Peacemaking Fund reaches $1 million mark

Fri, 2009-04-17 08:13 -- univcomm
April 17, 2009

Anderson, Ind. --- The Mack and Irene Caldwell Peacemaking Fund at Anderson University recently reached its goal of $1 million. The endowment, which funds the Peace and Conflict Transformation (PACT) Program, is unique in that it is the only million-dollar AU endowment to be funded by over 500 private givers.

Over the past 12 years, more than five hundred people have given to the Mack and Irene Caldwell Peacemaking Fund at Anderson University, and last December, the fund reached $1 million, thanks to a matching challenge gift of $100,000 from Dr. Joe and Carol Batdorff. “When we started, we had no dream of ever reaching a million dollars,” said Dondeena. “We just didn’t think we would ever see that day.” But now that the fund has, Maurice and Dondeena couldn’t be more appreciative of the people who have supported the fund over the years. And they couldn’t be more proud of the AU students the fund has benefited.

peacetreePeace building has long been a part of the Caldwell’s lives, thanks to their parents. Maurice’s parents were both teachers who spent their sabbatical months overseas. Dondeena’s parents were missionaries in Lebanon and Egypt. “We feel that our parents taught us to be world citizens, and that’s what we would like everyone to be.”

Dr. Marian Osborne Berky, Director of the PACT Program, said, "When I first became the director there was a sense of responsibility for the funds since it was regular people who committed to the enterprise. I take that responsibility seriously."

The through the endowment, AU is able to offer a Peace and Conflict Transformation minor. In its two years of existence, the PACT minor has attracted 19 new students making it one of the fastest growing minors at AU. The minor offers classes on principles of peacemaking; peacemakers, past and present; peace, conflict and religion; and a new course in sustainable agriculture.

The PACT program also "supports all kinds of programs that focus on peacemaking," according to Berky. "We have a broad definition of what goes into making peace." Recently, PACT has funded student participation in conferences on a variety of topics including: green business, reducing inner city violence, and community development from a Christian perspective.

The PACT committee also created a scholarship for international students from regions of political and economic turmoil. "All we ask is that they serve on the PACT committee. This way we always have an international voice on the committee," explained Berky.

David Hynds is the Web Content Specialist for Anderson University.

Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,800 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2008, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the fourth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology. On October 6, 2006, the university launched a $110 million campaign entitled; Dreams, Discovery, Direction. The campaign is the largest fundraising effort in the university's history. To date the campaign has raised $90 million. Major components of the campaign include $51 million for capital projects, $34 million for endowment and $25 million for operational support.