Suzanne Drayer, a senior at Anderson University majoring in Christian Ministries, from Uniondale, Ind. was recently selected as the 2010 recipient of the Rev. Billie Roy and Pearl Toon Smith Endowed Christian Education Scholarship Award. The $5,700 scholarship was presented to Drayer today, April 23, by the Religious Studies Department during a special luncheon in the Olt Student Center.
"Suzanne demonstrated on more than one occasion both the desire to understand and to represent well her own ministry contexts as well as a concern to address significant issues with profound ministry implications, " said Dr. Alan Overstreet, associate professor of Christian Education/Ministry and chair of the Department of Religious Studies at Anderson University. [Photo on left: Christie Smith Stephens, Suzanne Drayer and Stan Stephens]
Drayer plans to pursue a Master of Arts in Higher Education at Indiana Wesleyan University this coming fall.
"My pursuit in ministry has definitely been confirmed through my experiences at AU as well as my supportive professors and I look forward to the opportunities I will accrue as I continue my educational journey," added Drayer. "I want to thank the Religious Studies Department faculty and especially to the Smith family for this incredible honor."
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. The first lecture series was held in 1997. [Photo on right: Troy and Mindy Drayer with daughter Suzanne, her fiance Ryan Kellam and President James L. Edwards]
In March, 2007, the Smith family decided to convert the endowment to a scholarship fund to honor Pearl's love of Christian education. The annual award recognizes an outstanding senior in Christian Education.
Past recipients include Xen Riggs, who is continuing his work at the School of Theology at Anderson University and Hannah Adams, who is studying at Candler School of Theology.
Originally from Alabama, Rev. Billie Roy (BTh '49) felt a call to ministry in 1946 and moved with Pearl and their toddler daughter to Anderson, Ind.,where he enrolled at Anderson University. Pearl supported the family by working second shift at Guide Lamp. The family attended Park Place Church of God where Pearl was touched by the teaching of Carl Kardatzke in their Sunday school class. Kardatzke's classes created a desire in Pearl to study Christian education so she decided to take several classes sponsored by the Church of God. Over the years, Pearl taught Sunday school and served on the state board of Christian education for the Alabama Women of the Church of God.
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 over $95 million. Major components of the campaign include $51 million for capital projects, $34 million for endowment and $25 million for operational support. [Photo on left: Merle Strege, Suzanne Drayer, Alan Overstreet]
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2009, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the sixth 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.