A gift of $2 million from Highland Park United Methodist Church (HPUMC) in Dallas, TX will fund a new student union facility at Africa University. The announcement was made on behalf of HPUMC and its senior pastor, Rev. Paul Rasmussen, by Mrs. Lisa Tichenor, her husband, Mr. McHenry Tichenor, and a family friend, Ms. Mary (Mimi) Jacobie. The Tichenors presented the gift from their home church during a formal celebration of the university’s 25th anniversary on March 25th.
Highland Park UMC's gift to the Campaign for Africa University had its genesis in a February 2015 vist to the campus by Rasmussen, accompanied by the Tichenors and Rev. Adam Hamilton of the Church of the Resurrection. Both Rasmussen and Hamilton gave lectures, interacted with faculty and staff, and saw how the university's mission and vision were unfolding in the lives of the students. They came away from that first visit with great appreciation of the university's impact and its evolving needs.
One year later, the Africa University Choir participated in HPUMC's centenary celebrations and helped to launch the church's Beyond 100 campaign. The church made increased giving to mission a priority of the campaign and a major element of what it hopes will be its legacy over the next 100 years.
"We are looking beyond 100 years of investing in the future with this $2 million," said Tichenor. "We are happy that Highland Park's dreams have become Africa University's dreams."
Tichenor, a longstanding member of the Africa University Advisory Development Committee and a first-term trustee, co-chaired a successful effort by the North Texas Conference to fund construction of the Bishop Alfred Norris Health Clinic on the Africa University campus.