Gift of home reflects heart for ministry (video link)

Ted and Joyce Smith continue their life of faith by giving their home to Fresno Pacific University.

"This is an answer to our prayers, to know that our house will continue to be used for ministry," Ted Smith said at an August 14 media conference announcing the gift.

The house will be the residence of the FPU president, starting with Pete Menjares and his wife, Virginia. "Their gift is an affirmation of this university, an affirmation of its mission," President Pete Menjares told the gathering of faculty, staff, students and administrators in Steinert Campus Center on the main campus.

Fresno natives Ted and Joyce Smith moved to 5406 Columbia Drive South in Fresno in 1970. The 48-year-old, two-story ranch was originally 2,200 square feet. A 1999 remodeling brought the house to 4,546 square feet, including a new guest house.

Among the features of the property are the master suite, with a brook and redwood trees outside and a fireplace inside, and the large dining room. Every room has a view to the outdoors, and the lot features a garden, gazebo, koi pond and 100 rose bushes.

The couple married August 18, 1956. Ted founded TSE Brakes, manufacturer of truck air brake chambers. Other interests included a Mack Truck dealership, a truck leasing franchise and a property management company.

Having the president live close to the university is a great benefit, says Mark Deffenbacher, vice president for advancement and director of the FPU Foundation. “With their hearts for people, Pete and Virginia will open this home to a new chapter of hospitality,” he says.


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