Since 1955, the Evangel Auxiliary has supported the University through numerous special fundraising projects and a prayer ministry that has touched the lives of thousands of students.
From the beginning, the Auxiliary has operated with specific purposes in mind:
- Promote higher education for our youth in a Christian atmosphere, thus endeavoring to preserve high moral and spiritual standards.
- Pray for the students, staff, faculty and administration of the University.
- Provide financial support through scholarships and fund-raising in order to underwrite various projects needed by the University.
At its highest point, the Auxiliary had nearly 1,000 members nationwide with chapters in many cities across the country. In 1999, the Evangel College Council and the Evangel Ladies Auxiliary merged into a new, broader organization: Family and Friends of Evangel University. However, the Springfield members have continued with a local Auxiliary group, numbering more than 150 women.
For years, the Springfied community has known the Auxiliary for its crafts and bake sales and later for the colossal sales. Other fund-raising projects through the years have included the sale of fruitcakes, pecans, stationery products and cutlery. The goal has always been to raise money to finance projects to help the University.
The Auxiliary has aided the University through a variety of practical means throughout the years, but perhaps the most meaningful method of support has been prayer. Anne Spence , wife of former President Robert H. Spence, started a prayer ministry that continues today. This group prays for needs of the University’s administration, faculty, and staff; needs of individual students; and needs shared by alumni, family, and friends of Evangel.
For more information about the Auxiliary, contact Diane Sederwall at firstname.lastname@example.org or 217-556-5447.
Anne Spence Heritage Room Renovations
The Anne Spence Heritage Room welcomes many of the university’s visitors to campus as they enter Riggs Administration Building.
In the planning for the administration building, the Auxiliary donated $100,000 for the Heritage Room which was to document and highlight the history and traditions of the University and its two major fund-raising arms in the past: The Evangel College Council and the Evangel Ladies Auxiliary.
The room underwent an extensive renovation in 2011-12, including new flooring and decor and a custom fireplace and mantle. The Auxiliary gave $46,000 toward the cost of this updating.
The room was dedicated to Anne Spence, wife of Chancellor Robert Spence, in 2014 as part of the festivities to commemorate Dr. Spence’s retirement. Anne served the Auxiliary as executive vice president throughout her husband’s tenure as president.
Campus tours typically begin in the Heritage Room and the space is also used for special events throughout each year.
Fine Arts Projects
The Auxiliary has been an active supporter of the fine arts at Evangel. From the Spence Chapel stage to the Barnett Fine Arts rehearsal rooms, there are instruments that have been provided by Auxiliary funds.
The Robert H. Spence Chapel, completed in 1981, is equipped with a Schantz pipe organ that was purchased and installed after the Auxiliary raised more than $150,000. Prior to the installation of the pipe organ, the group purchased a Bosendorfer concert grand piano for the stage.
Later, a Steinway grand piano was purchased for the Evangel’s music students and faculty.
When the Administration approved the formation of a marching band, the Auxiliary stepped up to purchase all the uniforms for the band.
The Auxiliary also purchased the theatrical curtains for the drama theatre in the Barnett Fine Arts Building. Earlier, the group financed graphic computers for the art area.
Academics and Campus Life
Other projects funded by the Auxiliary that have contributed to student life, academics and spiritual life for the Evangel community include:
- providing thousands of dollars in scholarships since the first Auxiliary scholarship was given in 1960.
- equipping the on-campus cable TV station in 1983-86 and funding a substantial updating of technology for the studio in 2014.
- providing furnishings and fitness equipment for the Mabee Student Fitness Center, which was opened in 1999.
- donating furniture or equipment for almost every building constructed or renovated during the University’s history.
- co-sponsoring a financial literacy seminar in cooperation with Phi Beta Lambda/Students in Free Enterprise.
- contributing $10,000 for stacks in the new library in 1963.
- funding photocopiers for each academic department.
- underwriting the cost of equipment for science labs.
- outfitting the Writing Lab.