MU Announces $1 Million Scholarship Challenge from Board of Trustees

Methodist University announced a $1 million scholarship endowment challenge today at its Fall Opening Convocation. President Ben Hancock Jr. also said the University is on track to have another record year, its 60th, with positive figures rolling in for enrollment, fund raising, residential students, international students, and student involvement. Building Excellence: The Campaign for Methodist University, has reached $34.5 million with nine months to go, he said.

“Record numbers don’t necessarily mean quality, but because we are the best, we are attracting the best in record numbers,” Hancock said. “I’m convinced we will have the best year ever.”

Methodist was founded in 1956. As the University turns 60 this academic year, Hancock said Methodist is looking forward to the next 60 months with its new five-year strategic plan set to be implemented this year. In the 60 months to come, he suggested the University continuously look for 60 ways to improve, in order to celebrate the anniversary.

“In the new strategic plan for this university, the next five years, our goal should be nothing short of: our best five years ever,” Hancock said. “We have a strategic plan in place that was designed to do that. The best universities in America have a robust, strong, growing endowment, and we are committed to making this a stronger university.”

Hancock said the MU Board of Trustees has committed to a $1 million scholarship challenge program to add to the University’s endowment.

“The way that will work is to match, dollar-for-dollar, the first $12,500 from anyone who wants to set up a new, named, unrestricted, endowed scholarship at the university. It will be matched by the Trustee Challenge to allow us to establish at least 60 new endowed scholarships for our students,” he said.

Hancock asked students, faculty, and staff in the audience to think and email him their ideas to improve Methodist, promising the first 60 who did so a free drink at the campus Starbucks. He also said he is creating a Strategic Plan Implementation Committee, comprised of students, faculty, and staff, to help monitor the University’s success in implementing the strategic plan.

“What are those 60 things we might want to do?” he said. “Do we want 60 more students in a program? Do we want 60 more students in the Honors Program? Do we want 60 more partnerships with the community? Do we want 60 opportunities that we don’t already have for our faculty, in terms of their own development, professorships, stipends to lead student travel experiences or for their own research? That’s equally important. Sixty million more in our endowment would be a wonderful goal.”

The Campaign for Methodist University – Building Excellence is the largest fundraising initiative in Methodist University’s history. It will fund scholarships, endowed faculty positions, academic programs, campus life enhancements, new and renovated academic buildings, and expanded athletic facilities. For more information on the Campaign for Methodist University, contact the Office of Institutional Advancement at 910.630.7200 or visit the campaign website at