Six Oral Roberts University students named as Gates Millennium Scholars

By Natasha Mitchell ('94)

Gates Millennium ScholarsChrishelle Deene Drew, a senior business management major at Oral Roberts University, says being a Gates Millennium Scholar has been a blessing. She learned about the program through her high school counselor.

"The program sent out applications to my high school, and my counselor put them on his resource shelf," she said. "I happened to see one and said to myself that I was going to apply and get it. I then went into my counselor's office. Just as I was about to mention it, he told me that I should apply. Of course, I couldn't stop smiling at this point. We instantly went to work on it."

Drew is one of six students from Oral Roberts University that have been named Gates Millennium Scholars. The other students are Ryan Edward Doyeto, Roddrick Dugger, Ideco Jenny Flores, Chasten Marquell Hendricks and Danielle Marie Lavigne.

"We are incredibly proud of our students who have been named Gates Millennium Scholars," said Debbie Sowell, vice president for Academic Affairs. "These six outstanding students have distinguished themselves among the 1,000 students from across the nation who has met the high standards needed to receive these prestigious scholarships, which are funded by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  The foundation selects students who excel in the areas of leadership, community service, and extra-curricular activities.  We congratulate these students who are contributing to not only a strong ORU student body, but also a nation with a 'diverse cadre of leaders who can help build a stronger society.'"

Since the inception of the Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) Program in 1999, the program has produced over 15,000 Gates Millennium Scholars who have attended over 1,500 institutions of higher education. The scholarship funds Gates Millennium Scholars' unmet need and is renewable for up to five years in any undergraduate discipline and throughout graduate school to a doctoral degree in any on the following disciplines: computer science, education, engineering, library science, mathematics, public health or science.

Gates Millennium Scholars are provided with personal and professional development through leadership programs along with academic support throughout their college career.

Drew said she is grateful for the opportunities being a Gates Millennium Scholar has provided for her.

"The program is constantly encouraging and supporting all of the scholars," she said. "It provides us with tremendous resources and opportunities that have helped me in becoming a better student and leader. The focus of the program is very future oriented. Although it helps us to be great students and obtain an awesome education, it goes beyond our education. The Gates Millennium Scholars Program helps us in preparing for our future roles as leaders in the world. They know and believe that we are the movers and shakers that are making and will continue to make a difference in the world."

About The Gates Millennium Scholars Program

The Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) Program, funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was established in 1999 to provide outstanding African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian Pacific Islander American, and Hispanic American students with an opportunity to complete an undergraduate college education in any discipline area of interest. Continuing Gates Millennium Scholars may request funding for a graduate degree program in one of the following discipline areas: computer science, education, engineering, library science, mathematics, public health or science.