Constituents Approve Recommendation to Sell Mount Vernon Academy
Nearly one year since Ohio Conference leaders learned of the dire financial situation facing their beloved Mount Vernon Academy in Mount Vernon, Ohio Conference constituents voted to ratify the recommendations put forth by the Mount Vernon Academy Board of Trustees and Ohio Conference Executive Committee to authorize the sale of assets of the Mount Vernon Academy Corporation. Though emotionally difficult, constituents understood the severity of the financial situation, with 293 voting in favor of the motion and 17 opposed at a special constituency meeting earlier this year.
Story by Heidi Shoemaker, Ohio Conference
The motion: To permit the “sale of all assets (real and personal properties) of the Mount Vernon Academy Corporation (MVAC), as well as consideration of disposition of conference lands and properties adjacent to and around MVAC properties, should such inclusion enhance desirability of said sale to prospective buyer(s).”
Ron Halvorsen Jr., conference president, recapped the series of events leading to this point. He also apprised attendees of the final $1.474 million total debt owed to the conference by MVA, and reminded all that this figure would only continue to climb. After addressing concerns raised by delegates about where and how the monies from the sale of academy properties would be used, he repeatedly assured constituents that the money would go into secondary Seventh-day Adventist education in Ohio once the debt had been reduced. “Every bit of monies that defrays debt will ultimately mean more dollars for our young people,” said Halvorsen.
Halvorsen commended constituents who helped support MVA in the past with a $407,000 annual subsidy, which went to help only 38 Ohio Conference students last school year. “Do you realize what $407,000 could do for Adventist education in this state?” He then went on to expound upon the vision he has for Ohio in the coming years.
Halvorsen assured constituents he will continue to update them as decisions are reached, allowing them to remain part of this journey. “I’m really proud of our church family here in Ohio. We’ve been through some hard times, but we’re going through them together,” he said.
For regular updates on the process, visit ohioadventist.org.