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New Challenge Grants to Support Bishop Payne Library Renovations

Media Contact: Curtis Prather 
Tel: (703) 461-1782
Email: cprather@vts.edu

ALEXANDRIA, VA – Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) announced today that it has been awarded two challenge grants that aim to inspire additional giving in support of the Bishop Payne Library’s renovations as part of its Bicentennial Campaign, which marks the Seminary’s 200th in 2023. Thanks to the generosity of The Cabell Foundation and The Mary Morton Parsons Foundation, VTS has the opportunity to unlock $500,000 by raising $1,000,000 in support of the Library’s renovations. The Bishop Payne Library’s renovations are a hallmark of the Bicentennial Campaign’s comprehensive focus on both capital and programmatic priorities, which include endowing scholarships, expanding continuing education, empowering faculty, investing in outreach, and seeking new ways to invigorate the Church, in addition to funding campus improvements.

The Cabell Foundation will give $300,000 and The Mary Morton Parsons Foundation will give $200,000 to match gifts to support substantial upgrades to the Bishop Payne Library.

The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D., dean and president of VTS, explained the significance of these two grants, saying, “By making these challenge grants, The Cabell Foundation and The Mary Morton Parsons Foundation acknowledge an important truth: God calls us to accomplish together that which we would never be able to do alone. At VTS, gifts of every size matter; Bicentennial Campaign gifts will come together to empower our third century of service to Christ. We are most grateful for this generous support.”

The Rev. J. Barney Hawkins IV, Ph.D., co-director of the Bicentennial Campaign, shared, “The Seminary has a long history of support from the Cabell Foundation and the Mary Morton Parsons Foundation. Their encouragement has made quite a difference in the Seminary’s ministry and mission.”

The challenge grants will be made available when the Seminary has raised two dollars for every one dollar pledged by each foundation. The Seminary is calling on donors to unlock the potential offered by the two foundations by helping VTS raise the $1,000,000 required.

Linda Dienno, vice president for institutional advancement, elaborated, “This is a marvelous opportunity for friends of VTS and The Episcopal Church who want to ensure that their gift of any size will have a great impact. We are excited to engage with donors and recognize their generosity in a permanent on-campus display. Each donor will find his or her name on an interactive, international wall in the newly renovated Addison Academic Center.”

For more information about Virginia Theological Seminary or the comprehensive Bicentennial Campaign, contact the Rev. J. Barney Hawkins IV, Ph.D., at bhawkins@vts.edu.

Founded in 1823 as a beacon of hope in a country new and finding its way, Virginia Theological Seminary has led the way in forming leaders of The Episcopal Church, including: the Most Rev. John E. Hines (VTS 1933, D.D. 1946), former presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church; the Rt. Rev. John T. Walker (VTS 1954, D.D. 1978), the first African-American bishop of The Episcopal Diocese of Washington; and theologian, author and lay preacher Ms. Verna J. Dozier (VTS D.D. 1978). Serving the worldwide Anglican Communion, Virginia Theological Seminary educates approximately 25% of those being ordained who received residential theological education. Visit us online at www.vts.edu.
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