Life is full of transitions. As we successfully wrapped up the academic year, we said goodbye to our graduates. We are pleased that they will be serving in many capacities, in a world that is desperate for leadership.
Let me fill you in on a number of end-of-the-year endeavors.
- The Perkins Executive Board rose to the challenge and we surpassed our goal for the SMU Fund for Perkins. Dean Hill can use this unrestricted fund to enhance our educational activities.
I can’t say enough about the women and men who comprise the Perkins Executive Board! This group, made up of 46 people, is interested in Perkins prospering, in every sense of that term. Coming from various walks of life, they serve as trusted advisors to the Dean. Five are SMU Trustees, including three Bishops of the United Methodist Church.
At the Executive Board meeting in March, it was apparent that we were struggling to meet our financial goal for the SMU Fund for Perkins. One member of the Board anonymously offered a $50,000 challenge gift, contingent on matching that amount, having every member of the Executive Board contribute. I am happy to report Executive Board members did participate and we reached our goal! I am thankful that our office can support such a wonderful group of people.
- Speaking of our office, I am grateful for the extraordinary abilities which Christina Rhodes supplies every day. Our mission is to treat each donor of Perkins with confidential and excellent service. We believe that all gifts, of whatever size, are important and we assure you that Perkins carefully stewards our funds.
Over the next month-and-a-half, various administrators and faculty members will be fanning out to many Annual Conferences of the United Methodist Church. At those yearly gatherings, we will be meeting hundreds of Perkins graduates in lunches, dinners, and breakfasts. Dean Hill and others will give a brief update. We love meeting with alumni/ae and friends. Your accolades are great, but even more helpful are your constructive criticisms which will spur us on to do even more excellent work.
- The SMU fiscal year ended on May 31. You may be aware that we have now finished the second of three years which emphasize current-use giving. These are funds that immediately can be used for operations. I am pleased to tell you that our two-year goal of $4.9 million has been reached! This is no small feat in view of the headwinds that we face on a variety of fronts. Thank you to all who have had a part in supporting Perkins. We ask for your regular support for next year.
- An “easy way” to support Perkins is to set up automatic withdrawals from your bank account or debit/credit card. I have found that to be very helpful in my regular giving. Simply visit our website here and follow the instructions. After putting in the appropriate dollar amount and the designation from the drop-down menu, you will click “next,” and will see a button for “recurring gift.” It is simple and convenient and I encourage you to try it. Your giving can be monthly, quarterly, or yearly.
Thank you for your interest in Perkins School of Theology. Remember that Matthew 6:21 states, “Where your treasure is, there also is your heart.” Many of you have shown that your heart is with Perkins because you have entrusted us with some of your treasures.
For that, we say, thank you!
John A. Martin
Director of Development