Music training at Africa University will benefit from new resources this year from the Pacific Northwest Conference Jubilate! Choir Endowed Chair in Music. James Salley, the associate vice-chancellor for institutional advancement, has announced that $10,000 will be awarded from the chair for the 2015-2016 academic year.
The first annual distribution of funds from the endowed chair marks the realization of a long-held dream for the members of the Jubilate! Choir, which was organized by the annual conference 47 years ago. The choir made the pledge of an endowed chair in music at the official opening of Africa University in Mutare, Zimbabwe in 1994.
"The music of Africa has touched us so deeply," said Patty Jones, a choir member and driving force behind the effort. "To be able to know that training in music at Africa University will continue to grow through this chair is wonderful and exciting."
Over the past 20 years, choir members and local congregations in the Pacific Northwest Annual Conference have regularly added to their original gift of $31,118 to fund the endowment.
"This is the first campaign that successfully utilized planned giving vehicles – two gift annuities, one life insurance designation and a will bequest – to meet its goal of $400,000.00," said Elaine Jenkins, director of planned giving in the Africa University Development Office. She noted that planned gifts accounted for more than half of the total funds raised for the endowed chair in music.
"This endowment is an enduring legacy from the Pacific Northwest Annual Conference for Africa University," said Tom Richardson, director of four Jubilate! Choir tours to Africa University from 1992 to 2013. "The Dream is Alive is both a song and a reality [thanks to the endowment]."
Jubilate! began in 1978 under the leadership of Patricia Butts, Tom Richardson and the Rev. Larry Warren as a program of the Worship Section of the PNW Board of Discipleship. It has been the source of summer worship/arts events, world choir tours and, currently, the weekend workshops of the Jubilate! Worship Arts Institute headed by the Rev. Carol Mariano. Jubilate! is affiliated with the Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts.
The Pacific Northwest Conference Jubilate! Choir Endowed Chair in Music at Africa University remains open to contributions and planned gifts made through the Pacific Northwest Conference Treasurer's Office and the Africa University Development Office.
Adapted, Tom Richardson, director of the Pacific Northwest Conference Jubilate! Choir.
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.