Hannah Adams, a senior at Anderson University majoring in Bible and Religion, from Nineveh, Ind. was recently selected as the 2009 recipient of the Rev. Billie Roy and Pearl Toon Smith Endowed Christian Education Scholarship Award. The $5,600 scholarship was recently presented to Adams by the Religious Studies Department during a special luncheon on the Olt Student Center.
In addition to the Scholarship Award, the family also supported The Pearl Toon Smith Endowed Memorial Christian Education Lecture Series funded by Rev. Billie Roy Smith in memory of his late wife Pearl who passed away in January, 1995 after 54 years of marriage. Between 1997 and 2007 ten lectureships were conducted. [Photo: Alan Overstreet, Hannah Adams, Christie Smith Stephens, Ron Moore]
In March, 2007, the Smith family decided to convert the endowment to a scholarship fund that would annually recognize an outstanding senior in Christian Education. A plaque honoring Billie Roy and Pearl Toon Smith was unveiled during the 2008 kick-off ceremony in the Religious Studies Department.
[Photo: Fred Shively, Alan Overstreet, Hannah Adams, Marian Osborne Berky] “While the award we conferred is an honor, it is an honor in itself to acknowledge the work that has gone into supporting, enhancing and promoting the academic study of Christian Education,” said Dr. Alan Overstreet, associate professor of Christian Education/Ministry and chair of the Department of Religious Studies at Anderson University. “The temptation is always strong to separate academic study and the practice of ministry. However, the insistence that each can inform the other has also been strong, and the Smith and Stephens families have done a great deal to support that insistence—through 10 years of outstanding lectures and through a significant scholarship.”
“Our process of selecting this year’s award recipient has led us to someone who has been willing both to engage in the practice of ministry and to reflect critically on that practice,” added Overstreet. “It is our intent that the award recipient will be someone who meets the formal criteria—someone who has taken courses related to Christian education, done well, & whose plans include further study. It is also our hope that the recipient will be someone whose work reflects the purposes for which the lecture series & the scholarship were established.”
[Photo: Christie Smith Stephens, Hannah Adams] Adams plans to pursue a Master of Theological Studies at Emory University in Atlanta this coming fall. She hopes to teach at the college level in the future.
“The award brings with it an affirmation from my faculty that they encourage me in my future dreams and pursuits,” said Hannah Adams. “Though the scholarship given by the Smith family offers greatly appreciated financial support in my educational endeavors, the support I have received from my faculty is just as invaluable.”
The Rev. Billie Roy and Pearl Toon Smith Endowed Christian Education Scholarship Award is a part of the Dreams. Discovery. Direction. campaign for Anderson University. On October 6, 2006, the university launched a $110 million campaign entitled; Dreams, Discovery, Direction. The campaign is the largest fundraising effort in the university’s history. To date the campaign has raised $90 million. Major components of the campaign include $51 million for capital projects, $34 million for endowment and $25 million for operational support.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,800 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2008, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the fourth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.