Anderson University recognized two student recipients of the Eisenhower Endowed Scholarship during a luncheon on April 17. AU junior Casey Thomas, the 2012-13 recipient of the award, and junior Layne Onks, the 2013-14 recipient, were honored during the event, which was also attended by AU alumnus Jeffrey D. Claflin BA ’81, who was instrumental in establishing the new scholarship at AU.
[Photo, from left: Layne Onks, Jeffrey D. Claflin, and Casey Thomas]
Casey Thomas, a marketing major from Plainfield, Ind., has served as a substitute teacher in middle school math, science, and history. She has also been involved with the Special Olympics and works in the AU Admissions Office, communicating with prospective students and their families.
"I am so blessed to have had the opportunities I've had to learn and grow and find out more about who I am and who God wants me to be," said Thomas. "I hope that whatever I do in the future, I do it in a God-honoring way that sets an example for future Eisenhower Scholarship recipients."
Thomas is on track to graduate from AU in December. Following graduation, she hopes to pursue further education in culinary school, with the long-term goal of managing her own bakery and catering business.
Layne Onks, a Spanish and business management major from North Vernon, Ind., has tutored for the Kissinger Learning Center and completed an internship with Born Learning, an initiative of the United Way. Onks also participated in campus ministries including BOUND (an anti-human trafficking outreach) and the Prayer Ministry. She currently works at East Side Church of God.
"It is an honor," said Onks on receiving the award. "To be chosen because of my work and for valuing my home country is very exciting and rewarding."
Onks hopes to work for a not-for-profit organization helping Spanish-speaking families acclimate to life in the United States.
[Photo, from left: Dr. Terry Truitt, dean of the Falls School of Business; Layne Onks; Jeffrey D. Claflin; Casey Thomas; and Dr. Barry Ritchey, professor of economics]
The Eisenhower Endowed Scholarship Fund at Anderson University was established in 2010 with initial funding from the Eisenhower Memorial Scholarship Foundation. The foundation was created in the late 1960s by leading Indiana business men and women, including members of the Tarzian, Honeywell, Ball, and Lilly families. The purpose of the foundation was to promote free enterprise, patriotism, faith, and conservative values consistent with those of the foundation’s namesake, President Dwight David Eisenhower. Over its life, the foundation awarded more than 220 four-year undergraduate scholarships to be used in private liberal arts colleges across Indiana and Michigan. Upon dissolution of the foundation, its remaining assets were distributed among several institutions, including Anderson University.
The Eisenhower Scholarship Award at AU is granted annually to a qualifying junior or senior majoring in political science or business, or a member of the Center for Public Service (CPS). Faculty recommend candidates for the award, and the recipient is chosen by a selection committee comprised of representatives from CPS, the Department of History and Political Science, and the Falls School of Business.
Jeffrey D. Claflin was an Eisenhower Scholar during his years at Anderson University, where he majored in business administration and history, graduating in 1981. He attended the AU School of Theology from 1982 to 1985, and earned a JD from IUPUI in 1990. Claflin is currently a partner in the law firm of Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP, managing the firm’s office in South Bend.
Claflin served as a member of the board of the Eisenhower Memorial Scholarship Foundation and was instrumental in establishing the new scholarship at AU and acquiring the initial funding from the foundation.
To learn how you can support student achievement through endowed scholarships at Anderson University, contact the Office of Development.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of about 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.