Nelsons' gift aids Opportunity Program
August 18, 2011

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A former Dayton resident and her husband have endowed a scholarship to benefit the Bryan Opportunity Program, Vice President for Advancement Blake Hudson has announced.

Virginia K. and Gordon Nelson, who live in Maryville, Tenn., recently made the gift in memory of Mrs. Nelson’s parents, Carlos T. and Hazel Tallent Knight. Mrs. Knight taught for 34 years in Rhea County and Dayton City schools, and Mr. Knight was a school principal before going into the produce business.

“This is something we had been thinking about for some time,” Mrs. Nelson said. “Dayton was my home, and I know a lot about Bryan College. I belonged to First Baptist Church and know how much the college means to the church. The college has a reputation for being a good Christian school.”

When the Nelsons contacted Mr. Hudson, he mentioned the Bryan Opportunity Program, which helps students from low-income Tennessee families afford to attend the college. “We were interested in establishing a scholarship, and this sounded good,” Mrs. Nelson said.

Income from the endowed scholarship will be used to support the Bryan Opportunity Program. This year some 70 students are expected to attend Bryan because of support from the program.

Mr. Hudson said a gift like that of the Nelsons “is one of the most enduring and enterprising ways to make a difference in the lives of Bryan College students. Endowed scholarship funds are invested, and a portion of the interest earned each year helps meet the current needs of students. The balance is reinvested to grow the endowment and ensure funds continue for future generations.

“We appreciate the Nelsons’ generosity and invite other friends of the college to consider making a similar gift.” For more information about endowed scholarships, contact Mr. Hudson by email or by calling 423.775.7323.