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Church's education foundation changes its name

12/15/2000 News media contact: Linda Green · (615) 742-5470 · Nashville, Tenn

By Kathy Gilbert*

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) -- The United Methodist Foundation for Christian Higher Education will become the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation, effective Jan. 1.

"We are excited to enter 2001 with a new name that succinctly states what we are about," said George M. Miller, foundation president and chief executive officer.

"Our grand vision is that it be economically possible for any qualified United Methodist student to be educated at a United Methodist higher education institution," he said. Last year, the foundation provided 775 scholarships for students attending the 123 United Methodist-related schools, colleges and universities, and the denomination's 13 seminaries.

The name change hails a new era for the foundation, which has an endowment of more than $41 million. Two endowment resolutions passed by the denomination's top legislative body earlier this year, one for the church's historically black colleges and universities and one for the relief of seminarian indebtedness, will bring about a wider scope of emphasis for the 35-year-old foundation.

The United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry's Division of Ordained Ministry, in cooperation with the foundation and the Office of Loans and Scholarships, will develop a plan to reduce the seminary debts of candidates for ordained ministry.

The foundation will also work with the board to implement a 25-year plan to raise $300 million in endowment funds for the 11 historically black colleges and universities related to the United Methodist Church.

"Our foundation board felt that it was important to meet the growing, changing needs of students and institutions related to United Methodism," Miller said. "These two endowment funds address vital areas of need for the church that will be critical in this new century."

For more information, contact the foundation at 1-800-811-8110, check the Web site at www.umhef.org (after Jan. 1), or write to P.O. Box 340005, Nashville, TN 37203-0005.
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*Gilbert is a member of the staff of the Office of Interpretation at the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry.

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