2013 Auxiliary Officers: Seated L-R: Sandra Drake, chaplain; Muriel Denton, president; Shirley Shedd, first vice president. Standing L-R: Diane Sederwall, co-second vice president; Linda Neale, corresponding secretary; Helen Arnall, co-second vice president; Belinda Fortunato, third vice president; Jill Pace, treasurer; Eveline Lewis, treasurer.
$1.6 million. That’s how much the women of the Evangel University Auxiliary have given to support the university and its programs since 1955. Not by one large gift, but by one small gift after another to meet the goals for projects they have undertaken.
All of this from a group of ladies who saw the need and believed the Lord would empower them to meet the need!
While their husbands were forming the Evangel College Council in September 1955, Mrs. C.W. (Gertrude) Scott hosted the women on a tour of the new campus. The women realized that there were some very practical needs they could help with. The group gathered in the band hall and held their first business meeting. An offering of $62.65 for some basics such as curtains, bedspreads and more was given that day. They also pledged during the next year to furnish the lounges in the new residence halls.
When the men heard about the women’s desire to get involved, they supported the formation of a National Evangel College Auxiliary. Later, the Board of Directors of the College approved the Evangel College Ladies Auxiliary as an agency for the promotion of Evangel College.
From the beginning, the Auxiliary has operated under these general purposes:
To promote higher education for our youth in a Christian atmosphere, thus endeavoring to preserve high moral and spiritual standards.
To pray for the students, staff, faculty and administration of the University.
To provide financial support through fund raising in order to underwrite various projects need by the University.
Many women who were interested in becoming members of the Auxiliary did not live locally but wanted to provide support in spite of the distance. To accommodate this enthusiasm for involvement, the Auxiliary soon spread to include local chapters around the nation.These chapters emphasized membership and the collecting and sending of dues for projects for the national Auxiliary. Local chapters also sponsored a variety of activities, including hosting teas for prospective students or pledging money to cover costs for national banquets and other projects. Additionally, local chapters held regular meetings, not only to encourage fellowship but also to promote the school. At one time there were at least nine active chapters in addition to the Springfield chapter.At its highest point, the Auxiliary had nearly 1,000 members nationwide. When the name of the University changed from Evangel College to Evangel University , the name of the Auxiliary changed as well.
The Evangel University Council met in October 1999 and acknowledged the growth of the alumni base (which had not been there when the Council was organized as a group to help support the school), recommending that the University appoint a task force to create a new national support organization.The resulting 10-member committee developed the Association of Evangel University Family and Friends (AEUFF) to facilitate interaction between the University and its many constituents. On April 14, 2000, the University Board of Directors unanimously voted in support of the creation of AEUFF. This new organization incorporated the previous functions of the national Council and Auxiliary with the goal of further expanding those efforts.Both the men of the Council and the women of the Auxiliary have provided leadership, invested their time, and contributed generously to programs during the University’s formative years. Though these groups have changed over the years, their heritage of support continues.Though many functions of the national Auxiliary would be carried out through AEUFF, the women of the Springfield Chapter decided to continue their support through unique local functions. Even as these support organizations have changed, the EU Auxiliary continues to function in meaningful and useful ways.
The EU Auxiliary has aided the University through a variety of means, but perhaps the most meaningful method of support has been prayer. Anne Spence , wife of President Robert H. Spence, started a weekly 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.
Funds are raised through membership pledges, bake sales, pecan sales, discount card sales, and tapestry throw sales. Additionally, the EU Auxiliary is known in the Springfield community for the Colossal Sale that is held immediately following the spring semester and raises more than $15,000 annually.
Funds raised over the years add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars of support for University projects. These highlighted projects include the combined efforts of both the national and local chapters of the EU Auxiliary and some projects spearheaded by the Springfield Chapter.The generosity of the EU Auxiliary is far reaching. They have done simple things such as providing good, used clothes for needy students all the way to purchasing the Schantz pipe organ in the Chapel for more than $150,000.Through the years, the kind and amount needed for projects has varied. For example,
in 1959, the Auxiliary adopted a project to buy stoves and refrigerators for the Home Economics Department for $1,600. At that time, a Home Economics major was offered.The Auxiliary assisted the Council of Evangel College in raising funds for the first permanent building on campus—the Klaude Kendrick Library. A major contribution was $10,000 for stacks in the library.
The Chapel, completed in 1981, is equipped with the Schantz pipe organ that was donated by EU Auxiliary at a cost of $152,573.
In 1977, the EU Auxiliary raised funds for a $13,000 Bosendorfer concert grand piano for the Chapel.
In 1983-86, the Auxiliary raised $64,221 for the cable TV studio.
In the mid-90s, the EU Auxiliary purchased a Steinway grand piano for $52,382.
The Auxiliary purchased furnishings and fitness equipment for the Mabee Student Fitness Center , which was opened in 1999.
In 2006, the EU Auxiliary co-sponsored a financial literacy seminar in cooperation with Phi Beta Lambda/Students in Free Enterprise.
The EU Auxiliary has contributed thousands of dollars toward the Spiritual Emphasis Week fund.
Thousands of dollars have been provided for scholarships since the first Auxiliary scholarship given in 1960.
$146,000 was given for the Heritage Room, Phases 1 and 2, in Riggs Administration Building.
The Auxiliary allotted $60,000 for band uniforms for the new marching band.
Note: Dollar values have not been adjusted for comparable rates today.
The Auxiliary project for 2012-14 is raising $60,000 toward lighting for the Evangel Women’s softball field.A search through the archives quickly reveals that the EU Auxiliary has had a hand in donating furniture or equipment for almost every building constructed or renovated during the University’s history. With more than a million and a half dollars raised since the University began, members of the EU Auxiliary have humbly shown their dedication to the University. With each prayer, with each minute of volunteering, and with each dollar raised, the legacy of giving continues.
Special thanks to the Betty A. Chase Evangel University Archives for assisting with research.
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Evangel is an accredited, liberal arts university with more than 100 academic programs on the cutting edge of today's professional fields. Our commitment to the integration of faith, learning and life attracts students from a wide variety of Christian denominational backgrounds who have a strong commitment to academics with a desire to combine their Christian faith with every aspect of their lives.