BY ROGER SHAPIRO

Thirty-five members of the Class of 1960, most with their spouses, came back to campus for Reunion Week this fall, celebrating their golden anniversary and announcing a $105,000 gift to PTS that will support future students and increase the Seminary’s global outreach.

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Photo: Len Turner

Participating in one of the Seminary’s many traditions, the class announced it’s fiftieth anniversary gift and presented President Torrance with a check during the reunion’s opening dinner October 25.

The gift has three purposes. It will provide financial aid for future students, contribute to the Bicentennial Campaign supporting the new library, and fund a global understanding initiative, which reflects the class’s desire to encourage the Seminary to become more proactive in the direction it is already taking with its Office of Multicultural Relations and the Hispanic Theological Initiative. The first financial aid awards from this gift will be given to students during the 2011–2012 academic year.

Donald G. Howland (M.Div., 1960) chaired the class’s fiftieth anniversary committee and Gene Degitz (M.Div., 1960), vice president emeritus for seminary relations, directed the gift committee.

While some past classes presented a fiftieth anniversary gift earlier in the Seminary’s history, it’s become a regular tradition since 2002, when the Class of 1952 gave a scholarship endowment during that year’s reunion. Each golden anniversary class since then has given a special gift. The Class of 1961 is already planning its gift, which will be announced at next year’s reunion. Abigail Rian Evans (M.Div., 1961), the Seminary’s Charlotte W. Newcombe Professor of Practical Theology Emerita, is chairing the steering committee coordinating that gift.

Just as some classes raise funds to celebrate their anniversaries, most give gifts upon their graduation. Typical of these graduation gifts are those from the Classes of 1970 and 1980.

The Class of 1970 established a scholarship endowment fund that began with $2,500. The fund has grown to more than $250,000 through investment growth and additional gifts. Since 1974, the fund has contributed $95,000 in financial aid to thirty-eight students.

The Class of 1980 established the Class of 1980 Scholarship Endowment Fund on the tenth anniversary of its graduation. It raised money for ten years and then funded an endowment with the collected funds. The gift, which has grown to $26,000, is dedicated to support students from third-world countries, or, for years when there are no such students needing aid, American students studying in those countries. The first award was given in 1993. Since then, fifteen students have received financial aid from this fund, including Salai Pum Za Mang (M.A., 2010) from Burma and Seng-Kong Tan (current Ph.D. candidate) from Malaysia.

Other class gifts have set up endowments or restricted funds that support continuing education seminars, emergency medical care and counseling for students, and summer international internships. The Class of 2010 purchased a table for Miller Chapel.
For information about class gifts or establishing an endowment fund as a long-lasting gift to the Seminary, contact Jack McAnlis in the Seminary Relations Office.