Alec Hill - Celebrating InterVarsity's Chapter Planters

In early July, it was my great pleasure to welcome 19 new chapter planters, their coaches, and trainers for a week in Madison. For the past three summers, greeting these cohorts has been a real highlight for me.

This year’s class represents new chapters at 13 state universities, five liberal arts colleges, and a community college.

• Undergraduate Multiethnic:

  • University of Oklahoma, Norman—Chris Goree
  • Georgia State, Atlanta— Nick Johnson
  • University of Missouri, Kansas City—Jamie Veeder
  • Temple University, Philadelphia, PA—Chris Owen
  • Champlain College, Burlington, VT—Susan Blodgett
  • University of Dayton, OH—Hunter Buikema
  • Alvernia College, Reading, PA—Danny Greenawalt
  • Aurora University, IL—Jinette Greifenberger
  • Lynchburg College, VA—Brian Johnson


• Greeks

  • James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA—Taylor Register
  • University of Texas, Austin—Sarah Royce
  • Central Michigan, Mount Pleasant, MI—Tina Aceti


• International Students

  • University of Oregon— Amy Awtrey
  • University of Memphis, TN—Amy Brewster
  • University North Carolina, Chapel Hill— Jim Herman


• Historically Black

  • Bowie State , MD— NaKhia Grays


• Asian American

  • University of Missouri, Columbia— Adam Leong


• Community College

  • Hancock Com. College, Santa Maria, CA —Bekah Weisman


• Athletes

  • University of New Hampshire, Durham—Maghan Grahn


As stated in our Purpose Statement, InterVarsity’s mission is to “establish and advance witnessing communities” at colleges and universities. Over a five-year period–believing that this is the direction the Lord wants us to go–we have boldly committed to plant 100 new chapters. This entails raising $3.3 million as part of our Vision Campaign–a daunting task!

Progress to Date
Thankfully, we have a great deal to celebrate. The first cohort (2006) planted 12 chapters. After two years, these chapters now involve 456 core students and faculty, and have seen 52 new believers. Amazing.

After only one year, the 2007 cohort (11 new chapters) have 324 core students and 16 new believers. Thanks be to God!

All total, the three cohorts (2006, 2007, and 2008) represent 42 new chapters. This leaves 58 to go. In 2009, we plan to launch 20 new chapters. Likewise, in 2010.

I am so thankful for the funds we have received to date, including those for most of the 2009 chapters. It also thrills me to see the cultural change that is occurring in the Fellowship. Being a chapter planter–like being an evangelist–is very cool.

Three Great Stories

Jeff and Anna Gissing
After completing their seminary degrees, Jeff and Anna Gissing sensed the call of God to reach graduate students at Wake Forrest. To put it mildly, they hit a sweet spot. Today, 117 students are involved in three chapters (law, medicine, and the liberal arts).

Willis and Amy Webber
Willis and Amy Webber—also part of the 2006 cohort—planted a chapter at Charleston College. Over the past two years, they have seen their multiethnic chapter grow to 75 people in a racially divided context. According to Jim Lundgren, Charleston is a textbook example of chapter planting.

Dusty Harrison
After conducting a thorough evaluation of Clemson in South Carolina (including conversations with other campus ministries), key leaders concluded that it was the right time to plant a Greek chapter there. In 2007 Dusty Harrison started his work as a chapter planter. After only one year, the chapter has 60 core members.

It is thrilling to witness the Lord’s hand at work. Please pray for:

  • The 2008 chapter planters listed above. Planting is highly taxing and these folks will need divine staying power.
  • Wisdom for the senior leaders who are overseeing this effort – in particular, Jim Lundgren and Bobby Gross.
  • Funds for the remaining chapters.