- Associated Press - Thursday, June 9, 2016

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Officials at Grace University in Omaha are asking alumni and students for financial support as the institution looks to restructure.

President Emeritus James Eckman said in separate letters to alumni and students that the university is asking for a “sacrificial gift” to “sustain the school during these summer months,” the Omaha World-Herald (http://bit.ly/1OeOtt6 ) reported.

“Our need is quite significant,” he wrote in the letter posted to the school’s website.

Eckman said in the letter that the board is assessing the Christian school’s entire athletic program. School officials will also analyze scholarships and a discounted tuition program for undergraduate students.

“The board strongly believes that significant changes need to occur in each of these areas, which will necessitate additional adjustments and the reallocation of university funds,” Eckman said.

More information will be available after a Friday board meeting.

The letter arrived just months after the college’s president abruptly resigned and many leadership positions changed. Grace also listed two lots for sale at its Little Italy campus last month. The newspaper reported that the lots were listed at a combined $2 million, according to property records.

The school had roughly 465 students enrolled last year, which is 22 percent decrease from its 2003 enrollment of 598 students, according to data from Nebraska’s Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education shows

Interim President John Holmes said last week that the last few months at Grace “have been challenging,” but he added that action is being taken to ensure a stable future for the school.

“We are not just looking to survive in the difficult landscape of Christian higher education, but our goal is to thrive,” he said.

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Information from: Omaha World-Herald, http://www.omaha.com

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