What a year 2020 has been - for everyone. Everywhere we look it seems people are reminding us that we are in this together. At Life Pacific University we have needed partnerships in 2020 more than ever before.
In response to the challenges of 2020, LPU formed a Success Coach program, pivoting several employees whose jobs were impacted by the pandemic. These coaches were assigned a roster of students and trained to provide broad support in the areas of academics, enrollment services, emotional and spiritual support.
When students begin the college journey, there are many obstacles they face which can impede their progress. The pandemic has only compounded the challenges students face – adapting to a virtual classroom environment, financial hardship personally and in their family, health concerns, family challenges, isolation that harms their mental health, and much more.
Glancing over our shoulders at the year in review, we are thankful for the faithfulness of God among LPU students, faculty, and staff. The resiliency of individuals and the teams that support them has been a hallmark of LPU’s response to this most unusual year.
Matthew Tapp, Director of Enrollment Management says the Success Coach program has had a positive impact on student retention from last spring to the fully online semester this fall. The coaches have influenced students during the semester and Matthew hopes the University will be able to retain the program when students return in person to campus.
In the midst of the global pandemic when traditional approaches to life gave way to unprecedented virtual adaptation, The LPU Office of Advancement and Alumni Relations faced transition along with the rest of the university, and still surpassed their annual goals.
Acclimating to a new team and director, the department led by Executive Director Lynnette Lozoya, raised over $348,000 for the LIFE Fund, which amounts to a 69% increase over the prior fiscal year. An additional $2.6 million was raised through restricted gifts and planned gifts. This team works hard to build connection with our alumni and friends and innovated or restructured reunions, donor visits, and campus events.
Lynnette focused LPU’s fundraising efforts on key academic programs and scholarship opportunities including the newly established Student Success Scholarship for students of color, low-income, first generation, and female students, and the Media Campaign highlighting the Aimee Semple McPherson Digital Media Studio, a state-of-the-art computer lab, and Chapel renovations.
Advancement and Alumni Relations also led the university to exceed its Giving Tuesday goal of raising $60,000 and helped bring in more than $80,000 on December 1. Fundraising for LPU continued through the end of 2020 with more than $40,000 being added to these year-end giving totals.
Matthew Tapp says this season has been a catalyst for tremendous growth, creativity, and resilience. He reflects on how our teams have learned to do high-quality virtual events from admitted student days to previews.
“We have become a resource to Foursquare Nextgen, helping to broadcast the summer digital experience to thousands of youth across the country,” Matthew says. “We’ve produced free, leadership-focused webinars that have been watched by nearly a thousand ministers and leaders.
It has been exciting to see our immersive training program flourish as we formalize many new partnerships with churches and ministries that will provide unique hands-on leadership experience for students while they earn an online degree from LPU. Additionally, our Academic Office has established several new partnerships with bible institutes and ministry schools which will serve as a bridge for students to earn accredited undergrad and graduate degrees.”
With the launch of the Media Campaign and its projects, LPU is continuing its digital media footprint in higher education offering students a well-rounded learning experience in the classroom as well as a hands-on studio. With the university’s move to the digital space for classes, webinars, and events, securing support for these Media Campaign projects has become a campus-wide priority, Matthew adds.
Through the digital media studio and the renovated Chapel, Life Pacific University will also expand its digital media reach by becoming a resource for churches and organizations through internships, media services, certifications, broadcasting, lecture series, theater productions, student projects, and conferences.
There is still uncertainty as we move forward into 2021, but one thing is clear… LPU will keep moving forward in our mission to develop transformational leaders who are prepared to serve God in the Church, the workplace, and the world.