Flying start planned for $36 million campaign

Never let it be said Fresno Pacific University President D. Merrill Ewert didn't rise to an occasion--rise, as in 30 feet off the ground in a hot-air balloon. The occasion? The kick-off of FPU's $36 million capital campaign.

Sharing the gondola to help Ewert keep his sky legs (or maybe the other way around), will be Sunny the Sunbird.

See for yourself June 6, as we invite you to join more than 200 guests for the event, which begins at 10:00 a.m. at Steinert Campus Center.

Building on Excellence, the Campaign for FPU, will provide buildings, scholarships and academic programs to help the university soar.

"It takes something special to get me into a balloon. This is more than special, it’s the one thing I can't turn down--it's a challenge," Ewert said. "And Sunny agrees."

The centerpiece of the campaign is a $21 million Fine Arts Center. This beautiful facility will serve the campus and community with separate, customized venues for music and drama, as well as space for worship services, visual art exhibits and receptions.

Students and faculty will enjoy soundproof practice rooms, as well as offices and classrooms. A location at the edge of campus will allow easy access and parking for public performances.

A new home for the School of Education is also in the plan, including classrooms, labs and studio-quality electronic and video equipment.

The $5 million building will allow for more collaboration between the school and the AIMS Educational Foundation for research and development of better ways to teach classroom math and science.

Other campaign priorities include $3 million for scholarships and programs, $3 million for building endowments, $3 million for academic program development and $1 million for direct campaign costs.

"This campaign is not only about facilities, it's about opening those facilities to deserving students," Ewert said.

"A superior private higher education is costly to provide, and we know many students face financial hurdles, so scholarships are crucial," he said.

"Faculty are just as important, because they are the key to the academic challenge, professional preparation and ethical development that make up an FPU education. Our faculty both challenge and mentor students, helping them to develop into people who will make a difference. So we need to attract and retain the best teachers and scholars--our students deserve that," Ewert said.

The kick-off will also be a celebration, as the campaign leaders are introduced, those who have already made commitments are honored and the amount pledged is presented.

"We are already well on the way, thanks to the support of many friends among the faculty, the staff, the alumni and the community," said Mark Deffenbacher, vice president of advancement and university relations.

See how far FPU has come, and get a glimpse of where it's going June 6.

PARKING: Fresno Pacific University is on Chestnut Avenue south of the Butler Avenue intersection. To get to Steinert Campus Center (SCC), pass the front of campus southbound on Chestnut and turn east (left) onto Hamilton. SCC is on the left. Parking lots are located behind SCC and at the Hamilton-Winery intersection. There may be street spaces on Hamilton, as well.

View a campus map with nearest parking highlighted.
 

Source

http://news.fresno.edu/node/1455