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Jerre and Mary Joy Stead Commit $15 Million to the Forging Our Future Campaign

October 20, 2014

On October 23, 2014, it was announced at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary’s board of trustees meeting that Jerre and Mary Joy Stead of Scottsdale, AZ officially kicked off The Final Lap of the seminary’s Forging Our Future campaign with an additional commitment to their earlier commitments in Phase One, Two, and Three of the campaign. Their earlier commitments totaled $6 million, and their most recent commitment is for another $9 million—the largest single gift in the seminary’s history—bringing their total commitment to this campaign to $15 million!

Mr. Stead, who serves as the chair of the board of trustees at Garrett-Evangelical, is also co-chair of the Seminary’s Forging Our Future capital campaign. The Steads’ earlier campaign commitments have helped to endow several leadership scholarships, renovate seminary facilities, create faculty chairs, and support the seminary’s distinctive program, The Church and the Black Experience. Their $9 million commitment, a combination of a five-year pledge and a planned gift, is earmarked for the seminary’s unrestricted endowment, the largest component of the campaign. Earnings from this unrestricted endowment gift will allow the seminary to address future strategic goals and stay on the cutting edge of theological education.

In announcing their commitment, Mr. Stead stated, “We try to give where we can make the most difference—and we firmly believe that Garrett-Evangelical is making a critical difference in preparing the kind of Christian leaders our churches and communities need.”

In addition to their outstanding commitments to the Forging Our Future campaign, 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 at Garrett-Evangelical. In reflecting on the generosity of the Steads, President Rector remarked, “Jerre and Mary Joy have made—and continue to make—a transformative difference at Garrett-Evangelical. Their family commitment to support 'great people doing great things' and to 'giving back' have been very inspiring for the Garrett-Evangelical community. We are so very blessed to have them as our partners in preparing bold spiritual leaders for the church, the academy, and the world.”

“The campaign total now exceeds $88 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.