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November 06, 2014 at Falls Creek Conference Center


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Phillips University Legacy Foundation
Hosted Its Twelfth Annual Leadership Development Conference

Enid, OK - Phillips University Legacy Foundation hosted its twelfth annual Leadership Development Conference November 6-10, 2013 in Tyler, Texas. Seventeen Phillips University Legacy Scholars, from Oregon to North Carolina, attended the conference with Phillips University alumni and leadership trainers to learn about Phillips University and to develop servant leadership skills. This year's conference theme was, "Connect...Serve…Lead…Inside All Leaders are the Roots of Service." Topics focused on included:

  • Leadership development entitled, "Connecting to Maximize Leadership" with Brian Brandt, CEO of Core Insights Leadership group (www.coreinsightsleadership.com)
  • Mercy Ships, a non-profit organization who provides hope and healing to the poorest of the poor around the world (www.mercyships.org)
  • Group service project with East Texas Food Bank (www.easttexasfoodbank.org)
  • Scholar volunteer service project presentations
  • Team building exercises
  • Personal challenges


"This was an exceptional group of Scholars," Brandt stated. "I was impressed with how they took the information from the workshop coupled with our volunteer opportunity at the East Texas Food Bank to consider ways they could serve and lead back on their own campuses."

Gregory ChambersJessica Bessner, a second year Scholar from Hiram College in Hiram, OH, assisted in planning the conference. "When I suggested this theme, I envisioned that some of the best leadership can take place out of sight - like the roots of a tree - and then it springs up to help others grow and shine. I love that the Legacy Foundation was able to take that idea and build such a valuable conference around it. I am very excited to go home with the skills I've gained to help serve my community."

Gregory ChambersAnnaliese Baker, a second year Scholar from Chapman University in Orange, CA said, "The Legacy Foundation conferences have helped me grow in my faith while pursuing my higher education aspirations. I am so thankful for this opportunity. It is such a blessing."

Kelly Coker has worked for the Legacy Foundation for eight years, and has served as the Executive Director for the last four years. Coker said, "One of the amazing things about this program is the ability to witness personal growth in each student. When the Scholars come to their first leadership development conference, they are somewhat tentative and they don't yet realize their place in the world. By the time they attend four leadership conferences and graduate from our Leadership Development program, they are confident Christian leaders with a heart for service to others. The Scholar Graduates take the lessons they learn from the Legacy Foundation Conferences with them into the real world and continue to 'help others grow and shine' in their everyday lives."


The Phillips University Legacy Foundation Scholarship and Leadership Training Program is funded primarily by individual donations. The Foundation and the Scholars would like to thank the following companies for their sponsorship of this year's conference:


  • AdvancePierre Foods
  • Merrifield OfficePlus
  • Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company
  • WalMart Supercenter


The mission of Phillips University Legacy Foundation is to follow the tradition of Phillips University by providing scholarships and opportunities to educate and develop leaders who embody Christian values in their lives, service and work.


The Legacy Scholars program grants annual scholarships to full-time undergraduate students pursuing a liberal arts education at any of the 17 colleges or universities affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and provides a four-day all-expense paid Leadership Development Conference for their scholarship recipients. In the past 12 years (2002-2013), 130 students have received more than $1 million in scholarships. For more information or to donate to the Phillips University Legacy Foundation, go to www.pulf.org or call (580) 237-4433.



Last September, philanthropist and Phillips University Alumnus, Richard Fearnow, class of 1959, presented the Phillips University Legacy Foundation with a matching gift opportunity. He challenged the Legacy Foundation to raise $100,000 before August 1, 2013, and he would donate an additional $50,000.

Kelly Coker, Executive Director, said, "When Mr. Fearnow approached me with this challenge, I realized it would provide a tremendous opportunity for more people to be involved in the mission of the Phillips University Legacy Foundation. These donors could help us provide scholarships to educate and develop young leaders who embody Christian values in their lives, service and work."

Thanks to a flurry of last minute donations, 178 Legacy Foundation supporters (including Phillips University alumni, friends and Legacy Scholar graduates) gave over $72,000 in cash donations and more than $51,000 in pledges, bringing the grand total of giving to $123,596.67, surpassing the Foundation's goal of $100,000. With the addition of Mr. Fearnow's $50,000, the total amount raised through the Legacy Foundation's Giving Challenge is $173,596.67.

Nancy Nicholson Phillips, President of the Legacy Foundation, stated "Over the last 30 years, college tuition has increased over 1,100%, and college loan debt has grown explosively. Thanks to our supporters, the Foundation will continue helping undergraduate students be able to afford the cost of a Christian education in a private school setting and reduce the amount of debt they have after graduation."

At the heart of the Legacy Scholarship and Leadership Training Program is the annual four day all-expense paid Leadership Conference where the Scholars meet with leadership trainers and present their required volunteer service projects. Phillips said, "Our Leadership Conference is where Legacy Scholars not only learn valuable leadership skills but also where the Phillips legacy is passed along. Alumni who attend the conference teach the Scholars the history of Phillips University." The 2013 Conference will be held in November at Pine Cove Conference Center in Tyler, Texas.

"The Phillips University Legacy Foundation deeply appreciates the generosity of those who helped make this year's Giving Challenge so successful," Coker says. "Just because we've met our challenge doesn't mean that the need for donations goes away. On the average, college tuition increases 8% per year - that is twice the rate of inflation. In order to continue helping undergraduate students ease the cost of educational debt, we will need ongoing support."

Donations and pledges can be made online at www.pulf.org/donate or by calling the Foundation office at 580-237-4433.

Calling All Alum – Alumni Challenge Announced

The Phillips University Legacy Foundation is pleased to announce it has received a Challenge Grant from a Phillips University Alumnus. If the Legacy Foundation raises $100,000 before August 1, 2013, he will donate an additional $50,000! That means if you...

  • Give $20, that’s really $30!
  • Give $50, that’s really $75!
  • Give $100, the Legacy Foundation gets $150!
  • And it goes on... and on...


Kelly Coker, Executive Director said, "The Legacy Foundation is indebted to our Phillips University alumni for their continued support. This Alumni Challenge gives us an amazing opportunity to continue to further our mission of following the tradition of Phillips University by providing scholarships and opportunities to educate and develop leaders who embody Christian values in their lives, service and work."


Help us make a difference in more students’ lives through the Legacy Foundation’s Scholarship and Leadership Training Program! Click here to donate or mail your gift to: Phillips University Legacy Foundation, PO Box 2127, Enid, OK 73702.