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[Pacific Lutheran Scene]


A momentous step forward

Ronald and Ingrid Gintz

"Commitment to service–it's something you learn from role models and experience. Students find both at PLU," observes Q Club member Ingrid Gintz, whose father, husband, Ronald, and son also attended the university. "This campaign will help bring that very special education to more people. As PLU's founders made sacrifices to ensure the well-being of future generations, so should we."

Phil Nordquist

"PLU encourages and participates in the conversations that emerge as students discover their spiritual and intellectual identities. We don't force that dialogue but allow it to develop naturally in classrooms and halls, chapel services and public lectures. Students aren't computers–they have passions, concerns, spirits, bodies, brains. And here, they grow as whole people."


Tiana Harper

"I'm a big fan of the J-Term," says Tiana Harper, a music education major who has spent her Januaries exploring mountains in New Zealand, studying moral philosophy on campus, and learning Spanish while working in a Costa Rican bakery staffed by blind women. "My friends who went to other colleges always ask, 'How did you do all that?' And I tell them, it's PLU."

Through a combination of outstanding leadership, a focused mission, and an ambitious agenda for the future, Pacific Lutheran University is poised for another momentous step forward.

As part of its commitment to preserving its well-established reputation as a Lutheran institution of highest academic quality, PLU has embarked on its most ambitious fund-raising campaign–The Campaign for Pacific Lutheran University:The Next Bold Step–in the institution's 110-year history. Its target–$100 million.

The campaign will support the university's mission by focusing on three major priorities: building the endowment, strengthening annual support, and enhancing facilities.

Within the present Campaign for Pacific Lutheran University, $55 million has been designated for the Endowment Fund. During the past 10 years, the fund has increased from $6 million to $44 million; another $75 million is anticipated through committed trust and estate expectations.

"A stronger endowment liberates the university from immediate economic pressures," says PLU history Professor Phil Nordquist. "It gives the institution the necessary latitude to be adaptive, creative and forward thinking."

In keeping with that objective, an enhanced endowment fund will set PLU on a par with peer institutions. The Campaign for Pacific Lutheran University has identified three primary initiatives to be supported by increasing the endowment:

  • Student scholarships. Through the campaign PLU hopes to increase significantly the number of endowed scholarships in order to recruit and retain the best students.
  • Faculty support. A strong endowment will enable the university to offer competitive salaries, maintain the faculty at an optimum size, and support teaching and research.
  • Technology enhancement. Technology initiatives supported through the endowment will include equipment upgrades, additional "smart" classrooms, computer-training facilities, and expansion of Internet resources to enhance teaching as well as library and career-placement services.
Annual Fund
While many benefits come to the university through strengthened endowment, equally critical to PLU's financial stability is the growing and generous annual support of alumni and friends. Annual gifts enable the university to provide an education of the highest quality and fund program enhancements while maintaining a balanced budget. While endowed scholarships provide financial aid to some PLU students, the backbone of the financial aid program is annual support.

In recent years, the Annual Fund has provided 7.7 percent of PLU's annual operating budget. By means of their annual gifts, 20 percent of alumni have made the university a philanthropic priority. While this support is gratifying, these percentages remain below those of most peer institutions. It is time to renew efforts to involve more alumni in preserving and enhancing the quality of the university for future generations.

A school with a strong commitment to the liberal arts must provide high-caliber facilities to support its academic programs. Architecturally distinctive facilities, complete with appropriate equipment (including technology), inspire students and faculty and enhance the academic vitality of the university.

The Campaign for Pacific Lutheran University will enable the institution to complete the revitalization of the facilities that support the liberal arts core:

  • Xavier Hall must be completely upgraded to provide the social sciences faculty and students with improved facilities and supportive technologies.
  • Eastvold Auditorium, when retooled and expanded, will reaffirm the central role of the humanities in PLU's mission.
Finally, in keeping with the emphasis of the New American College on integrating the liberal arts and professional preparation, campaign funding will underwrite construction of a facility that will fulfill the need for a state of the-art business and technology center.
  • The Center for Learning and Technology will be a consummate expression of the New American College and will bring the use of technology in teaching and learning to the foreground as an institutional priority. Plans call for a facility that will provide a much-needed home for the School of Business, the Department of Computer Science and Computer Engineering, and the Department of Mathematics.

Pacific Lutheran University Scene
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