Callen and Lawrence receive Hamer scholarship

Emily Callen and Ian Lawrence

Emily Callen and Ian Lawrence received the Hamer Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund, which is awarded to students who have significant health issues.

Callen is a sophomore nursing major. Her passion for nursing stems from her own personal health issues. In November of 2016, Callen was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. She met with doctors and eventually elected to have surgery. “I had to accept that I was going to rely on medication for hormone replacement for the rest of my life,” said Callen.

Before the surgery, Callen had anxiety regarding the surgery. The nurses who helped her got her past this fear. “The nurses I encountered made all the difference in my care and my attitude. This was a pivotal moment for me and affirmed my desire to become a nurse,” said Callen.

Because of her health issues, Callen’s family encountered financial troubles. “This fund has relieved some of the financial stress and pressure that has been placed upon my family, and for that I am so grateful,” said Callen.

After the help of her doctors and nurses, Callen is now cancer free and excited to continue her education at Anderson University. “The hardest part thus far has been experiencing the highs and lows of living without a thyroid but I know this will be a growing and learning experience that will make me a more empathetic nurse in the future,” said Callen.

Lawrence, from Akron, Ohio, was born with a chronic kidney disease. “With my kidney disease, it's vital that I get more rest and exercise than the average person (besides following a special diet),” said Lawrence. “With the help of the Hamer scholarship, I was able to not only focus on my education but also in my self-care instead of having to stress about how I was going to pay for school.”

Lawrence graduated with honors in May 2017 studying theatre and musical theatre at AU. This summer, he will be performing in professional productions of Hairspray and Disney's Newsies and attending the Earl Mosley Institute of the Arts Summer Dance Intensive. His future plans include graduate school for a master’s degree in directing and opportunities to teach at the college level.

The faculty at AU was truly instrumental in helping prepare for the future but also in securing work in the performing arts,” said Lawrence. “Professor David Coolidge mentored me through my time here, helping me discover my strengths as a future director and teacher and facilitating opportunities for me to get experience in those areas. These last few years of holding the scholarship have saved me the money I needed to devote to going to auditions and I have the Hamers to thank in part for my securing not one but two summers of paid performance work because I could afford to travel in the spring semesters.”


Tessa Williams is a junior from Indianapolis, Ind., majoring in public relations and minoring in nonprofit leadership. Williams is an associate with Fifth Street Communications®, writing on behalf of Anderson University Office of Communication and Marketing.

Anderson University is a private Christian university in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World ReportColleges of DistinctionThe Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God (Anderson, Ind.), Anderson University offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business and theology.

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