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“…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”

-Hebrews 12:1-2
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“…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”

-Hebrews 12:1-2

“God can be trusted! He will get you where He wants you to be!” This is one of Bryce’s favorite sayings, which is why he has heard the Lord say, “Well done, good and faithful servant…”

At the core of Bryce’s professional and ministerial life was the Church. William Jessup University’s mission statement begins like no other Christ-centered university, “In partnership with the church…”

“My dad, William Jessup, believed the best way to redeem world culture was to start a Christian college where men and women would be transformed and sent forth to impact the world through Christ-centered ministries in the church and the marketplace. 80 years later our mission remains the same,” said Bryce. 

If you know anything about Bryce he was always dreaming and had another goal to achieve. In the days preceding his passing his dreams were tethered to ways he could advance the mission of the university.

His next big dream: To raise one million dollars toward the Bryce and Jo Jessup Legacy endowment before his 90th birthday and to celebrate the achievement with a head stand on top of Half Dome.

The Bryce and Jo Jessup Legacy Endowment Fund provides scholarships for those called to church vocational ministry such as a pastor, youth minister, missionary, Christian educator or evangelist, etc.

The purpose of this endowment is to ensure the next generation of church leaders are tethered to their calling, not to debt. Simply put, we need more Christ-like leaders to be a stronger salt and brighter light than ever before. 

Bryce and our current leadership have had many priorities, but none greater than remaining an effective Christ-centered university that raises up transformational leaders to the glory of God. These “World Changers”, as Bryce would call them, can only be such if they are first transformed by the Word of God.

William Jessup University will continue to partner with the Church as long as the Lord tarries and we will continue to be leaders of innovation in an ever changing landscape, while remaining true to biblical authority. “The mission of WJU is the same as when he started SJBC…to transform students into the image of Christ and send them forth to change the world. Transforming students who have a multiplicity of gifts, backgrounds and callings to reflect Christ in everything they do is of great concern.” 

With your support we can accomplish Bryce’s dream of raising a million dollars to “change the very landscape of eternity” by training and equipping the next generation of church leaders. 

Together, we can be instruments of the Lord’s plan as we enter into the next era in the life of William Jessup University. “We have experienced much growth because of you! Today we are at a precipice of a new season as the life of Jessup matures…Thank you so much for your friendship and partnership. I stand on ‘tiptoes’ to watch God continue to shower down on us many blessings and growth opportunities, even in the midst of a very challenging and changing world.  May God richly bless you as you prayerfully consider investing in some of the finest students on planet Earth!”

The Bryce and Jo Jessup Legacy Endowment Fund provides scholarships for those called to church vocational ministry, such as pastors, youth ministers, missionaries, Christian educators and evangelists. Scholarships are available to those who demonstrate financial need in order to reduce or eliminate student loan debt.

The purpose of this endowment is to ensure the next generation of church leaders are tethered to their calling, not debt.

Your support of this endowment will change the very landscape of eternity by training and equipping the next generation of church leaders.

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The Legacy of Bryce Jessup

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Graduation Celebration

“Bryce Jessup has a legacy stream that runs deep at Jessup, through the churches of Northern California, and in the lives of hundreds of men and women. Bryce was a father figure, mentor and encourager to me personally and to many others. We are honored for Jessup to carry his legacy, the legacy of his father and mother, and the present working of Jesus in Northern California and to the ends of the earth. Bryce is already missed, but his legacy will continue to grow!”

Dr. John Jackson, President William Jessup University

“My dad, William Jessup, believed the best way to redeem world culture was to start a Christian college where men and women would be transformed and sent forth to impact the world through Christ-centered ministries in the church and the marketplace. 80 years later our mission remains the same.”

-Bryce Jessup

Our Community Hero and the "Right" Wrong Turn

ROBIN TRIMBLE

W

e are fortunate to live and work in a community with an abundance of amazing business and community leaders. Placer County, and Rocklin specifically, is filled with big hearted, kind and forward-thinking leaders. Perhaps we have become spoiled by living among so many heroes and visionaries.

That is why the story Bryce Jessup told–to anyone who would listen–of how William Jessup University landed in Rocklin, is so poetic. You see, Bryce stumbled on Rocklin, and the Herman Miller property by taking a wrong turn one day in 2002.

And the rest of the story is history. Our elected officials and business leaders immediately embraced the University and all of the God-given talent and influence Bryce and the team brought with them.

In return, Rocklin got Bryce Jessup, who made Rocklin his home. We always called him our very own “hometown hero.” Bryce contributed to Rocklin all of the virtues found in Colossians 3:12-14: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, and most importantly, love. Bryce loved Rocklin and we loved him.

We loved having Bryce at our community events. Bryce was a veteran “Classic Car” judge at the Rocklin Chamber’s Hot Chili and Cool Cars event every September for eight years. He was very organized and thoughtful in his choices for “Best in Show.” In 2011, Bryce was honored at the Rocklin Chamber’s Business Excellence Awards with the “Community Spirit Award” given only to a chosen few for outstanding service and commitment to Rocklin.

To Rocklin, Bryce Jessup has left a legacy of courage, hope, light, and friendship. We will always be grateful for the “wrong turn” that led Bryce, his legacy and William Jessup University to Rocklin.

Inspiring Us to See the Purpose

TINA PETERSEN

A

s I have been reflecting on Bryce and how he is being remembered, I can’t help but imagine that this is a glimpse into what the disciples felt when Jesus died. They reminisced on the beautiful experiences they had with Jesus and the love they felt from Him, always. The one difference is that in those first three days, the disciples had no idea of where Jesus truly was and the joy found in his death. Their anguish must have been crushing! For us, we get to have complete joy among our sadness and reminiscing. Joy because we know that if anyone is at the table with our Lord, it is Bryce. And joy because anyone who knew Bryce knows Jesus better.

When I first started at San Jose Christian College, I worked right outside of Bryce’s office. He had to pass by me to go in or out. Bryce knew a lot of people, but he often forgot names. Not that he didn’t try, but he would often say the wrong name in his sing-songy way. For months he would pass by my desk and throw out random names. “Oh hellooo hmmm-Julie,” or “Beautiful day Liiisa,” not to mention, “How’s registration hmm-Ka-hmm?” This also happened frequently with others. I could hear him, “Thanks for coming by Mark,” as Brian would be leaving. I looked at each of them and expressed that Bryce might not get your name right, but he is always sincere about the experience and honestly deeply loves and remembers the person.
That time right outside of his office gave me insight into the core of the college, now University. I learned how we were founded and the legacy that is passed on to every person who comes through here. I was sold. Faculty and staff come here to work in a place filled with love and excitement to see what God has planned for every student. Bryce inspired us to see the purpose and feel the love for everyone and live it out through the school now named after his father, William Jessup University. Thank you for the privilege of serving in this place.

Commitment to Prayer

WJU ALUM

O

ne of my most cherished encounters with Bryce was his commitment to praying for someone.  Several years ago, when chatting with Bryce, he asked how my husband was. He had not seen my husband in years, but remembered much about him. I shared with him that my husband had been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that was wracking his body. His response, of course, was full of compassion and he said he would pray for my husband. 

Some time later, my husband received a handwritten card in the mail from Bryce, full of personal words of compassion, encouragement, and prayer. He cared about how my husband was doing and committed to praying for him. That commitment reminded me of how his father, Bill Jessup, would faithfully write notes to folks and commit to praying for them. What a legacy of faithfulness that is and such a blessing to those for whom Bryce prayed!

Backpacking Mentor

DAVID TIMMS
Dean, School of Theology and Leadership

O

ur families go back over 70 years. My mother-in-law and Jo Jessup were teenage best friends. Betty was in Jo and Bryce’s wedding party. Jo was later in Betty’s. But I was a late-comer to this family history. I married into it 35 years ago but only started to get to know Bryce when we moved back from Australia in 2001.

Bryce was President of San Jose Christian College and would stop by our home in Southern California when he was visiting down that way. In his inimitable style, he opened his arms (literally and figuratively) and we were “family.” As many can testify, that could happen quickly. There was no good reason for him to treat us so warmly; just his own big heart and generosity.

In fall 2010, Bryce made one of those visits. Several years earlier he had started saying to me, “If you ever want to teach Bible or Theology at Jessup, just let me know.” He said it again in 2010. I’d laugh him off. I was happy where I was. But he planted a seed that, somewhat to my surprise, led to me relocating to Rocklin to start teaching in fall 2011.

Over the last nine years, since moving to William Jessup University and joining the faculty, I got to see the unvarnished Bryce. I joined him each of the last nine years for an annual backpacking trip to the Yosemite backcountry. Six or eight of us would spend a week together every summer camping and trout fishing in a remote part of the national park. I was on the trip with him when he passed.

I learned more from Bryce on those trips than I can say. Studying and soaking each have their value. I learned from Bryce just by being around him—the scruffy him with tattered fishing cap; the tired him with tin cup and smoke from the fire making his eyes water like crazy; the faithful and faith-filled him always ready to marvel at nature’s beauty and the wonderful hand of God (“My, oh my!”)

Sometimes the person on the platform is barely recognizable on the street. Not Bryce. His good humor was often found on the hiking trail or in his one-man tent with earbuds in and listening to Scripture or Bill Gaither music. Unpretentious. Affably competitive. Always warm. Self-deprecating. Devoted to his family. And all of it flowing from his commitment to the Gospel and his deep convictions about life and “changing the landscape of eternity.”

Countless lives have been touched by Bryce Jessup and we all have our own stories, but I expect that if thousands of us gathered around a campfire and started sharing our highlights and memories, they’d start to sound the same. Above all, Bryce modeled consistency without bias or prejudice.

I was there the day he passed. God was gracious to take him in such an extraordinary place and with such gracious peace. We might all like to end this part of eternity and pass into the next like that, but we would do very well to get there the same way Bryce did.

Bryce, welcome to the truly upper lake!

A Man of Integrity

DR. JOHN JACKSON
President

F

ather. Encourager. Shepherd. Friend. These words, and many more, describe the Bryce Jessup I was pleased to know. I first met Bryce in late 2003 or early 2004 when the Rocklin campus was not yet built. Bryce’s son Jim had reached out to me in Nevada asking me to come to a pastors gathering about “Christ-centered higher education” in Northern California. I remember the gathering well (Chick-fil-A was served and the “platform” was a piece of plywood on some supports.) As I recall, several of my pastor friends shared about their excitement; I remember thinking, “This is going to be a long haul.”  Little did I know that five years later, our youngest daughter Rachel would come to Jessup (instead of the Southern California universities) and that we would follow her just two years later. 

Bryce welcomed me to the Presidency of William Jessup University, shared his heart on a regular basis, cheered me and others on, and always kept the mission of the school at the center. He had a fantastic sense of humor and was always ready with a joke or a story. He was full of kindness and grace and the Lord gave him to us for more years, and in better health, than many of us fully appreciated while he was alive. 

Bryce’s legacy has many dynamic pieces, but there is one more I’d like to close with for me personally as his successor at Jessup. I will also always love and honor Bryce and Jo for being publicly supportive even when I knew some of the decisions we were making caused private apprehension. One of the words I did not use above, but would like to close with is integrity. Bryce was a man, a husband, a father, a leader, a pastor, and a friend full of Integrity. I miss him already, but I know he is walking and talking with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in richer and deeper ways than ever before!

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