Written by: Kedrick Nettleton, Staff Writer
Oklahoma Wesleyan University is proud to announce the recipients of the annual Charles and Janice Drake Scholarship for the 2020-2021 academic year. Congratulations to Tobin Brewer, Caleb McQuay, Marcus Randall, Leah Sawyer, Jaycee Shrum-Cook, and Autumn Tanton-Neighbors!
The Charles and Janice Drake Scholarship is a $5,000 financial gift, awarded annually to those students who demonstrate Christian character and leadership during their time at OKWU. Applicants are considered based on essays regarding character, leadership, career goals, and how the scholarship would assist the student to achieve their goals. Surveys completed by professors and the OKWU Student Life staff also play a key role in the decision.
Meet the Honorees
Tobin Brewer is a freshman from Cleveland, Oklahoma, majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies. He is active at OKWU in the chapel worship teams, as well as on the soccer field, and he is leaning towards Biology as a field of study. “I believe a good leader is first a good friend, and this is the way I intend to live my life,” Brewer said. “In every leadership position, whether it be as a worship leader, student mentor, on the soccer team, or later in life as a parent, I will strive to make a relationship the foremost priority. I believe this is the most effective way of leading because this is how God leads us.”
Caleb McQuay is a junior from Skiatook, Oklahoma, majoring in History and Political Science. He also helps lead OKWU’s chapel worship team and is considering a variety of career options, such as teaching, pursuing law school, or becoming involved in local government.
“I know that nothing comes for free and I am happy to pay the cost of attending here,” McQuay said. “But saving money in any way certainly helps remove part of the burden that finances can impose.”
Marcus Randall is a junior from Carrollton, Texas, majoring in Marketing. This is Randall’s second time receiving the scholarship, and he cites the award as a key to his getting involved with the OKWU community at a deeper level. He’s become involved with Team Impact, ResLife Staff, and is excited to pursue a partnership this year with Tim Tebow’s Night to Shine organization. “I am grateful for OKWU and the amazing students on campus for challenging me to grow in my faith,” Randall said.
Leah Sawyer is a freshman from Weatherford, Texas, majoring in Music Business. Like the other Drake Scholarship awardees, she’s heavily involved in the OKWU community. She participates in OKWU Chorale, in the worship team, and has become involved in her Grace Community Church family. “The thing I have come to value most about this university is the authenticity in which the professors and staff live out their faith and the enthusiasm that they pass on to their students for Jesus,” Sawyer said.
Jaycee Shrum-Cook is a senior nursing major from Mannford, Oklahoma. While she acknowledges that it’s been a tough year for her, she’s focused on her studies and on making a difference in her profession. “Ultimately my goal is to see Oklahoma in the top five healthiest states in America,” she said. “I intend to do this by increasing health education within the school systems that not only emphasizes exercise and healthy eating habits, but also addresses mental health so that our children have the tools to understand the world around them and not be crushed by it.”
Lastly, Autumn Tanton-Neighbors is a sophomore from Sulphur Springs, Texas, majoring in Exercise Science. She’s aiming for a career as a physical therapist and is excited about what the future holds. During her time at OKWU, she’s been on the volleyball team, has been a staff member at Doc Lacy’s, and hopes to serve in the future as a student mentor. “The most rewarding way to lead is as a Christian,” she said. “A good Christian leader has a heart of service. They truly love and value people and want to help others for the good of the one being helped, not for personal gain.”
Congratulations to Tobin, Caleb, Marcus, Leah, Jaycee, and Autumn! OKWU is grateful for our students’ commitment to Christian character and leadership, in addition to academic excellence.
“The thing I have come to value most about this university is the authenticity in which the professors and staff live out their faith and the enthusiasm that they pass on to their students for Jesus.”