challenges to peace and prosperity and to solve
their own problems. By giving so generously right now, this United
Methodist family is asserting its confidence in Africa University and
its hope for Africa's future."
The university will receive the
dollars from the gift in about two years, officials said. About US$4
million is designated for the Africa University Endowment Fund, which
supports scholarships for needy young Africans. The balance will fund a
capital project in one of the institution's seven faculties or
"Though they wish to remain anonymous, these donors
are deeply interested in empowerment and in providing opportunities for
African children, (and) that's why they've given in a way that helps to
ensure that Africa University will grow and remain fiscally
sustainable," said James Salley, the university's associate vice
chancellor for institutional advancement. "They've seen the impact of AU
graduates in communities across the continent, and they want to see
Salley, who made the property announcement during
a meeting of the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and
Ministry, said the commitment of the school's advancement team and
advisory development committee played big roles in securing the gift.
The couple that donated the gift had already made a major donation to
the school, he added.
Despite Zimbabwe's political and economic
problems, the university began classes Aug. 13 at full capacity, with
1,200 students from more than 20 countries.
support the university's day-to-day needs through the denomination's
Africa University Fund, but the institution has never collected 100
percent of the annual $2.5 million asking. Total funding of that
commitment is essential, Salley said, describing the challenges the
school faces in rising utility, fuel and food costs. The university
increased annual tuition fees this year from US$3,950 to US$5,200.
it moves forward towards General Conference 2004, Africa University
needs more friends and advocates in the church," Salley said, "â€¦
people like this couple, who stand with the church in good times and bad
times and who see the university as a wonderful model for the church at
its very best: connected, relevant and acting on God's word in the
Africa University is based in Mutare, Zimbabwe. It
opened in March 1992 and is the only General Conference-approved,
degree-granting institution related to the church in Africa.
# # #
Information for this story was adapted from a release from the Africa University Development Office.
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