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1995 alum Chris Jaap establishes $25,000 endowment for Barrett, The Honors College


Chris Jaap

Chris Jaap, a 1995 ASU honors graduate, has supported Barrett, The Honors College as a member of its Alumni Council and by contributing to support programs associated with the Sustainability House at Barrett. Now, he has established an endowment for honors students committed to sustainability.

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November 20, 2018

Sustainability is a way of life for Barrett, The Honors College alumnus Chris Jaap. And he hopes to encourage that way of life in others, establishing a $25,000 endowment to provide scholarships for Arizona State University honors students with a passion for sustainability. 

Jaap divides his time between San Francisco and the Sea Ranch, a planned community that emphasizes an environmentally sensitive approach to development and “living lightly on the land.” The Sea Ranch stretches for about 10 miles along Highway 1 at the northern end of the Sonoma County coast north of San Francisco. The community spans 5,000 acres, approximately two-thirds of which is reserved open space with expansive meadows and hillsides covered by trees.

It is a place for anyone who loves the environment and who is committed to protecting it while living at the center of one of the most beautiful areas of California, said Jaap, who graduated from ASU with honors in 1995.

After serving on the community’s finance committee, he was elected to a three-year term on the board of directors in May 2018.

Jaap has a professional interest in the renewable- and smart-energy industry, having spent the majority of his 20-year career as a corporate attorney advising clients who design and manufacture renewable-energy products; develop, construct and operate power plants; and provide financing to the industry.

For years, Jaap has contributed to Barrett to support programs associated with the Sustainability House at Barrett (SHAB), a residence hall for students interested in living in an environmentally responsible way. SHAB is LEED-certified and has low-flow water fixtures, energy-efficient appliances, low-energy-use lights and thermostats and a rooftop organic garden. Jaap also has been a member of the honors college’s Alumni Council, assisting with outreach to fellow alums and contributing to the growth and success of the college.

And now his endowment — part of Campaign ASU 2020, a university-wide fundraising effort — will further encourage a passion for sustainability among students.

Jaap said gifts from the endowment will be targeted toward “mission-driven Barrett students who intend to address specific sustainability challenges on a local, regional, national or global scale” with an emphasis on the so-called triple bottom line: people, planet, profit.

Students may use the funding for tuition, research and expenses related to their honors thesis, internships, study abroad, student and community engagement and other activities.

“I was motivated by the idea that the endowment will grow over time and provide ongoing support for Barrett students indefinitely,” Jaap said.

“The principle of investing in what we have today while protecting it for the future really speaks to me. My goal is to raise additional funds every year to grow the endowment over time, maximizing the investment in Barrett’s future,” he added.

Jaap, who was a Flinn Scholar, said he chose to attend ASU largely because of the honors college, so giving back is only natural.

“Barrett offers that small liberal arts college feel with large university resources. It really is the best of both worlds. While in Barrett, I had great professors and classmates. It piqued my intellectual curiosity, and I had a terrific time,” he said, citing his experience as a reason why he wanted to establish the endowment.

“I want the college to have freedom to do what’s needed to support students and help them achieve their dreams,” he said.

Barrett Dean Mark Jacobs said Jaap’s endowment is a significant and highly appreciated gift to the college.

“Chris is dedicated to environmental sustainability as well as to the success of his alma mater ASU and Barrett. He has been a great friend to Barrett as part of our alumni network, helping to grow its strength and value.”

Those who wish to donate to the Christopher Jaap Endowed Scholarship can do so on the Campaign ASU 2020 website.

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