Campaign North Park Continues to Raise Funds Toward New Construction

Campaign North Park

Year-end gifts encouraged to help achieve campaign goals

CHICAGO (December 16, 2011) – As the end of the calendar year approaches, leaders of North Park University's comprehensive fundraising effort, "Campaign North Park," are suggesting potential donors consider making tax-deductible gifts to the campaign. Through early December, more than 7,800 financial gifts have been designated for Campaign North Park, with commitments or pledges totaling about $52.6 million. The campaign was formally launched in June 2011.

Gifts have exceeded goals for some Campaign North Park elements, while other goals have not yet been realized. Campaign leaders stress they are thankful for the tremendous response of the University community. "This is the most ambitious fundraising campaign ever for North Park University," said Dr. David L. Parkyn, the University's president. "We are grateful for the thousands of people who have responded positively. Every campaign gift moves us closer to our goals, and encourages us as we help students prepare for lives of significance and service."

The campaign set goals of raising $8 million for University's Annual Fund, which provides student aid and supplements the University's operating budget; $6 million for scholarships; $1 million for Chicago-based academic programs and faculty development; and $42 million for a new Science and Community Life Building. Plans call for the building to house University Ministries, Career Development and Internships, residence life, plus science and nursing academic programs. University leaders are hoping to break ground for the new building in 2012, provided the funding is secured, said Mary Surridge, University vice president for development and alumni relations.

Co-chairing Campaign North Park are Dr. G. Timothy Johnson (C'53 S'63) and David Helwig (C'78). "They have worked tirelessly on this, and strong year-end giving would be a deep encouragement to them in their leadership," Surridge said.

Currently, campaign leaders are concentrating on raising the remaining $10.7 million to reach the goal for the new building, and another $3.6 million needed to reach the Annual Fund goal. Financial gifts for scholarships and Chicago-based academic programs and faculty development have already exceeded their goals.

Three months ago, North Park University reported its highest-ever traditional undergraduate enrollment for the new academic year, and strong enrollment levels for the spring semester 2012 are anticipated. Campaign leaders believe the new building is a must to continue the momentum in attracting new students and top-level faculty.

Architectural rendering of the new Science and Community Life Building A key fundraising objective for Campaign North Park is a new Science and Community Life building, with construction expected to start in 2012.

Johnson said he's helping to lead the campaign because of an urgent need for Science and Community Life Building, particularly for sciences. "I am convinced that North Park's immediate and long-term future depends on the funding and construction of this facility.  I believe time is of the essence. The building is needed as quickly and as humanly possible to allow North Park to attract new students to our campus," he said. Johnson, Marblehead, Mass., is longtime medical editor for ABC News and a pastor of the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC).

Helwig, Thousand Oaks, Calif., serves as chair of the University's Board of Trustees. He said North Park University student prospects are sought after by many other institutions. "To be able to compete in that marketplace, we have to have high-quality classrooms and labs. This building is absolutely critical," Helwig said.

Current and former students agree about the need for the new building. Skye Moe earned a bachelor's degree in biology from the University in 2011. She believes a new science facility is crucial to the development of the science curriculum. "It's unlike other (academic) areas in that you need two spaces – where you're going to learn and where you're going to apply what you learn," she said. Juan Rodriguez, a physics and chemistry student preparing for graduation in 2012, said new labs and new equipment will "enhance the learning process for current students as well as future students at North Park."

The Rev. Gary Walter (S'80), ECC president, said North Park University will be "a pacesetter" in Christian higher education with the new building. The University, founded by the ECC in 1891, is home to the church's seminary and is affiliated with the Chicago-based denomination.

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