AU honors first two recipients of Eisenhower Endowed Scholarship

Wed, 2012-04-18 14:08 -- univcomm
April 18, 2012

Anderson University recognized the first two recipients of the recently established Eisenhower Endowed Scholarship Fund during a luncheon on April 18. AU senior Michael Heckendorn, the 2011-12 recipient of the award, and junior Benjamin Herrick, the 2012-13 recipient, were honored during the event, which was also attended by AU alumnus Jeffrey D. Claflin BA ’81, who was instrumental in establishing the new scholarship at AU.

eisenhower1Michael Heckendorn, a psychology major from Charlevoix, Mi., has been an active participant in the AmeriCorps program on campus, contributing more than 300 hours of community service between September 2011 and September 2012. He has volunteered at the Christian Center, the Neighbors campus ministry, Man 4 Man ministries, and Operation Foundation. He also served as an MLK Service Day site coordinator.

[Photo, from left: Falls School of Business Dean Dr. Terry Truitt, Associate Professor of History Dr. Jaye Rogers, Michael Heckendorn, Benjamin Herrick, Associate Professor of History Dr. Joel Shrock, AU alum Jeffrey D. Claflin.]

“It was an honor and a humbling experience to be selected as the inaugural recipient of the Eisenhower Scholarship,” said Heckendorn. “The scholarship came at a time of financial struggle, and it reminded me of God’s providence for my life and my future.”

Heckendorn will graduate from AU this spring. He has been interviewing for positions with social service agencies in Indiana. After working for a year, Heckendorn plans to return to school for a Master of Social Work, with the goal of becoming a school social worker.

Benjamin Herrick, a political science major and history minor from Holts Summit, Mo., has also been active in service. In high school, he worked as an intern for a state senator and volunteered at a local hospital. At Anderson University, Herrick has volunteered with the Prison Ministry group for three years. He co-founded a day camp for children of incarcerated parents and helped start a tutoring program for boys in the Pendleton Juvenile Correctional Facility.

“Being granted the Eisenhower Scholarship is a humbling privilege for me,” said Herrick. “Not only does it remind me of how privileged my time at Anderson University has been, but it also affirms that my hard work is paying off in many ways. I hope to continue upholding the standards set by the scholarship and that potential candidates in the future will embrace the challenge as well to live a life of hard work and of service.”

Herrick hopes to pursue law school after graduating from AU, with the goal of living a life of public service in legal and political circles.

eisenhower2The Eisenhower Endowed Scholarship Fund at Anderson University was established in 2010 with initial funding from the Eisenhower Memorial Scholarship Foundation. The foundation was created in the late 1960s by leading Indiana business men and women, including members of the Tarzian, Honeywell, Ball, and Lilly families. The purpose of the foundation was to promote free enterprise, patriotism, faith, and conservative values consistent with those of the foundation’s namesake, President Dwight David Eisenhower. Over its life, the foundation awarded more than 220 four-year undergraduate scholarships to be used in private liberal arts colleges across Indiana and Michigan. Upon dissolution of the foundation, its remaining assets were distributed among several institutions, including Anderson University.

[Photo, from left: Michael Heckendorn, Jeffrey D. Claflin, and Benjamin Herrick.]

The Eisenhower Scholarship Award at AU is granted annually to a qualifying junior or senior majoring in political science or business, or a member of the Center for Public Service (CPS). Faculty recommend candidates for the award, and the recipient is chosen by a selection committee comprised of representatives from CPS, the History and Political Science Department, and the Falls School of Business.

Jeffrey D. Claflin was an Eisenhower Scholar during his years at Anderson University, where he majored in business administration and history, graduating in 1981. He attended the AU School of Theology from 1982 to 1985, and earned a JD from IUPUI in 1990. Claflin is currently a partner in the law firm of Plews Shadley Racher & Braun, LLP, managing the firm’s office in South Bend.

Claflin served as a member of the board of the Eisenhower Memorial Scholarship Foundation and was instrumental in establishing the new scholarship at AU and acquiring the initial funding from the foundation.

“Jeff knows the value of education, and Anderson University appreciates his investment personally and his being instrumental in establishing a fund that will benefit students for many years,” said AU Development Officer H. L. Baker.

“I wanted to continue with the good work of the original foundation, in at least some manner,” said Claflin, “and this is a way for me to give back to both the university and to the people at the foundation who were so generous with me. I’m happy to have been a part of the effort to bring the scholarship to AU, and just as happy that AU was, and is, willing to step up to administer the scholarship program consistent with the values of those who founded the original Eisenhower Foundation.

“When you put free enterprise ideas into the hands of those who are well-grounded in a sense of what’s good and right, and those who are concerned for the welfare of others, then I think you also have a very powerful tool for doing a great many good things,” continued Claflin. “By bringing this scholarship to AU, I’m hoping, in a small way, to do just that, and I hope that the recipients of the scholarship will, in turn, carry these ideas forward in their careers and beyond.”

Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. 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.