The 2013 Spirit of Hope Celebrity Concert & Awards Gala lived up to its name for nearly 500 alumni, friends, and guests who attended on Saturday, September 28. The Grand Ballroom of the Disneyland Hotel served as the elegant backdrop for an evening of inspiration, entertainment, and record-breaking fundraising. The Institutional Advancement Department reported a total of $135,000 committed for the Student Scholarship Fund, the most ever raised through the annual event.
The University traditionally honors both individuals and groups through the Spirit of Hope awards. This year’s recipient of the Spirit of Hope Award was Gray Farley, a member of the Board of Trustees and longtime supporter of the University. Eastside Christian Church and Christ’s Church of Flagstaff were each presented with the Supporting Church Award. Collectively, the two churches have given nearly $750,000 over the churches’ lifetimes.
Michael Mulryan, Vice President of Institutional Advancement, announced the kick-off of the Ignite Hope Capital Campaign. Kent Anderson, an elder of Morningstar Christian Church, was honored for making the lead gift to the Campaign. Kent’s generous $1.5 million gift includes a $1 million endowment fund to support the faculty and programs for Pacific Christian College of Ministry & Biblical Studies. This donation is the third largest ever received by the University. Also honored was First Christian Church Huntington Beach, which made the lead church gift to the Campaign. There to receive the honor was Scott Martin, Senior Pastor of FCCHB.
Alumni Keith (BA ’86; MA ’90) and Kathy (BA ’88) Ham received the Ministry Award for their work with the Christian Missionary Fellowship. The Hams have served many of their 22 years with CMF in Kenya, where their projects educate and feed 10,000 children and help transform communities.
The 2012-2013 Men’s Basketball team was also recognized for its outstanding season, which included competing in the NAIA National Tournament for the first time in HIU history.
President Dr. John Derry spoke about the University’s enduring dedication to growth and servitude. He highlighted the many ways HIU alumni serve their communities and the world. He also reaffirmed Hope’s commitment to educating the next generation of servant leaders, underlining the need for the Ignite Hope campaign in fulfilling that commitment.
The evening’s entertainers were all crowd pleasers, starting with Tim Kepler’s stirring rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” as the Fullerton Police Department Honor Guard presented the colors. Headliner Roddy Chong dazzled guests with his virtuoso violin performance and shared the story of his journey to become one of the most sought-after violinists in the world. The Archie Thompson Quintet, featuring Jason Hanna, played a set of smooth jazz and classic “crooner” numbers during the dinner portion of the evening. For the evening’s grand finale, cellist Julie Jung and violinist Ellen Jung were joined onstage by a string quartet, Sung Wan Cho on piano, and soloist Kepler who sang “On Holy Ground.”
“It just keeps getting better!” said Vice President Michael Mulryan. “The University has never been better poised for healthy growth in response to the needs of our churches, friends, and prospective students, and we can hardly wait to see what happens next.”