Southwestern Assemblies of God University held their annual Donor Scholarship Banquet on Friday, April 13 in the Sheaffer Center.

Students and donors gathered together at the banquet to celebrate the vast amount of scholarships and grants being awarded to many of the undergraduates. Some donors traveled many miles to attend the banquet, and many of them attended chapel that morning.

Donor scholarships are awarded to students who are in need of financial aid and are based on a variety of different criteria such as a specific degree program, residency, an interest in a certain mission field, religious upbringing, and many more. These scholarships can take the form of grants or endowments from various organizations.

At the banquet, 225 students were able to meet their donors, eat with them, and thank them for contributing to their education. Amongst those students was freshman Kayla Williams. Williams is a Biblical Studies major who attended Waxahachie High School. As a local, she always remembered driving past SAGU hoping that God would open doors for her to attend the university.

During this past ceremony, Williams stated that she was shocked to receive the Harding Regents Scholarship.

“I cannot express how grateful I am to the Harding family,” she said. “This meant more to me than just receiving money. This award encouraged me to strive to be the best I can be and finish strong.”

With all of the donor scholarships combined, approximately $500,000 was awarded to various SAGU students. An estimated $2,000 was given to each student. However, the awards varied in amounts — some of the awards were up to $5,000.

SAGU’s donor scholarships have increased over the years. When donors started aiding students financially the first year, it was only about $69,000. Now, eleven years later, over half a million dollars in scholarships and grants have been given out.

“There has been great growth,” said Irby McKnight, SAGU Vice President of Advancement. “It’s a good thing.”

McKnight is looking forward to being able to grant students even more access to financial aid in the future. He hopes to continue raising the number of scholarships by the time SAGU turns 100 years old in 2027.

“I’m excited to reach this milestone,” he added. “But in great anticipation for greater milestones reached.”