Columbia Adventist Academy Prepares to Enter the Next Century

Columbia Adventist Academy (CAA) is proud to offer an educational and spiritual experience that is among the best. They have been doing it for 103 years. But it has not always been easy.

In 1899, the school was established by John and Fannie Clark. In 1907, the first class graduated, making next year the 100th anniversary of that event.

In 1920, the school was at a major crossroads. It had been in existence for 21 years. It was the first time a tough question needed to be answered. “Should Columbia Academy continue in the old way, or should the conference get behind the school and put it in a place where it would stand with quality schools of like character?”

The answer then was, “Yes!” The decision was for the academy to continue to educate youth and teach them about Jesus in a quality setting. What followed was a series of campus improvements which kept Columbia competitive with other Christian schools.

Today we are at a similar crossroads. Frankly, our campus is old. The newest building on campus was built 41 years ago and some of the others date back to 1935. Our facilities desperately need to be brought up-to-date. Our library is outdated, the classrooms are inadequate and cramped, and it is impossible to update our technology in our current buildings. We find ourselves again asking the question about the future of CAA. “Should Columbia meet the 21st Century?”

The answer to this question will be defined by commitment. A new investment is necessary to bring Columbia Adventist Academy up to the level of other Christian schools. Funding for these improvements must come from those who most believe in and have benefited from its mission. “To whomever much is given, much will be required” Luke 12:48. We have been given much to educate the students in our care. They deserve much—as much as we can give.

The first phase of our “Next Century Campaign” is a new administration building with classrooms, labs, library and administrative offices. The goal is $5 million. We already have 40 percent of that goal with just over $2 million. This is thanks in part to the sale of property and the CAA Class of 2006, who raised $74,000 for the campaign as their class gift. We are also receiving personal donations from alumni, constituent church members and friends.

This school’s history is built on generosity. Its alumni and friends have always stepped up to the challenge of ensuring the quality of its name.

The next century of education at Columbia Adventist Academy is here. Together, we can write our own proud chapter in Columbia’s history.

We can again answer the question of the school’s future with a resounding “Yes!" We can do our part to continue this proud tradition.

Featured in: December 2006