Valley View University Foundation has been launched to foster spiritual and academic excellence at Ghana’s premier chartered private university. The foundation’s mission is to secure financial support for the endowment of professorships and quality Christian education for bright but needy students.
The launching took place at the Washington Ghanaian SDA Church on December 17, 2016. In attendance were Valley View University’s alumni living in USA, board members of the foundation, and church members.
The foundation, based in San Jose, California, is registered with the U.S. Federal Government, and the State of California. The foundation has the following as its board members: Dr. Martha Duah, Dr. Paul Yeboah, Dr. Isaac Fordjour, Dr. David Amponsah, and Dr. Alex Clerk.
President of the foundation, Dr. Alex Clerk, tracing the history of the initiative, said discussion about it began during the last General Conference Session of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, held in San Antonio, Texas, in 2015. Some lay people in the North America met Ghanaian Adventist delegates attending the session, including Valley View University’s administrators to deliberate on ways to support the institution. That gave birth to an idea of the foundation. On September 1, 2015, Valley View University Council acted to affirm the institution’s need and interest. A group of elders in North America followed up to create the foundation, in consultation with Valley View University Council, State of California, and US Federal Government. The foundation got its nonprofit status on August 9, 2016.
Dr. Clerk said the foundation will help VVU to recruit and retain high quality faculty members, acquire a creative research minded environment, assist teachers to become more engaged with students, and to attract the brightest students. He further stated that the foundation will offer numerous benefits to students and the teaching staff. Students will benefit from improved course design and teaching, mentoring programs, and they will have opportunity to learn from the real world of innovation and discovery. Faculty members will have academic recognition incentives, research funding to push the frontiers of their field, and networking opportunities to work with other scholars around the world. He appealed to donors to support the foundation, by so doing they give direction to a rapidly changing world. He added, “You help create a great University Ghanaian Adventist can be proud of”.
Dr. Isaac Fordjour, a board member who doubles as treasurer of the foundation disclosed that the board’s yearly fundraising goal is 1 million US dollars. The foundation will raise 10 million dollars in ten years.
Dr. Martha Duah, board member, an alumna, and former lecturer of VVU, spoke about the challenges the institution is facing in Ghana in areas of student enrollment and faculty members’ retention. She pointed out that VVU is competing with other universities for students and professors. She therefore appealed to all Adventists to support the foundation so that the university can prevent declining enrollment rates, to attract, and retain quality faculty members.