ACU Announces Largest Campaign in School's History

for release after 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21, 1998

Abilene Christian University has launched the largest campaign in its history - a $100 million goal to sustain and advance ACU into the 21st century, officials announced Saturday during a news conference.

Advanced gifts totalling $62.5 million have already brought ACU more than halfway to the goal. The gifts include the $26.5 million Grace L. Woodward Memorial Endowment Trust, the largest single gift in ACU's history; and at least $16.3 million pledged by members of the university's Board of Trustees, among other gifts.

"To move forward and produce graduates who meet the global challenges of the future, we must raise our standard of excellence," said Dr. Royce Money, ACU president. "ACU is setting a clear course for the years ahead, while staying firmly committed to the same mission it has had since 1906: to educate students for Christian service and leadership throughout the world."

"To Lead and To Serve: The Campaign for the Future of Abilene Christian University" takes its name from this 92-year-old mission.

As ACU nears its centennial year of 2006, leaders of all aspects of the campus have set goals that call for building on the university's current level of excellence and then "raising the standard" in the broad areas of spiritual development, academic quality, student selection, and financial and operational strength. "To Lead and To Serve" will facilitate achievement of these goals.

"I'm very excited about the possibilities of what can happen between now and our 100th anniversary," said Don W. Crisp of Dallas, chairman of ACU's Board of Trustees and president of the Rosewood Corporation. "We've got friends and alumni now all over the United States - in fact, all over the world - who are capable of making this happen. And I'm excited about seeing it happen."

The comprehensive campaign includes $12 million for the Annual Fund, $22 million for the Capital Fund, and $66 million for the Endowment Fund.

Within the Annual Fund, which helps provide general support for scholarships and year-to-year operation of academic and athletic programs, are three subcategories: Hope for the Future Scholarship Fund, World Class Learning, and Wildcat Annual Fund for student-athlete scholarships.

Included in the Capital Fund are plans for a performing arts center ($10 million), library acquisitions ($500,000), A.E. "Poly" and Zieta Wells Softball Field completion ($500,000), academic facility enhancements ($2.2 million), the Margaret L. and William J. Teague Special Events Center ($4.1 million), and infrastructure enhancements ($4.7 million). Infrastructure needs include the fiber optic network, landscaping and parking, and central heating and cooling.

Finally, the Endowment Fund will focus on Scholarships ($30 million), Brown Library ($2 million), Faculty Development ($3 million), Academic Enrichment ($25 million), and Athletics ($6 million).

"To Lead and To Serve" will include current and deferred gifts from Jan. 1, 1996, to Dec. 31, 2000.

The campaign is co-chaired by Randy Nicholson of Abilene, chairman and CEO of AutoGas Systems, and James Muns of Plano, partner and president of Muns Enterprises.

"I have been blessed tremendously by God, and as a result of my time at ACU," said Nicholson, a 1959 graduate. "I think we have to give other kids a chance at the same opportunity. So if you've been blessed and you've had the benefits of ACU, you need to return that for the next generation."

Previously, the largest campaign in ACU's history was the comprehensive "Advancing the Changeless" campaign, which raised more than $30 million from 1993-95 for improvements in housing, food service and athletic facilities; technological advances, academic equipment and facility renovations; and scholarships. The expansion of Brown Library and renovation of several facilities was included. "To Lead and To Serve" is believed to be the largest campaign in Abilene area history.

"We are indebted to those who made sacrificial gifts in the past to provide scholarships, facilities, equipment and numerous other enhancements to our programs," said Dr. John Tyson, vice president for development. "We hope our thousands of alumni and friends will prayerfully consider this opportunity to further ACU's calling to prepare servant-leaders who will impact their world."

If you are a member of the media who would like more information about this release, please contact Malissa Endsley, director of media relations, at or call 915-674-2692.

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Last update: February 22, 1998