Celebrating the BUILD Campaign
A Word from Troy Duble, VP for Advancement
I remember, about nine years ago, praying that God would use the BUILD campaign to care for and uphold Covenant’s mission and purpose. I was worried that we wouldn’t succeed, and I prayed that God would glorify Himself through our efforts. Well, God had a plan that we didn’t expect, and He answered our prayers in ways we couldn’t have imagined.
As you know, the last eight years have been eventful. In the middle of the campaign, economic instability and instability at the College meant that some families had an especially difficult time affording Covenant and that we had to let go of some faculty and staff. Had we known all of this, we might have decided that 2005 was not the best time to start a campaign. But in God’s sovereign plan, the $31 million we started to raise turned into $53 million, and the campaign ended with more than $58 million in gifts. So let’s be clear—to God be all the glory. It is only through His perfect plan that the campaign succeeded and continues to serve the mission and purpose of Covenant.
As He so often does, God used His people to bless the College through this campaign. I’m thankful for the friends of Covenant who gave faithfully over the past eight years—who lived in the same economic times, who reduced their own labor forces, who had reductions in their own financial situations. Thank you for demonstrating perseverance, which Eugene Peterson describes as “a long obedience in the same direction.” I’m grateful for the sacrifice of alumni who gave more than $4 million, and for their undying support of Covenant’s mission. I’m thankful for the leadership of the Board of Trustees, and specifically Joel Belz, our campaign chairman. Finally, I’m thankful for the bold guidance of Niel and Kathleen Nielson, and for the way they steered the College during those troubling times.
As I look back on the campaign, it is amazing to see God’s provision come through in ways that exceeded all expectations. In spite of challenging years and difficult circumstances, God blessed us with people who are excited to give through Covenant to His kingdom work. The BUILD campaign is not primarily about bricks and mortar. It is one part of the larger work God is doing through Covenant to build up future generations of young men and women—your children, my children, our children’s children—to carry the gospel to the ends of the earth and live out extraordinary callings in ordinary places.
- Troy Duble
BUILD: The Story
Every good story begins with a need, confronts a great obstacle, and ends with an extraordinary victory. In 2005, Covenant College encountered a tremendous need. The College has always worked to build up students who embrace their identity in Christ and their calling as His children, but a growing student body revealed the need for new housing and classrooms for those students. Onto this stage entered BUILD: A Covenant Campaign—the largest campaign in College history. In the summer of 2005, the College set a goal of raising $31 million in five years to support the College’s growing needs through capital projects, the Covenant Fund, and the growth of Covenant’s endowment. But like any good story, the BUILD campaign was full of surprises.
A Board of Examples
The BUILD campaign highlighted the dedication of Covenant’s board of trustees. Board members generously gave during the BUILD campaign with their resources and their networks, totaling $9,506,894 in gifts to campaign efforts. Their generosity acted as a powerful example and testimony to the work God was doing through Covenant and the BUILD campaign.
Building a Foundation: The Covenant Fund
Covenant College has always championed the importance of everyday people living out extraordinary callings in ordinary places. In many ways, the Covenant Fund reflects this conviction. Supporting the everyday needs of the College, the Covenant Fund provides for student scholarships, faculty and staff salaries, art and athletic programs, and much more. In fact, 12 percent of a Covenant education is provided for by the Covenant Fund.
Families Helping Families Scholarship Fund
In 2009, an anonymous grandmother made a $250,000 matching grant directed toward scholarships for students who couldn’t afford a Covenant education. This generous investment, along with the gifts it matched, provided opportunities for students who otherwise could not afford to attend Covenant. This scholarship fund continues to offer students the financial resources they need to make Covenant their home.
Center for Calling & Career
Largely due to the success of the BUILD campaign, the Center for Calling & Career has equipped students to take the education they receive in the classroom and apply it to their future careers. From resume-building to networking functions to personal connections made over lunch, the Center for Calling & Career prepares students to enter the workforce with confidence.
Building Community: Capital Projects
In 2008, the Great Recession hit. Many Americans lost jobs, resources, and any sense of security. In the midst of this nationwide struggle, Covenant alumni, friends, family, and foundations faithfully contributed to BUILD, and campaign goals were met—two years early. Rather than rest in that astonishing success, the decision was made to expand the campaign to $53 million in eight years. Once again, God was faithful, and in June of 2013, the BUILD campaign came to a triumphant close.
Brock Hall & the Dottie Brock Gardens
The walls of Brock Hall are saturated with histories, foreign languages, economic equations, and sociological theories. A language lab fully equipped with computers, interactive headsets, foreign TV, and tutors gives Covenant students the keys to mastering a foreign language. Named in honor of former president Frank Brock, Covenant’s commitment to academic excellence is inescapable in the offices and classrooms of Brock Hall.
Dottie Brock is known for her love of beauty and her sacrificial care for Covenant’s grounds throughout her time as first lady of Covenant. Dottie poured herself into Covenant’s campus, tending to the lawns, growing flowers, and cultivating the natural beauty of the College. The gardens are dedicated to her consistent stewardship of Covenant’s campus. A dedication plaque at the entrance to the Dottie Brock Gardens reminds passersby of the large influence Dottie’s small acts of faithful generosity have on our campus.
Kresge Memorial Library Renovation
Over the past eight years, Covenant’s library has increasingly become a more inviting, thriving hub of student activity. Classes formerly housed in the library were moved to Brock Hall, allowing the library to open up group study rooms and individual study spaces for students.
The construction of a baseball and softball complex, cross-country trails, and new lights over Scotland Yard are expressions of Covenant’s commitment to the preeminence of Christ in all things.
The Scots soccer teams can now play nighttime soccer games at home, thanks to the newly-installed lights over Scotland Yard. This enables academic programs to function with less co-curricular interruption during the day and allows the student body and local community to participate more actively in game-time activities.
“Playing soccer at Covenant made me feel like part of the community in a way that nothing else really did,” says Chris Cushenbery ’04. “I felt like I was contributing something of value to the school by playing. Now as an alumnus, it just made sense to give back to continue to make the soccer program even better by putting lights over Scotland Yard.”
Covenant’s newly completed cross-country trails are an invaluable asset to our cross-country teams, and are well-loved by the rest of the Covenant community.
Residence Halls: Andreas & Carter
From the newest to the oldest hall, BUILD campaign efforts have helped steward current buildings while laying the foundation for new homes for Covenant students.
The generosity of Lowell Andreas helped make Covenant’s newest residence hall a reality. Having never set foot onto Covenant’s campus, Mr. Andreas was a picture of a generous life lived by faith, not by sight. Today, more than 100 Covenant students call Andreas Hall their home.
“This is my fifth year living in Andreas, and I have loved every second of my time here,” says Jessie Blankenship ’14. “I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else! The community is amazing, and I love that it is a smaller building where I can really get to know everyone else. My hall feels like home to me, and all the other residents feel like family.”
The BUILD campaign included a strong commitment to steward one of Covenant’s most treasured buildings—Carter Hall. Few students look back on their time at Covenant without memories of Carter. From eating in the Great Hall and studying in Carter lobby, to finding a way up into “the tower,” Carter will remain a fixed point on Covenant’s campus for years to come.
Building the Future: Endowment
The vision for the BUILD campaign was bigger than simply constructing new academic buildings or residence halls. The effort was built on the strong foundation of Christ’s preeminence and the calling of Colossians 2, to be “rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith.” The campaign looked to build up the body of Christ through Covenant College, and that vision has remained in focus during the last eight years.
Every student who makes Covenant their home has enjoyed the benefits of Covenant’s endowment. From scholarships that meet financial needs, to faculty salaries and sabbaticals, the endowment is part of the fundamental financial structure of any college.
Because the endowment continually yields interest income, an investment in Covenant’s endowment is, in a real sense, a gift that keeps on giving, and can help provide a Covenant education for students for years to come. Gifts to the endowment are often made with vision, creativity, and thoughtful planning. The Norris & Billie Little Faculty Endowment and the Wilberforce Scholarship are just two examples of what the endowment accomplishes in the Covenant community.
Norris & Billie Little Faculty Endowment
Norris and Billie Little chose to make a generous gift to the Covenant endowment to allow Covenant professors to take frequent sabbaticals—to study, and refresh themselves. Their gift enables professors such as Drs. Richard Follett and Don Petcher to spend time on concentrated research in their fields of history and physics.
Named in honor of William Wilberforce, the Wilberforce Scholarship is a regional scholarship awarded based on character. The scholarship not only provides funds for students, helping them to pay for their Covenant education, but also provides them with internship opportunities and a local mentor.
The BUILD Campaign: A Look Back
The BUILD campaign is far bigger than facts and figures, blueprints and structures. The story of the BUILD campaign is wrapped up in the individual stories of students, alumni, staff, faculty, and friends of Covenant who were affected by the generosity of more than 6,000 families and organizations who tirelessly gave through Covenant to the work God is doing here on Lookout Mountain and throughout His world.
The work of Covenant College has always been utterly dependent on the grace and faithfulness of God. Each person who gave through the BUILD campaign contributed to the work God is doing through Covenant in the lives of students and alumni who spread to all corners of the earth. The story of the BUILD campaign is the story of Covenant College. It is the unexpected story of a faithful God working through everyday people to accomplish His purposes on this mountaintop and around the world.
The BUILD Campaign: Fast Facts
- 3,169 alumni gave $4,878,288.
- 3,325 donors were first-time donors.
- 46 trustees gave $6,143,782.
- 3,249 students have received grants and scholarships as a result of the BUILD campaign.
- 20 trustee advisors gave $332,115.
- 113 students live in Andreas Hall.
- 875 churches gave $8,443,839.
- 167 classes are held in Brock Hall per year.
- 1,092 parents of students and alumni gave.
- 30 faculty offices are located in Brock Hall.
- 204 faculty and staff members gave.
- 68 games have been played under the lights on Scotland Yard.