Faith Forward Giving: Behind the Big Give to the Loma Linda University Health System

The story here is not that Dennis and Carol Troesh gave money to help build a new hospital at a California university. The story here is that Dennis and Carol Troesh are devout Seventh-day Adventists, and their deep faith is guiding their giving.

Hear me out. Seventh-day Adventism hatched in upstate New York in the 1840s, around the same time Joseph Smith supposedly found the text for the original Book of Mormon buried nearby. (There must’ve been something in the water.) William Miller was convinced a second coming of Jesus Christ was nigh; people in small communities all around him were in a tizzy. When the nascent faith set a date for the second coming to take place and it passed without advent, believers retooled their system of worship somewhat, adding in principles of upright, holistic living to bolster their faith.

Though most churches shy away from making personal recommendations in regard to health and well-being, the Seventh-day Adventist church has no such aversion; its congregations are explicitly focused on maintaining a healthy diet and living a conservative lifestyle. Call it the straight and narrow path, I guess.

Taking a peek at Dennis and Carol Troesh’s giving history, all the tenets of their faith are well represented. There are gifts to some community organizations, the sorts of stock-in-trade gifts just about any upright pillar of the community would support. The Troeshes are founding-level members of the Smith Center, a performing arts center in Las Vegas, and they’ve made a series of contributions to Three Square, a southern Nevada food bank.

Dennis Troesh made his money by developing Robertson’s Ready Mix, a premixed concrete product, working hard since the 1970s to build the business until he sold it last year to Mitsubishi Materials Corporation, based in Japan.

Naturally, a good, solid businessman would have an interest in promoting business education at area colleges, right? So Dennis and Carol Troesh have supported the California Baptist University’s new business school, and they contributed funds to build the eponymous Troesh Conference Center at La Sierra University.

Perhaps, with a bank account full from the sale of the company, the Troeshes are ready to set off on a faith-motivated path of proactive health giving: Perhaps this gift to Loma Linda (which is a faith-forward university, in case you needed to ask) is just the beginning of a new era for the Troeshes. Their past giving has been so in step with their spiritual priorities, one can only guess.