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Philanthropy rescues a lifelong dream
“I took my first steps at Lipscomb, on this campus, when I was about ten months old.”
Katie Markham is a fourth-generation student at Lipscomb University, following in the distant footsteps of her great-grandfather, who attended in 1917. Her youth-minister father was instrumental in starting Lipscomb’s summer “Impact” spiritual formation experiences for teens, and it was during the first of the 21 she’s attended that Katie learned to walk.
Just a few years later, Katie already knew she wanted to be a teacher when she grew up.
“I had a lot of influential teachers in my own life through middle school and high school, as early on as elementary school. They inspired me,” Katie said.
So with nearly 100 years of family connections, annual visits to campus and a deep interest in becoming a teacher, Lipscomb was her dream college – but the dream almost didn’t come true.
“My father’s a youth minister, my mom’s a nurse and we don’t have spare money laying around growing on trees to grab at. My parents were willing to make it possible but it was going to be a hard road,” Katie said. “It was a little scary, thinking that I might not be able to come to this dream school of mine.”
A host of donors came to her rescue through the endowed Johnston-Foster Education Fund and the annually funded Scholarship for Children of Church of Christ Ministers and Educators.
“Those two scholarships aided me immensely in my dream to come here. It made it an attainable dream. It made it possible for me and I was so excited when I learned I had gotten to receive those,” Katie said.
Because of those scholarships she is enrolled in Lipscomb’s nationally recognized teacher-education program, which she says is “just fabulous.”
“I have to work hard to get the grades that I do and keep up with my scholarships and my GPA,” she said. “It’s also preparing me in ways, not just academically, but in my spiritual life.”
She plans to teach middle school, where students will learn at the feet of a well-prepared and highly motivated teacher. They will also be part of the legacy of the donors who made Lipscomb possible for her.
This article first appeared in the Endowment Report to Donors 2016.
Generosity opens the door to Christian Education
Israel Muñoz Salvador was five years old when he and his mother left their native Mexico for a new home in the United States. Israel’s father had been working in the Nashville area, and it was time to reunite the family.
He grew to consider Nashville his hometown and the U.S. as his country – so much so that after he turned 18, he became a U.S. citizen.
“I’ve really appreciated what the U.S. has done for me and so I thought that one of the things I could do for the U.S. was becoming a citizen and that really was an accomplishment for me,” Israel said.
At the same time, he was thinking about where to go to college. Having grown up in a Christian home, attending a Christian college was his goal and Lipscomb University soon arrived at the top of his list.
“I searched for Christian universities [online] and then I looked at the universities that were close to home. I came to visit Lipscomb and I really felt that sense of community here, and so that’s what made me choose Lipscomb,” he said.
Choosing and enrolling can be different challenges, and working through the application process as the first member of his family to go to college was one hurdle to overcome. The next big challenge was financial.
“I love Lipscomb but it can be a little expensive,” Israel said, smiling. “Lipscomb gave me the Durwood Conner and the Golden Circle scholarships, which really did benefit my family because without those scholarships, it would be impossible for me to be sitting in classes and doing the stuff I love.”
Israel says Lipscomb has been what he hoped it would be in his search for a Christian university, but that he has found it to be even more.
“My grandparents are pastors in Mexico, of several churches down there, and so the Christian faith for me has been absolutely important and integral for my life. So when it came time to choose a college, I absolutely knew I wanted a Christian education and that’s absolutely what I found here at Lipscomb.