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January 17, 2014

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 was 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."