Last Saturday night Peggi and I had a wonderful time at a really great party. After renewing friendships with a lot of people we really like over appetizers in the Steinert Campus Center lounge, we all went into a Shehadey Dining Hall draped with lights and beautifully set for dinner. It was the annual Fresno-area President’s Circle celebration for friends who made a contribution of $1,000 or more to any part of the ministry of Fresno Pacific University during calendar year 2015. People with such generous and joyous hearts are really fun to be with. God loves cheerful givers, folks who have learned how enjoyable it is to support the work of God’s kingdom with money and prayers, and in this case, coming together for fellowship and thanksgiving.
The evening program started out with entertainment. Several members of the cast of this spring’s major theater production gave us a delightful taste of the musical version of Little Women. The full show will be April 8-10 in the Veterans Memorial Auditorium. The performers came around to our tables and gave everyone a free ticket, one of several expressions of “thank you” that filled the evening.
President’s Circle donors direct their generosity toward every imaginable aspect of the complex range of activities of a Christian university like Fresno Pacific: student scholarships, the seminary (including the new online program), music (a dozen ensembles), athletics (14 teams), theater, buildings and other facilities, science and math, technology, business, humanities, biblical studies and church ministry, preparation of school teachers and administrators and countless other areas of Christ-centered higher education, including planned gifts for endowments that ensure permanent support for all these aspects of our mission.
As always, the highlight of the evening was the stories and messages of thanks from the students whose lives have been changed by their experience at FPU. Jonathan Keller graduated with a business major through the adult degree completion program and now leads a statewide program that advances conservative Christian social values in cooperation with organizations like Focus on the Family.
Alexandria Longoria is a senior in the traditional undergraduate program who overcame the challenges of poverty and other difficulties. She has a Gates Millennium Scholarship that gives her full support through college, her teaching credential and graduate school including a doctorate. She could have chosen any college, but God led her to Fresno Pacific University, where she plans to complete her teaching credential after she graduates this spring. Because of decades of faithful support from President’s Circle donors, Fresno Pacific offers the high-quality Christian higher education that she wanted. She is forever grateful for the rigorous education and personal care she has experienced at FPU.
It really was a great party Saturday night. If you missed it, I invite you to join us next year.