Giving has intensified as the Illinois Great Rivers Conference (IGRC) moves towards the completion of the "Making Dreams Possible" scholarship endowment campaign for Africa University. In early July, the conference was within $20,000 of its goal of $1 million.
A total of $970,883.95 has been given to the campaign to date, leaving it just $29,117.05 short of the goal of $1 million.
"The people of this conference are wonderfully generous," said Rev. Beverly WilkesNull, chair of the IGRC's Africa University Committee. "We have a great team and they just keep on telling the Africa University story, and that makes all the difference in the world."
The campaign is part of the celebration of 42 years of ministry by Bishop Jonathan D. Keaton and Mrs. Beverly Keaton, who are retiring on August 31st. Bishop Keaton is a strong supporter of mission in general and of Africa University in particular. He has the distinction of having supported a major campaign for Africa University in each of his Episcopal assignments. The conference has earmarked the proceeds of the "Making Dreams Possible" campaign for "the Bishop Jonathan D. Keaton and Mrs. Beverly Keaton Endowment funded by the Illinois Great Rivers Conference".
The current effort is aimed at the conference endows eight scholarships for Africa University students annually in perpetuity, named in honor of Bishop Keaton and Mrs. Keaton. Two of the endowed scholarships are to be reserved for graduate students, leaving six for students pursuing undergraduate degree programs. One of these scholarships has been designated for students from the Fairfield Children's Home at the Old Mutare UMC Mission who wish to enroll at AU.
Andra M. Stevens, Director, Communications, Africa University Development Office
A World Service Special Gift is a designated financial contribution made by an individual, local church, organization, district or annual conference to a project authorized as such by the Connectional Table. Current World Service Special Gifts projects include the Africa University Endowment Fund, the Leonard Perryman Communications Scholarship for Ethnic Minority Students, the Methodist Global Education Fund, the National Anti-Gambling Project and the Lay Missionary Planting Network.