News Story

Quest Whole Person Scholarship program enables student to attend ORU

Chris Craighead’s father is in full-time ministry at a church in Mandeville, Louisiana. Paying for an ORU education wasn’t really a possibility for this family of five. But Chris still hoped to attend.

To be considered for a Quest Whole Person Scholarship, a student must be admitted to ORU, nominated to the Quest Whole Person Scholarship program, invited to participate in a Scholarship Day event, and confirmed to participate. Participation is limited to new freshmen or transfer students nominated by a non-family-member school or church official; community leader; or ORU alumni, faculty, or staff.

A Quest Whole Person Scholarship is good for up to four years, in the fall and spring semesters, toward full-time enrollment in an undergraduate, residential program at the university. Recipients' awards are reviewed annually.

In high school, Chris developed into an outstanding student and athlete. But it was clear he would need a full scholarship in order to attend any college that would enable him to advance to the next level. He was actually offered a scholarship to play baseball for a university in Alabama, but a senior-year injury canceled out that opportunity.

Then Chris's mother learned about ORU's Quest Whole Person Scholarship program, and she urged him to look into it. Chris was vaguely familiar with the university, but eventually he acquiesced — and arrived on campus for a Scholarship Day last spring.

As he toured the campus, sat in on classes, and talked with current and prospective students, Chris was astounded by the culture and mission of ORU.

"I was very impressed with the faculty," Chris recalls, "and I thought the campus was beautiful."

Most of all, he wanted the whole-person education that ORU offers — and which he knew he was not likely to find elsewhere.

But Chris also felt his chances of receiving the top scholarship award were slim.

"It would be great if I got it," he thought, "but I really wasn't expecting to."

More than 80 students attended the event that day. Only one top scholarship remained available. Chris prayed for an opportunity to attend ORU — but in the meantime, he set about planning to attend a local community college in Louisiana.

Weeks passed. One day as Chris was relaxing in a local park with his girlfriend, his father called him with news: Chris had received the last scholarship.

"I went crazy," Chris remembers with a smile, "my girlfriend went crazy, my dad went crazy, then I got home and my whole family went crazy!"

Today, Chris Craighead is an International Business and International Community Development major. He hopes to one day train and cultivate international business leaders through the church, equipping them to reach the world in ministry. Three target countries: Malaysia, Brazil, and Uganda.

The generosity of ORU's alumni and friends, which made possible his Quest Whole Person Scholarship, is not lost on Chris. He's deeply grateful. He realizes, too, that there are many other students like him who would benefit greatly from attending this university, but who are separated by a "financial wall." He's praying with us that God will move on the hearts of more alumni and friends of the university to give generously toward the Quest Whole Person Scholarship program.

"If it wasn't for this scholarship, I wouldn't be here," he says. "I'd definitely be back in Louisiana at a community college somewhere."

And, he adds, "There are a lot more people like me out there."