By Bob Holmes
Imagine getting a call on your cellphone from the president of a university. He tells you that you’ve been awarded a full-tuition scholarship to his school. Then you lose the cellphone signal.
If you are like Drew Lindman of Farmington, Mich., you say, “I’ve got to hear that again!” and quickly hit redial on your phone. After reconnecting with Columbia International University President Bill Jones, Drew was reassured that the offer was real. The 18-year-old senior at Farmington High School is the 2012 winner of the R.C. McQuilkin Scholarship from CIU.
Drew was among 45 high school seniors from 13 states and South Korea vying for the prize Nov. 30-Dec. 1 on the campus of CIU. The Eighth Annual R.C. McQuilkin Scholarship Weekend included intense interviews, interactive group activities, panel discussions and just plain fun.
Soon after the phone call from President Jones, Drew said he was still trying to “get his head around” being named the winner, adding it was “totally of God.”
“It’s an answer to prayer,” Drew said. “I was asking God, ‘Where do you want me to go to school, what do you want me to do with the rest of my life?’ Here’s a huge, huge answer, and I’m very humbled.”
Drew says he is unsure of his exact major, but wants to be in the ministry. He says it’s a calling realized after God used him to revitalize “Alive Club,” a weekly Bible study at his public school. Drew said at first he figured only Christian students would attend the club, but he says it soon became an outreach, growing from a handful of participants to about 25 regular attendees.
“We’d get kids coming in saying, ‘I don’t feel like I have any purpose in life,’ Drew recalled. “These are a lot of needy kids. God just grabbed me right there and the club just exploded.”
Drew is a four-year letterman in cross country at his high school – another forum where he shared his faith in Jesus Christ.
“I’d go to cross country camp and open my Bible and they’d say, ‘Why don’t you read some of that to us?’ I’ve had a lot of opportunities to minister to my coaches.”
Drew says he was already making plans to enroll at CIU because of its ministry majors and CIU’s new intercollegiate cross country program.
“That’s an interest of mine – running for the honor and glory of God,” Drew said. “God has given me an ability to run so I feel I need to use it. CIU was the school for me.”
CIU also awarded $5,000 scholarships to the second and third place winners.
Taking second place was Mary Grace Padgett of Charlotte, N.C. Third place went to William Melton of Monroe, N.C.
Check out photos from the McQuilkin Scholarship Weekend on CIU’s Flickr page: