The Grace College and Seminary community raised more than $190,000 for the “Bring Them Back” campaign, far exceeding the college’s original $80,000 goal. Nearly 500 individuals donated to assist students affected by the pandemic and help bring them back to campus for the fall semester.
“This past spring, the Grace advancement team was preparing for our annual Day of Giving when COVID-19 wreaked havoc on higher education and our world,” said Dr. Drew Flamm, Grace College vice president of advancement and marketing. “Our team quickly shifted gears, realizing that many of our students and their parents would face economic challenges that could prohibit them from coming back to Grace in the fall,” he said.
A few days later, the Bring Them Back campaign was born — a rallying cry to help students come back.
Flamm told the story of one student who expressed a need for additional funding when she lost her job due to the pandemic. After the student received aid from the Bring Them Back fund, she sent the money back to the school. She explained that she had secured a new job and wanted to give the money to a student who needed it more.
This student played her part in the campaign which provided enough funding to help dozens of incoming freshmen and 57 returning students.
Kye Barrett, a second-year student and tennis athlete from Mooresville, Ind., was particularly thankful for the money he received after a very challenging summer. “I am so thankful to be back at Grace this fall. My dad was battling cancer at the same time I lost my job. Without those who gave to Bring Them Back, I would not be here on campus. My gratitude towards all of those who gave is unmatched,” said Barrett.
Dayvona Phillips of South Bend, Ind., was also able to return to Grace because of the Bring Them Back scholarship. The extra assistance helped her return even in the midst of her health challenges. “I want to say thank you for the Bring Them Back gift,” Phillips said. “It meant a lot to me. It lifted a huge weight off of my family’s shoulders so that we could focus on covering my medical bills. Thank you to everyone who gave to the campaign!” she said.
Phillips is now on campus able to enjoy her third year at Grace and focus on her studies in psychology. She is one of dozens of students back on campus this fall because of the generosity of others.
“We were blown away by the way our Grace family — alumni, faculty, staff, and community members — showed up for students,” said Flamm. “Even our students themselves gave selflessly to their classmates in need. It’s what we call, ‘The ways of Grace’ in action, and it was extraordinary to witness,” he said.