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Students Offer Thanks for Financial Aid

In their own words...

Each autumn, divinity students gather over two days to write thank-you notes to Annual Fund and scholarship donors. Betsy Poole, in her first year as associate director of annual giving and alumni relations, says that taking part in this ritual of thanksgiving is “one of the privileges of my position. I am grateful for the staff before me who started this tradition.”

These students “get it,” says Poole. “They know that without the gifts of strangers, they would not be able to follow the call to ministry God has placed on their lives.”

As alumni and friends read these notes, Poole says she hopes “they will hear how gifts of all sizes make personal and significant differences in the lives of our students and, therefore, the church, and the world.” 

The following excerpts are from the many letters written during the fall of 2010 by almost 200 students, each of whom receives financial aid.

Your gift has helped enable me to follow the call of my life. The body of Christ is on the move through the generosity of individuals like you. I want to extend my deepest gratitude for your gift because the rest of my years will be shaped by it .
In Christ,
Andrew Baird D’13

Thank you for your continued generosity to the Divinity School. Your gifts have made my scholarship possible and have lifted an incredible burden from my wife and me. My divinity education is shaping and equipping me for ministry far beyond what I imagined. Now that I am less than a year away from graduating and entering full-time ministry, we have such a peace and joy knowing we will not have to spend years to come climbing out of debt. May God richly bless your family as he has blessed ours through you.
Patrick Messer D’11

I am originally from Rowland Heights, Calif. I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your gift to the annual fund. Your gift has made it possible for me to attend Duke Divinity and follow God’s calling to serve in ministry. I really appreciate your generosity and will do my best to serve God faithfully.
Thank you and God bless,
John Wang D’13

I am humbly writing to express my heartfelt thanks for your financial contribution, which made it possible for me to attend Duke Divinity School. I am a husband and father of four girls. I cannot express in words the difference you have made in my life and the lives of my family.
Thank you and God bless!
Benny Oaks D’13

I am from Burundi, East-Central Africa. As I enter my third year, I am daily reminded that without the help of very generous people like you, I would not be here today. When I applied to the Divinity School, I was clear that without any financial assistance, I would not be able to answer my call into ministry. You have indeed been a channel through which I have answered my call into ministry, and I thank you with my whole heart. I will always remember you and the wonderful work you do. May God bless you!
Grace and Peace,
Gerard Nsabimana D’11

I’m writing to thank you for your gifts to the Divinity Annual Fund. I am from Tennessee and went to Union University. As a newlywed, I was apprehensive about going into great debt for graduate school. I had long desired to go to Duke, but I was offered financial aid at Boston College, my second choice. On the day I called Duke to let them know I was committing to go elsewhere, I got a phone call several hours later saying I had been awarded a scholarship at Duke. It is because of your contributions that men and women like me are able to follow our callings. Thank you so much.
Warm regards,
Matt Elia D’13

Thank you for your generous contribution to the Divinity Annual Fund. I am a 2008 graduate of Allegheny College in Pennsylvania and through August 2010 worked for AmeriCorps, the national community service program. After completion of my M.Div., I hope to work as a college chaplain or campus minister. Without my full-tuition scholarship, I would be unable to attend Duke. Thank you for helping the next generation of leaders at Duke Divinity.
Megan Augustine D’13

I am writing to thank you for your continued support of Duke Divinity School. I am in my third and