April 25, 2017 – On April 20, a total of 540 alumni and friends of Bryan College attended the 10th annual Bryan Opportunity Scholarship Program Dinner at the Chattanooga Convention Center. The dinner was hosted by the college and Host Co-Chairs Bob and Nan Coddington and Leighton and Jan LeBoeuf, to raise funds for scholarships for low-income Tennessee students.
Featured at the dinner was acclaimed Christian singer and songwriter Steve Green, who has been honored with four Grammy nominations, eighteen no. 1 songs, and seven Dove awards. Green has sold over three million albums worldwide.
Green performed many beloved songs over the course of the evening, including “Total Praise,” “I Can See (The Emmaus Road),” “What Wondrous Love Is This,” “In Christ Alone,” and “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise.” The Bryan College Chamber Singers (under the direction of Dr. David Luther) had the unforgettable opportunity to accompany Green during four of his songs.
“We are here this evening as ones who support what God is doing around the world, particularly in the lives of these students,” said Green. “What a great testimony to hear of God raising up the next generation of young people who will serve for God’s glory wherever He places them! If we are here, we are here by the grace of God.”
Current Bryan student Cullen Royston, a sophomore exercise health science major and baseball player, gave his moving testimony to God’s provision through the Bryan Opportunity Scholarship Program. He said, “Because my mother was a full-time stay-at-home parent and teacher, my siblings and I had a fun-filled childhood with her constant support and guidance. However, this also made our lives more difficult financially as the only source of income was from my father, an independent contractor.” Finances tightened even more when his beloved little brother, Caleb, was diagnosed with a serious heart condition.
“These events in my life have taught me to rely completely on God and to trust that He will always provide, and this Opportunity scholarship has become yet another example of His provision,” Cullen told the attendees. “I am grateful to those who have given financial donations, and it is moving to see the hearts of those who genuinely care about providing a way for me to further my education at Bryan College and fulfill my plans of attending pharmacy school after graduation. This scholarship has opened many doors for me, and I am looking forward to one day sitting in one of these seats as a donor.”
Since the program’s inception in 2008, over $2,000,000 has been raised to make a Bryan education a possibility for over 200 students whose total annual family income is less than $35,000. The donors at this year’s dinner raised nearly $228,000*, making a Christ-centered college experience possible for students in the 2017-2018 academic year.
Vice President of Advancement Chuck Baker remarked, “We are truly grateful for God’s provisions and the generous support of our alumni and friends for the Bryan Opportunity Scholarship Program. As Cullen reminded us in his testimony tonight, this scholarship continues to help deserving students with the financial assistance needed, often in the midst of a family crisis. Only time will reveal the eternal impact of this scholarship as we educate these students to become servants of Christ to make a difference in today’s world.”
Written by Chloe Ann Townsend
* Amount raised updated from $215,000.