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EU’s Business Legacy Scholarship Fund surpasses $1 million goal

Published on Oct 12, 2015 by Paul K. Logsdon

Bernie Dana
Evangel accounting graduate and energy industry executive Mark Allen (left) took the challenge to invest in business students like Sarah Elam (right). Bernie Dana spearheaded the $1 million campaign. // PHOTO BY Paul K. Logsdon


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — “We believe it is important for our students to understand the value of giving, by connecting them with alumni who give,” said Bernie Dana, chair of the Department of Business at Evangel University.

“It is equally valuable for our alumni and friends to connect with students by providing support,” he added.

Evangel’s Department of Business launched the Legacy Fund scholarship campaign in August 2012, and in three years, has exceeded its $1 million goal for new endowed business scholarships.

According to Dana, the effort targeted alumni and friends who would commit to fund one or more Legacy Partnership “shares” of $25,000 each within five years. Most of the donations have come from 25 individuals and one organization. The total has reached $1,024,774.

“To reach this goal in three years has been inspiring for both students and faculty,” Dana said. “This response has affirmed the success of our alumni and their desire for current students to have the same kind of Evangel experience that they had.”

Mark Allen, senior V.P. and chief financial officer of Denbury Resources, based in Texas, was an early supporter.

“I’m a preacher’s kid from Wisconsin who really discovered my potential while in the Evangel business program,” said Allen, a 1990 accounting graduate. “I was eager to respond when contacted about the campaign.”

Sarah Elam enjoyed the opportunity to meet Allen during Evangel’s recent Homecoming celebration. She is a junior from Springfield, Mo., earning degrees in math and accounting.

“Last year I worked for his sister, Linda Allen (Evangel’s vice president for business and finance), and her story was a inspiration to me,” said Elam. “I had heard about Mark’s career path, and it was great to meet him as well.”

Both of these grads have strengthened Elam’s vision for her future.

“I love using numbers to help people make better decisions. I believe that I am called to serve in this way in business and my church,” she said.

Orville Mills, retired general auditor of Exxon USA and current member of Evangel’s Board of Trustees, is a Legacy Partner with a long affiliation as a friend of the University and parent of three graduates.

“For many years I was eager to see Exxon hire Evangel business graduates,” said Mills. “I was delighted to have the opportunity to also become a Legacy Partner.”

Lindsey Ellis is a senior marketing and management double major from Kingston, Mass. As a student athlete, she is maintaining a 3.7 GPA while taking up to 18 hours a semester. She is also a leader on Evangel’s Enactus (formerly Students in Free Enterprise) team.

“Lindsey is rock solid,” said Dana. “When she sets her mind to something, she gets it done.”

Ellis is also responsible for paying her own way through college.

“There are two of us in my family in college,” she said. “I’m a pretty hard worker, I take loans and I am extremely grateful for scholarships like this that have come my way.”

Thanks to Evangel’s new Legacy Fund, “We have been able to assist 21 high performance students like Sarah and Lindsey this year,” said Dana.

Evangel’s Department of Business has comprehensive majors in accounting, business education, finance, management, marketing and nonprofit business & social enterprise.

They also offer degree-completion programs in management that are designed for working-adults, and a Master of Organizational Leadership program, which is an alternative MBA program with a focus on leading organizations to performance excellence. The MOL is offered in both a seated and a hybrid format.

For additional information, contact Bernie Dana at (417) 865-2815, ext. 8116, or


PUBLISHED Springfield News-Leader, Oct. 9, 2015 – Campus Notes