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Evangel University brings warmth to Weller Elementary students

Published on Mar 1, 2023 by Erin Hedlun

EU student athletes partnered with EU’s Center for Compassion to distribute sweatshirts to Weller Elementary students.

SPRINGFIELD, Missouri – Evangel University athletes brought a little extra warmth to students at Weller Elementary in Springfield on Tuesday, February 28. Each student received an Evangel University sweatshirt, compliments of EU’s Center for Compassion.

Evangel has a decades-long relationship with Weller, which is located a few blocks north of its campus. As the most ethnically diverse elementary school in Springfield, Weller is an English Language Learners site. Families from the continents of Asia, Europe, Central America, and Africa have kids who attend pre-K through 5th grade at Weller.

Dr. Rebecca Donaldson, Weller principal, has a goal to help her students develop a vision for their future.

“We are trying to help our students see college as a realistic goal, and this ongoing relationship with Evangel University is a great way to highlight that in a practical way,” she said. “At the same time, we want to show Evangel students how community service through partnering is a good thing for everyone.”

Donaldson earned her master’s degree from Evangel in 2004.

Students of all majors at Evangel are involved in helping Weller students think positively about academics and opportunities.

Education, social work, and business majors and student-athletes alike volunteer on a regular basis, both at the school through the Half-Hour Heroes program and through the Boys & Girls Clubs in the area.

Evangel’s Center for Compassion also coordinates an annual grocery distribution event for Weller families in coordination with Convoy of Hope as part of the university’s new student orientation week in August.

“We deeply value our partnership with Weller,” said Melissa Pulis, associate director of the Center for Compassion. “This sweatshirt giveaway allows us to get our students on their campus which helps Weller students see that college is something that is possible.”

In total, nearly 300 sweatshirts were distributed to Weller students and teachers by EU student athletes from across the Athletic Department.


 About Evangel University

Evangel University, with its embedded Assemblies of God Theological Seminary (AGTS), is a comprehensive Spirit-led Christian university located in Springfield, Missouri. It is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. Under the leadership of Dr. Mike Rakes, EU is committed to excellence in educating and equipping students to serve the Church and society globally and becoming compassionate innovators in their chosen vocations. EU offers more than 70 degree programs, including cutting-edge majors, pre-professional programs, and affordable and flexible online degree options.

EU is highly regarded and has been ranked:

  • US News & World Report Best Colleges Top Performer in Social Mobility
  • Colleges of Distinction Best Christian University
  • Top 10 Best Universities by
  • Third Most Beautiful Campus in the Midwest by Christian Colleges & Universities
  • Top 10 Best Colleges in Missouri by

With additional accreditations in business, counseling, music, social work, and theology and certification as an Excellence in Giving university, EU is focused on providing students with hands-on experience and real-world training for today’s professional careers. Learn more about the university at