Scholarship Dinner Raises Over $250,000 for Students

The 12th Annual Bryan Opportunity Scholarship Program Dinner successfully raised over $250,000 for students the evening of April 11th, helping make Bryan College accessible to qualified Tennessee students with significant financial need. The program guarantees that academically eligible students will receive scholarship and/or grant funds to meet the cost of tuition at Bryan College. Since its inception, over $2,000,000 has been raised, and over 275 students have benefited.

Keneisha Love speaks at the Bryan Opportunity Program Dinner

Keneisha Love (‘20, Nursing) shared with attendees how the BOP has affected her life.

I grew up in a single mother household with two younger siblings, so financial instability was the plot of most of my childhood… My mother instilled in me from a very early age that debt-free college was only going to be an option if I maintained good grades or/and excelled in athletics. So, I worked hard in the classroom and on the court, because I know a college degree was something I really wanted to achieve.

Keneisha reflected on how, upon deciding on Bryan, she knew that a significant portion of her tuition would still need to be paid, even after academic scholarships. She also knew that her mother (still raising two children) would be unable to pay, and her summer fast food job would not be enough. She began seriously considering student loans. That’s when she was told that she qualified for the Bryan Opportunity Program.

“I was at a loss for words… I knew that only God could have provided in such a way for me and my family,” Keneisha said.

But Keneisha’s story continues beyond simply the financial support provided by the program –

At a dinner like this, two years ago, a couple…was sitting at their table, and they made a choice. They made a choice to go above and beyond just listening to the night’s entertainment and enjoying their meal. They decided that instead of just listening to some college student talk about their testimony, they were going to do something more. They decided to personally invest in a few of the students that were pictured at their table. That couple was Ruth and Ralph Green, and that student was me. They committed to praying for me before they even knew me. Eventually, they reached out to me and began to build a relationship with me. They sent me emails, letters, snack baskets… encouraging words… they poured into me any way that they could. They even came to support me at my basketball games. But the most heartwarming thing of all that they did was invite me into their family. They’ve had me over for Sunday dinner. They’ve invited me to go to church with them. They have truly exceeded the expectations of “donors” for a scholarship. They have loved me in a way that I needed more than anything while being away from home. They became my family and my true home away from home… None of this would have been possible without the Bryan Opportunity Program [which] involves loving others and building relationships with the next generation.

Ernie Haase and Signature Sound

In addition to Keneisha’s moving testimony, guests were treated to a performance by Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, one of the nation’s most popular Southern Gospel quartets. The group is both Grammy-nominated and GMA Dove Award-winning, with multiple certified gold and platinum DVDs. Ms. Mary Brown (‘17, Director of the Bryan College Community Music School) also entertained guests on the harp. Special recognition was given to the Vogel School of Engineering, which had been officially dedicated that same morning.

Thanks to all who made the night a rousing success!

To learn more about the Bryan Opportunity Scholarship Program, click here.
To learn how you can be involved in supporting the Bryan Opportunity program, please contact Director of Advancement, Janice Pendergrass, at .


11th Annual Bryan Opportunity Scholarship Program Dinner features Larnelle Harris

Larnelle Harris accompanied by the Bryan College Chamber Singers
Larnelle Harris entertains the 2018 Bryan Opportunity Scholarship Program Dinner crowd accompanied by the Bryan College Chamber Singers.

April 23, 2018 – On April 19 more than 540 alumni and friends of Bryan College attended the eleventh 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.

The evening’s special guest singer Larnelle Harris has been honored with 5 Grammy Awards, 11 Dove Awards, 3 Male Vocalist of the Year Awards, a Silver Bell Award for Distinguished Public Service, a Lifetime Achievement Award in the Arts in the state of Kentucky, and is a member of 3 halls of fame.

One of the Bryan Opportunity Scholarship’s students, junior accounting major Alan Terry, gave his moving testimony during the dinner, as well. Being the oldest of seven children, Terry emphasized how the Bryan Opportunity Scholarship played a major role in him being able to attend Bryan College. He expressed sincere appreciation for all those who have given to the scholarship fund in the past and those who were in attendance last evening.

Student Alan Terry speaks to the Bryan Opportunity Scholarship Program dinner crowd

Since the program’s inception in 2008, a total of over $2,255,000 has been raised to make a Bryan education a possibility for 243 students whose total annual family income is less than $35,000. The donors at this year’s dinner raised an estimated $230,062 making Bryan College possible for students in the upcoming academic year.

“I was so blessed by the number of alumni and friends who joined together in worship, and in blessing students.  It seemed no one was ready for the evening to end as so many lingered laughing and catching up with friends long after the program ended,” said Director of Advancement Janice Pendergrass. “It was moving to hear student Alan Terry’s deep, heartfelt appreciation for the Bryan Opportunity Scholarship Program, and to hear how he is motivated to be involved in several ministry opportunities Bryan offers because of his deep gratitude for those who’ve made this experience possible for him. His testimony drives me to find even more ways to enlarge this program.  God is raising up many Christian leaders through this program.  To God be the glory!”

In addition to the evening’s primary focus of raising scholarship funds, the College also made a surprise announcement. In honor of over four decades of commitment to Bryan College, President Stephen Livesay announced that the new welcome center will be named in honor of Glenn and Jackie Stophel. Construction on the Stophel Center will begin in September with completion anticipated by July 2019.  The two-story building will encompass 18,000 square feet and will be located at the top of the new entrance, making it the first building to greet arriving guests.  Once complete, the building will house 25 offices including Admissions, Advancement, Marketing and Executive Offices, as well as, a medium-sized banquet facility.

11th Annual Bryan Opportunity Scholarship Program Dinner April 19

Larnelle HarrisMarch 14, 2018 – In less than one month the Eleventh Annual Bryan Opportunity Scholarship Program Dinner will be held at the Chattanooga Convention Center at 6 P.M. on Thursday, April 19, 2018. This annual dinner benefits and honors the Bryan Opportunity Scholarship Program (BOSP), which makes Bryan College in Dayton, Tenn., accessible to academically qualified Tennessee students with significant financial need.  Since Bryan College’s first BOSP dinner in 2008, this program has enabled 243 low-income Tennessee residents to receive a Bryan education.

The evening’s special guest singer Larnelle Harris has been honored with 5 Grammy Awards, 11 Dove Awards, 3 Male Vocalist of the Year Awards, a Silver Bell Award for Distinguished Public Service, a Lifetime Achievement Award in the Arts in the state of Kentucky, and is a member of 3 halls of fame. Dinner attendees will enjoy the “larger-than-life stage presence” of the majestic tenor, accompanied by the Bryan College Chamber Singers.

Director of Advancement Janice Pendergrass says, “I’m so excited to have Larnelle Harris coming as our featured guest this year. I love his passion, his stage presence, his majestic tenor voice, and his authentic personality. I pray that his enthusiasm in worshipping Christ will be contagious and that we will all leave a little more intentional about our worship and our service to Christ. And yes, I pray that as our enthusiasm for Christ deepens that our support of students receiving a biblical worldview education broadens. I pray that through this event, Bryan will become even more empowered to educate students to become servants of Christ to make a difference in today’s world.”

Bryan encourages you to attend this year’s BOSP dinner and enjoy the fellowship and program. Investing in the lives of Tennessee students who just need a little help to pursue their dreams is more than generosity: it is a legacy. For more information and to register, go to or call 423.775.7323 .