Bryce Jessup
Photo credit: City of Rocklin

President of WJU for last 25 years

ROCKLIN, Calif.- William Jessup University announced today that Bryce Jessup, president of the institution for the last 25 years and the son of its founder, will retire in May 2010.

The university also announced that it has raised $15 million toward a $25 million capital campaign designed to expand the institution’s Rocklin campus and complete its second phase of development.

‘Serving as president of this university and being part of the education of thousands of young people has been a tremendous honor for me,’ Bryce Jessup said. ‘As I begin my final year as president, I will focus my effort on completing our capital campaign and advancing the vision we have to grow the university to serve thousands of students in the future.’

During Jessup’s 25 year presidency, the university has substantially improved its financial position, achieved regional accreditation, significantly increased enrollment and broadened the curriculum. The biggest change during his tenure was moving the institution from a small, 8-acre campus in San Jose to a 128-acre campus in Rocklin, where it opened its doors to students in 2004.

‘The leadership of Bryce Jessup has transformed this university and impacted the lives of all of those who have been educated here,’ said Don Hinkle, senior pastor of Yucaipa Christian Church and current chair of the university’s Board of Trustees. ‘Bryce’s vision to expand Christ-centered higher education and commitment to that vision has made a tremendous difference.’

Jessup’s career is marked by his stellar involvement and contribution to cross-cultural and ethnic reconciliation ministry efforts which led the quarter century transition of an unaccredited Bible college to a Christian Liberal Arts university.

‘Bryce has worked as a professor, pastor, coach and Dean of Students. I’ve had the privilege to work with him for 27 years and seen the fruit of his effort on a variety of levels,’ said Bev Wiens, psychology chair at Jessup.

‘The fact that WJU has graduates serving in over 50 countries in the world is a direct reflection of Bryce’s invaluable dedication and commitment to the quality education our university delivers, enabling our students to make a difference both here and abroad.’

The university’s Board of Trustees will begin a national search for a new president, the university said.

With today’s capital campaign announcement, William Jessup University’s capital campaign will enter its public phase.

‘We are so grateful to those who are partnering with us and have contributed $15 million to improve and expand our facilities,’ Dr. Jessup said. ‘Our goal is to raise $10 million more to enhance our facilities and meet the demand for quality, Christian higher education in Northern California.’

The capital campaign will be used to expand on-campus housing and dining, as well as athletic and music facilities on campus.

Bryce Jessup’s father, William, started the institution in 1939, initially called San Jose Bible College and later renamed San Jose Christian College. Coinciding with its move to Rocklin in 2004, the name was changed to William Jessup University in honor of its founder.