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Meet Our Donors

We thank all our donors for their generous support. Here are some of their stories.


Rev. Joseph Abram, Jr. and Mrs. JoAnn Green Abram

Joseph Abram, Jr. is a native of Marion, SC, and the second of five sons born to the late Joseph, Sr. and Beatrice Moore Abram. He is a graduate of Johnakin High School (Marion), and he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in interdisciplinary studies with an emphasis in sociology from the University of South Carolina. Further studies were undertaken at Francis Marion University, Claflin University, Coastal Carolina University, North Greenville Hospital System Pastoral Counseling Center for Alcohol and Drug Addiction, and Duke Divinity School.

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Rev. Robert Christopher Barrett

Robert Christopher (Chris) Barrett was born and reared in Spartanburg, SC. He attended Boiling Springs High School and Wofford College. He later earned his Master of Divinity degree from Duke Divinity School, where he met his wife, Elise Erikson Barrett. Afterward, he served as a United Methodist pastor to churches in Manning, Blacksburg, Charleston, and Spartanburg.

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Drs. David L. and Gemma D. Beckley

David L. Beckley, Rust Class of 1967 and the longest tenured senior college president in Mississippi, was appointed the 11th president of Rust College (Holly Springs, MS) on January 16, 1993, and assumed the position on July 1, 1993. Prior to his appointment at Rust College, he served as 12th president of Wiley College (Marshall, TX) from 1987 until 1993.

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Allan and Evelyn Burry

Allan and Evelyn Burry began their ministry with college students while they themselves were students----Allan at Northwestern University and Evelyn at Florida State University. Evelyn was an officer in the National Methodist Youth Fellowship and Allan an officer in the National Methodist Student Movement. Allan was also active in ecumenical student work through the National Student Christian Federation and the World Student Christian Federation.

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Mr. John R. Calvert

John R. Calvert was born in Evergreen Park, IL. He attended St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic School in his youth, and was a 1972 graduate of Elkhart Central High School. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Indiana University.

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Ms. Brenda D. Chadwick

Brenda D. Chadwick has served on the Africa University Advisory Development Committee since 1995, beginning with her role as Missions Chair at Taylor Memorial United Methodist Church in Oakland, California (Cal-Nevada Conference). Her dedication to Africa University’s transforming ministry led her to work with a number of United Methodist churches, civic organizations, and individuals throughout northern California to encourage their support of Africa University.

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Mrs. Jacquelyn D. Guthrie

Jacquelyn Draughn Guthrie is a retired businesswoman who currently resides in Springfield, TN. She inherited Draughn Brothers Company, LLP, from her father and uncle, who founded the business in 1921. She retired as president of the company on May 1, 2016, passing the mantle for the day-to-day management of the company to her two children, Jennifer Warner and Edison Guthrie.

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Rev. J. William “Bill” Keith, Jr.

Reverend J. William “Bill” Keith. Jr. was a graduate of the University of Evansville. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in history and a minor in political science. He continued his studies at Garrett- Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois and earned a Master of Divinity degree.

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Drs. Darvin L. and Marge M. Miller

Darvin L. Miller was born on a farm located in Marion, ND, and received his elementary and secondary education in Marion. During those years, he and his family attended Grace Evangelical Church, and he was active in the youth fellowship. Following graduation from high school, he decided to enter the Christian ministry and attended Westmar College (Le Mars, IA) a former EUB college, for his Bachelor of Arts degree. After earning his undergraduate degree, he enrolled at Evangelical Theological Seminary (Naperville, IL) and earned his Bachelor of Divinity degree.

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Dr. Tommie Morton-Young

Tommie Morton-Young, native of Nashville, is often cited as author, activist, and scholar. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree (cum laude) from Tennessee State University, and she was the first African-American to graduate from Peabody College, now a part of Vanderbilt University. She earned her Ph.D. from Duke University, and has been named Distinguished Peabody/Vanderbilt Alumna. A well-published author, she also has held academic posts as professor and dean at a number of distinguished institutions of higher learning.

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Professor Diane B. Walker

Diane B. Walker was born and reared in Rockville Center, Long Island, NY, and now resides in Moscow, Idaho. She is Professor Emerita of Dance at the University of Idaho. Professor Walker became associated with Africa University through Jubilate!, the Worship Arts Institute of the Pacific Northwest Annual Conference. As a member of the touring choir and as the movement/choreography director, she first visited Africa University in 1992 at its original campus.

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