The 60 months of our fundraising campaign, “A Soul of Conviction, A Voice of Courage: The Campaign for Biola University,” have been a journey for all of us. The journey has not been simply toward our ambitious goal of $180 million. Nor has it been primarily a journey of the wonderful relationships built with the 20,730 alumni, friends, parents, students, faculty, staff, foundations, corporations and churches that have invested in Biola over these five years. But it has also been a journey of faith.
On Jan. 21, 2012, in a Carlsbad, Calif., hotel conference room, the Biola University Board of Trustees began to discuss the motion we brought to them: a recommendation to launch a five-year fundraising campaign nine times bigger than anything we had undertaken in Biola’s history. The reality was, we had a vision for the coming few years that would need $180 million of financial underwriting from the donor community. The reality also was that we did not have any certainty of where we would secure these funds. Our incredibly gifted consultants believed that if we stretched, we might be able to launch a campaign of about $150 million or so. Therein was the gap. It wasn’t just that gap that would need to be filled with faith. It was the entire campaign.
As the Board of Trustees that January day deliberated over the motion to launch the campaign with such a stretch goal, an amendment was made. One trustee, sensing the seriousness and sacredness of this undertaking, added some words to the motion’s first sentence: “Be it resolved that with great confidence in our Lord to do the miraculous in our midst, the Biola University Board of Trustees approves the launching of a comprehensive campaign with a working goal of $180 million ...”
This captured what we knew was true: We made a decision to embark on a journey of faith. Years before I came to Biola, a wise, older gentleman shared with me that “God’s need in God’s time will not lack God’s supply.” Those 10 words became my prayer, our prayer. This was our prayer during stretches when the needle toward our goal barely moved. This was our prayer when we submitted seven-figure proposals to foundations. This was our prayer when donations we never expected came from donors in proportions that defied our best strategizing. This was our prayer the evening of May 9, 2015, when under the “JESUS SAVES” sign our campaign went public. This was our prayer each time we gathered together or fasted as a community, interceding for this campaign.
Because of the incredible sacrifice and generous giving of so many — including many of you reading this Biola Magazine —we began to see that prayer answered and as a result, the university strengthened.
On Jan. 28, 2017, five years after the Biola University Board of Trustees passed the motion launching the “A Soul of Conviction, A Voice of Courage” campaign, the board passed a motion to conclude the campaign. Where the January 2012 motion was in anticipation of what God would do, the January 2017 motion was of gratitude for what God had done.
Here is the motion passed unanimously by the board earlier this year:
“With glory attributed to our sovereign Lord, the Biola University Board of Trustees hereby concludes our five-year fundraising campaign, A Soul of Conviction, A Voice of Courage: The Campaign for Biola University. Furthermore, as anticipated in the Board’s January 2012 motion launching the campaign, we finish this campaign having witnessed the very clear evidence of the miraculous hand of God in our midst. Toward the Board-approved campaign goal of $180,000,000, the Board hereby announces the closure of The Campaign for Biola University with final campaign gifts and pledges totaling $214,184,605. To God be the glory!”
Once again, as has been true for the people of God over the ages, God’s need in God’s time has not lacked God’s supply. Biola’s best years are yet to come.