11 Questions for Our Scholarship Committee

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Rev. Dr. Glenn Ethridge, Senior Pastor of Oak Grove UMC in Decatur, chairs the Georgia United Methodist Foundation’s new Scholarship Committee. He and Nancy Young, GUMF Director of Planned Giving and Scholarships, answer 11 questions about this critical ministry which transforms students’ lives.

1. WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO CHAIR GUMF’S NEW SCHOLARSHIP COMMITTEE?

GLENN: Our family has directly benefited from GUMF's Scholarship Program. Our youngest son, Andrew, went to Oxford College, and we were grateful for the scholarship from GUMF. I am happy to be a part of sharing generosity with others.

2. WHY ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT HIGHER EDUCATION?

GLENN: Education opens doors to opportunity. Education expands the mind, builds bridges, and allows us to see possibilities where others see only inevitability. An educated mind and a transformed heart give me hope for today and tomorrow.

3. WHAT IS THE MISSION OF GUMF’S SCHOLARSHIP COMMITTEE?

NANCY: Our Scholarship Committee embraces GUMF’s mission: Empowering People to Change Lives! We enable United Methodists to support United Methodist students in obtaining their education in order to empower themselves and others.

4. WHAT ARE THE GOALS OF GUMF’S SCHOLARSHIP COMMITTEE?

NANCY: We hope to raise $2 million by 2022 so we can establish 100 endowed scholarships. To date, we have raised $954,970.

5. PEOPLE GET SOLICITATIONS FROM THEIR ALMA MATERS ALL THE TIME. WHY IS IT IMPORTANT THAT WE MAGNIFY OUR GIFTS THROUGH THE CHURCH IN SUPPORT OF UNITED METHODIST STUDENTS’ HIGHER EDUCATION DREAMS?

GLENN: Schools solicit funds for many causes, but our scholarship funds provide direct financial benefits to students. When people give to our Scholarship Program, no one is paying for salaries or office spaces; GUMF is making education more affordable for students with every dollar received.

6. HOW DOES GUMF’S SCHOLARSHIP ENDOWMENT PROGRAM WORK?

GLENN: Our Scholarship Program leverages and inspires gifts from local churches, national foundations, and United Methodist colleges. Our Scholarship Program is part of a multiplying effect starting with $1,000 from the local church and ending in up to $4,000 in scholarship money for a student.

7. WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR THE UNITED METHODIST DOLLARS FOR SCHOLARS (UMDFS) SCHOLARSHIP?

GLENN: UMDFS helps United Methodist students applying to United Methodist colleges and universities for full-time programs at the graduate or undergraduate level. Students who have been a United Methodist for a year should apply for the funds. High school seniors should begin the process in the fall to meet all of the required deadlines.

8. WHY SHOULD I CONSIDER ESTABLISHING A SCHOLARSHIP ENDOWMENT FUND WITH GUMF?

NANCY: Establishing a scholarship fund is an act of love. It provides a meaningful way to honor or memorialize a loved one, your pastor, Sunday school class or church. It’s also a great way to pay it forward! Think about the impact you could have on countless lives by helping someone fulfill their dream of sharing the gospel, teaching underprivileged children, or nursing sick people back to health.

9. HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO ESTABLISH A SCHOLARSHIP FUND WITH GUMF?

NANCY: Each $20,000 donation, which may be pledged over three to five years, will fund a $1,000 scholarship every year in perpetuity. The first three donations of $15,000 in each calendar year up until 2025 will be eligible to receive a challenge match of $5,000.

10. IS IT POSSIBLE TO CONTRIBUTE TO AN EXISTING FUND?

NANCY: Yes! You can contribute any amount to the GUMF Scholarship Endowment.

11. HOW DO I LEARN MORE ABOUT GUMF’S SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM?

NANCY: Contact me (Nancy Young) at 678-708-6601 or nyoung@gumf.org. I would be delighted to talk with you.

This article was originally published in the Georgia United Methodist Foundation's Fall 2018 Faith & Money newsletter.