Garrett-Evangelical News

Steads Commit $5 Million to Garrett-Evangelical

EVANSTON, Ill., May 2011 – Jerre and Mary Joy Stead of Scottsdale, AZ, have made a commitment of $5 million to Garrett- Evangelical’s unrestricted endowment, it was announced at the seminary’s board of trustees meeting on May 12, 2011.

steaddMr. Stead, who serves as chair of the board of trustees at Garrett- Evangelical, is also co-chair of the seminary’s Forging Our Future capital campaign. The Steads had made an earlier campaign commitment to endow three full-tuition, plus stipend scholarships for students at the seminary.

In announcing this most recent commitment, Mr. Stead challenged the other trustees to match his gift and help lead the way in reaching the $100 million campaign goal. The Stead gift will help the seminary address the largest component of the campaign—building the seminary’s unrestricted endowment.

“An unrestricted endowment is vital to the long-term strength of the seminary,” noted Philip Amerson, Garrett-Evangelical’s president. “Campus and community needs and strategic goals change from time to time. Earnings from an unrestricted endowment allow the seminary to address those needs and goals, and stay on the cutting edge of theological education.”

Earnings from this commitment will be used initially to help cover the costs of campus improvements, especially the renovation of Loder and Lesemann Halls. A rededication service for these renovated facilities was held in conjunction with the May board meeting. In response to this generous gift from the Steads, the board of trustees voted unanimously to rename Lesemann Hall as the Jerre and Mary Joy Stead Hall. Dr. Louis Lesemann served as president of Chicago Training School for 16 years. The seminary will continue to honor Dr. Lesemann’s legacy by naming the third floor of the newly renovated Stead Hall as the Lesemann Office Suite.

“We are glad that our commitment has helped the seminary address its significant deferred maintenance,” Stead said. “These renovations will help ensure that the quality of its buildings matches the education within them.”

Special guests, including Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro, joined the trustees in a tour of the renovated facilities, which include a new student center, bookstore, high tech classroom, cafeteria, meditation chapel, prayer and study room, library offices, and 38 dorm rooms with private bathrooms. Dr. Schapiro commented on the long partnership between the seminary and the university and complimented Garrett-Evangelical on making these improvements.

In addition to their gifts for unrestricted endowment and leadership scholarships, Jerre and Mary Joy Stead have previously funded the Jerre and Mary Joy Stead Center for Ethics and Values and the Jerre and Mary Joy Stead Chair of Christian Social Ethics. “We try to give where we can make the most difference,” noted Stead, “and we believe that Garrett-Evangelical is making a big difference in preparing the kind of leadership our churches need.”

In reflecting on the generosity of Jerre and Mary Joy Stead, President Amerson remarked, “Their thoughtful generosity and wise stewardship are marvelous. They are making a transformative difference at Garrett-Evangelical. We are blessed to be in partnership with them as we prepare bold leaders for the church, the academy, and the world.”

“The campaign total now exceeds $67 million,” said David Heetland, vice president for development. “We hope that the Stead commitment will inspire and challenge others to consider what more they can do, so that we can reach the $100 million goal soon. Gifts for unrestricted endowment are especially welcome, as are gifts for endowed scholarships, faculty support, and program support.” If you would like further information on how you can help Garrett- Evangelical reach this challenging goal, contact David Heetland at or call 847.866.3970.

Garrett-Evangelical, founded in 1853, is a graduate school of theology related to The United Methodist Church. Located on the campus of Northwestern University, the seminary serves more than 400 students from many denominations and cultural backgrounds, fostering an atmosphere of ecumenical interaction. Garrett-Evangelical creates bold leaders through master of divinity, master of arts, master of theological studies, doctor of philosophy and doctor of ministry degrees. Its 4,500 living alumni serve church and society around the world.

# # #

UMC Logo Garrett-Evangelical, a seminary related to
The United Methodist Church, welcomes
students from a wide range of faith traditions.