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Please Remember Africa University in Your Will Issue: 03 Vol: 20

July - August 2015

Give Now

Africa University Development Office | P O Box 340007 | Nashville, TN 37203 | Tel. (615) 340-7438 | Fax. (615) 340-7290 | Email:

AU Choir Tour Yields Excitement and Support It was a whirlwind 37 days for the Africa University Choir as members worshipped and performed in more than 50 venues across the Mississippi and South Carolina conferences. Fifteen students from six African countries shared their stories, expressed their gratitude for the ongoing United Methodist Church support, and gave audiences a taste of the music, praise and worship traditions of sub-Saharan Africa. CChoir members sang to heal, console in SC In Mississippi, the tour helped to increase awareness of the confer- was a joy and inspiration for the ence’s campaign to endow 10 schol- thousands who heard and worshiped arships at Africa University at a cost with them all across the Mississippi $1.3 million. By June 4, when the Conference,” said Rev. Jimmy L. Carr choir gave its closing performance, and Ms. Martha Scarborough, who Mississippi United Methodists had are co-chairing the campaign. “They committed more than $586,000 to brought excitement and commitment to our Mississippi-Africa University the campaign. “Having the Africa University Choir Partnership. Their leadership brought

us to the half way point in our 1.3 million dollar goal.” In South Carolina, choir members crisscrossed the state. They ended their visit in North Charleston on June 22. “The AU Choir came to us at a unique moment in South Carolina…Your (students) blessed us beyond measure,” said Rev. Robert Howell, senior pastor of Bethany United Methodist Church in Summerville. Eight congregations in the North Charleston area gathered on June 21 for the choir’s final performance. South Carolina Bishop L. Jonathan Holston attended and affirmed the choir for its ministry. “The choir’s presence in the Palmetto State will always be remembered,” said Holston. “The AU Choir shared its ministry of song to a broken and hurting community with the love of Christ. We are grateful for their presence in a time of hope and reconciliation.”

Record Numbers for the Class of 2015

Meera Buck dies at 67

On June 13, Africa University awarded degrees to 694 students from 17 African countries. This group was the largest graduating class in the institution’s 23-year history. It included Malaika Mwepu Lunda, a young woman from the Democratic Republic of Congo who earned a degree in education. She was the beneficiary of an endowed scholarship from the Indiana Conference. “I am proud to be a teacher,” said Lunda. “I want to be of great impact in the reform of our educational system.” A female student from Zimbabwe, Tariro Mubvumbi, took top honors and numerous prizes this year. She was the best overall student in the graduating class, best student in humanities and social sciences, and the student with highest cumulative GPA, 3.91. About a third of the graduates in the Class of 2015 completed their degrees through the university’s distance learning programs. The majority of this year’s graduates

Zimbabwean graduate, Nicola Matanga, is congratulated by the Commencement Speaker, Mrs. Chipo Mtasa, for her outstanding academic performance.

trained for careers in business, public administration, and the humanities and social sciences. However, agriculture and natural resources management, health sciences, education, and theology are continuing to provide a solid number of graduates.

The Africa University community notes with deep sadness the death of Dr. Meera Buck on June 15, 2015. Buck was a highly respected consumer research consultant who made important contributions to The United Methodist Church through her work. In 2010, Buck produced a pivotal study for Africa University that assessed the general awareness and knowledge of the institution and identified strategies for increasing support and making advocates for the university. Buck’s work led to a rebranding of Africa University and is the basis for ongoing marketing and communications efforts focusing on the institution’s value and global impact. Meera Buck was laid to rest on June 29, following a celebration of life service at Memorial Drive United Methodist Church in Houston, TX.

The Essence of Planned Giving: Planting Where We Shall Never Reap The late theologian and mystic, Howard Thurman, relates an incident in one of his books of meditations entitled Deep is the Hunger which describes the essence of planned giving. Dr. Thurman said he was walking along a dusty country road one summer afternoon when he chanced upon a very elderly man planting a small grove of pecan trees which were no more than 2-3 feet in height. Amused, Dr. Thurman observed the man for a long while before approaching to ask the man why hadn’t he selected larger trees to plant so that the trees would bear fruit during the man’s lifetime. Dr. Thurman said that the old man

studied him for a long moment then replied, “All my life I have eaten fruit from trees that I did not plant. Why should I not plant trees to bear fruit for those who may enjoy them long after I am gone? Pecan sapling Besides, the man who plants because he will reap the harvest has no faith in life”. Planned gifts—will bequests, life insur-

Conferences Celebrate Church’s Role in AU

HPUMC Funds Facelift

The Upper New York Annual Conference invited congregations to give a minimum of $1,000 each for its “Africa 360” campaign to benefit Africa University and No More Malaria. The Illinois Great Rivers Annual Conference received a special offering of $35,603 towards its $1 million “Making Dreams Possible Scholarship” campaign.

Two tennis courts on the main AU campus have been given a face-lift thanks to Highland Park United Methodist Church (HPUMC) in Dallas, TX. HPUMC’s senior pastor, Rev. Paul Rasmussen and other leaders visited the campus in February. “Your great gift has not only significantly transformed the look of our University, but also contributes in a very fundamental way to our vision of improving the quality of our campus life,” wrote Prof. Munashe Furusa, the vice chancellor, in a thank you note. “Our students are pleased with the new courts and grateful to you for your generous gift.”

General Board of Higher Education and Ministry The United Methodist Church P O Box 340007 Nashville, Tennessee 37203-0007

In May, 31 annual conferences received special Africa University “Thank You” banners in appreciation for their prayers and ongoing financial support. In 2014, the number of annual conferences that gave 100 percent of their asking to the Africa University Fund increased by six, from 25 to 31. For these conferences, the banner presentations were an opportunity to celebrate how their investment in Africa University is helping to make disciples of Jesus Christ and equip global leaders. Conferences, such as Upper New York (UNYAC) and Illinois Great Rivers (IGRC), highlighted their ongoing secondmile giving efforts and gave members a chance to contribute.

ance and retirement designations, gift annuities, pooled income funds, charitable trusts—are the seeds that we sow today to enable Africa University to continue to carry out its mission throughout the 21st century and beyond. For more information about Africa University’s planned giving program, please visit the planned giving website at You may also call or write to our Director of Planned Giving, Elaine Jenkins, Africa University Development Office, P. O. Box 340007, Nashville, TN, 37203-0007, 615/340-7428 (telephone), 615/340-7290 (fax), (e-mail address).

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Acacia eNewsletter - July/August 2015  

Africa University news and developments for the summer of 2015.