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Evangel University student receives Convoy of Hope scholarship in honor of late Dr. George O. Wood

Published on Mar 2, 2022 by Erin Hedlun

Dr. Steve Pulis, Convoy of Hope Vice President Hope Education Network (left) listens as EU student Alexa Russell addresses the crowd in chapel on Wed., March 2.

SPRINGFIELD, Missouri – Evangel University junior Alexa Russell was recently awarded a $10,000 scholarship from Convoy of Hope (COH) in honor of the late Dr. George O. Wood, former campus pastor and interim president of EU.

“Convoy of Hope and Dr. Wood always had a special connection,” said Dr. Mike Rakes, EU president. “I am not surprised that they would show their love for Dr. Wood by investing in Alexa. She is such a worthy candidate and has a very bright future.”

The one-time gift was extended to a student identified by EU’s Center for Compassion who is pursuing a Community Relief & Development degree. The Center for Compassion team identified Russell as someone who embodies the qualities of strong intellect, compassionate behavior, interest in missions, and talent for writing. These traits were a hallmark of Wood’s life.

“I am grateful to be the student selected for this scholarship award,” Russell said. “This financial gift is such a blessing as I continue my academic career next fall. To be identified as sharing qualities of Dr. Wood is truly humbling.”

Evangel and its Center for Compassion partners with Springfield-based COH to provide a Community Relief & Development degree program. EU and COH also co-host various volunteer outreach opportunities throughout the year.

“Dr. George O. Wood was an advocate of compassion. He championed Convoy of Hope and opened doors, resulting in more help for more people,” said Dr. Steve Pulis, COH vice president Hope Education Network. “The scholarship awarded to Alexa extends Dr. Wood’s legacy to the next generation of compassionate leaders.”

Russell began her academic journey at EU as a Psychology major but expanded her course load last year to double major in Psychology and Community Relief and Development after hearing about the program in a chapel service.

She volunteers her time as a children’s support group facilitator at Lost and Found Grief Center and serves as the discipleship administrator of her residence hall on campus, providing spiritual support and encouragement to fellow dorm residents. She has also served as a team leader for Evangel’s annual Make a Difference Day, a day dedicated to local community service.

“Alexa is an outstanding and high-achieving student. She is a gifted writer and communicator and exhibits compassion in her daily life,” said Steve McMichael, Center for Compassion director. “We knew she was the person who best embodies many of the qualities that marked Dr. Wood’s life.”

Russell’s scholarship will allow her to continue her education at EU next fall as she works toward graduation.

To learn more about the Center for Compassion, visit

To learn more about Convoy of Hope, visit


About Evangel University 

Evangel University, with the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary (AGTS), is a comprehensive Christian university committed to excellence in educating and equipping students to serve the Church and society globally. Evangel and AGTS serve more than 2,200 students from all 50 states and numerous foreign countries, offering 70 undergraduate majors and 19 master and doctoral degrees.