Gift will fund up to 50 scholarships per year
Two stalwart supporters of Anderson University have come through again.
T. Walter Brashier, an Upstate real estate developer and evangelist, and his wife Christine have donated $1 million to the university for an endowment to support scholarships.
That’s on top of a previous gift from the Brashiers of a tract of land expected to sell for $1.5 million.That earlier donation was the largest gift of its kind in the university’s history.
The university said the endowment could fund 35 to 50 additional scholarships every year.
The scholarships will be given to students in amounts of at least $1,000 per year, and will be provided to students from the Upstate who are pursuing a degree in a church-related field, and demonstrate financial need, the university said.
Evans Whitaker, president of Anderson University, announced the $1 million gift during the school’s opening convocation on Wednesday.
“Dr. and Mrs. Brashier have a passion for Anderson University students, and they are staunch believers in the transformative power of Anderson University as a top Christian university in the nation,” Whitaker said in a prepared statement.
“Dr. and Mrs. Brashier have expressed their deep desire to move forward with an additional cash gift so we can get it invested and start earning income that we can distribute next year in the form of scholarships,” Whitaker said. “The Brashiers are one of the most caring, thoughtful, and generous families I’ve ever had the privilege of personally knowing.”
The Brashiers also contributed to the building of the university’s new G. Ross Anderson Jr. Student Center.
Whitaker said the main endowment amount would be used as an investment tool to fund scholarships.
“Endowed funds are never spent,” Whitaker said. “Instead, they are invested to produce income on an annual basis, and only the earnings on the endowment are spent. That way, the endowment will perpetually provide the university with a large amount of scholarship funds each year that can be awarded to students.”
Wayne Landrith, AU’s senior vice president for development and presidential affairs, called the gift “an investment in the lives of students.”
Landrith added, “Higher education is a sound investment for families. Every dollar makes a difference, making it possible for students to afford college. And Christian higher education is very unique. It prepares students not only for a career academically but to explore and find their purpose in life, their calling.”
Christine Brashier attended AU, but was unable to complete her studies due to family responsibilities. The university awarded her an honorary degree in 2016.
At the university’s opening convocation, Whitaker went on to set the tone for the school year, asking students to be mindful in the coming year of three things: scholarship, civility and the “truth and grace paradox,” meaning how Jesus set the example of embodying both truth and a forgiving love.
Whitaker addressed about 800 new students, which included more than 700 freshmen, a school record, and others, including faculty and guests.
The address marks the beginning of a banner year for the school, celebrating a record enrollment of 3,500 students; recognition for two consecutive years of being one of Apple Inc.’s Schools of Distinction; and ranking by US News and World Report as one of the top tier regional universities in the South, as well as one of the top seven most innovative regional universities of the South.
Anderson University also has been honored as one of America’s “100 Best College Buys.” The university offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees on campus and online.
Paul Hyde covers education and everything else under the South Carolina sun. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter: @PaulHyde7.
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