By JENNIFER JONES
The Lighting the Way campaign is designed to extend BYU’s influence to a worldwide scale, said Director of annual giving Linda Palmer.
The Lighting the Way campaign was called “a defining moment for BYU” by former BYU President Rex E. Lee.
The campaign began in April 1996 and will end in August 2000, said Elaine Huntsman, assistant director of annual giving at BYU. Lighting the Way is a capital campaign to collect donations to fund programs in three specific areas.
The first objective of the campaign, Huntsman said, is to teach more students by providing more financial aid, scholarships and grants. The plan also includes hiring 20 more faculty members to reduce the student-to-faculty ratio and allow students to graduate faster, she said.
The average BYU student takes 5 1-2 years to graduate from BYU. The Lighting the Way campaign wants to help get that number down to four years, Huntsman said.
The second objective of the campaign is to enhance the educational value of BYU through establishments such as a faculty center, Huntsman said.
The third objective is to extend BYU’s influence in an outreach program. This would include providing monies to subsidize performing arts travel expenses and supporting initiatives for the Kennedy Center, she said.
This campaign is specifically designed to provide an endowment for future technology, Huntsman said. There are possibilities of long-distance learning through the Internet and student internships and apprenticeships abroad, said Barry Preator, the campaign director. This is already underway with the extensive curriculum development wordwide, Preator said.
Palmer referred to President Bateman’s remarks about the university’s growth that he mentioned at a Development Office conference in January. President Bateman spoke of the first stage of BYU’s growth, when the teachers were paid with sacks of potatoes. The next era, President Bateman said, was one of great building on campus under President Wilkinson when the enrollment skyrocketed. Then, under presidents Oaks, Holland and Lee, BYU’s academic standards rose significantly.
Palmer said the final era President Bateman addressed was the upcoming turn of the century. Speaking of BYU’s future and the Lighting the Way campaign, ?MDNM?President Bateman said he envisioned BYU as first-class in every aspect worldwide.
“This campaign is positioning BYU for the 21st century. It’s like climbing a mountain and we are reaching the summit and we see a vista where BYU can have a tremendous impact on the world,” Palmer said.
The original campaign goal was to raise $250 million and that goal has already been surpassed, Preator said. However, there are many options left to be explored, he said. Donations have been made by friends of the university, alumni, corporate organizations and foundations that are interested in helping fund the programs BYU is planning, Preator said.
“We are anxious to invite everyone to get involved and to recognize the wonderful, life-changing cause of the BYU experience and to participate in the campaign,” Preator said.