A unique gift from a Western Kentucky University alumnus has created a scholarship fund that will support students who are involved in Christian ministries on the school's campus.
Jim Beckley, a 1972 graduate from Vero Beach, Fla., recently made a $100,000 commitment to create the Campus Ministry Scholarship Fund for the Master, and endowed award designed to support students who are actively involved and demonstrate leadership in the Campus Ministry Association at Western.
"When I first started thinking about making a gift to Western, I wondered what I could do to help in conjunction with my personal beliefs," said Beckley. "I wanted to do something that would further the Kingdom of God and be a witness in the Christian community."
Though Beckley was not involved in a campus ministry as a student, he said a number of student union groups at Western planted a seed in his life. "I came to Christ at age 25, and I have been involved in lay ministry ever since," he said.
The Campus Ministry Association is composed of 14 different Christian student organizations. The purpose of the organization is "about proclaiming the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to students on the campus of Western Kentucky University."
According to Howard Bailey, WKU associate vice president and dean of Student Life, the scholarship fund will make a tremendous difference for campus ministries. "We're very delighted that we have an alumnus who is willing to assist in this area," he said. "This gift will strengthen the Campus Ministry Association and will allow religious oriented student activities and the entire community."
A special committee led by representatives of the Campus Ministry Association will select scholarship recipients. The committee will also have representation from pastors serving in Bowling Green - Warren County.
Tom Hiles, vice-president for Development & Alumni Relations, said, "We are so appreciative of Jim Beckley's generosity and vision in creating this unique gift to benefit WKU's Campus Ministry Association."
Beckley is also hopeful about the impact the scholarship will have on the recipients. "It is my hope that the recipients would be people who have the Lord in their hearts and a desire to win the lost," he said. "I also hope the vision is caught by other people of God to support this important area."
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