Scholarship created in honor of former Alva residents
May 23, 2021
Phillips University Legacy Foundation is pleased to announce a newly endowed scholarship fund. The Rev. Dr. Jimmie L. and Connie K. Gentle Scholarship was created by the Gentles' three sons and their families to honor their parents.
Jimmie and Connie (Roberts) Gentle met at Phillips University. After graduation from Phillips University, Jimmie L. Gentle was an ordained minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and served congregations in Oklahoma and Arizona. From 1966 to 1974 he was the minister for the Alva First Christian Church. He subsequently spent the majority of his career as the Regional Minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Florida. Connie K. Gentle had a long, successful career as an educator in the Orange County Public School System in Orlando, Florida.
When notified of the establishment of the scholarship, they commented: "Phillips University provided an environment for us to develop a cadre of lifelong friends. Phillips challenged us to think critically especially regarding the Bible, and led us into an expanding appreciation of the fine arts.
"Our liberal arts studies helped us mold a global worldview, our lifestyle, and our professional career choices. Now in this conflicted era, more so than ever before, there is still a vital role for the liberal arts university. It should be championed and supported."
Dr. Donald Gentle said, "Our parents have always believed in the value of higher education. Our family feels that this scholarship is a way to honor their lifelong commitment to education, while creating ongoing support for the education of future generations and continuing the mission of Phillips University."
Phillips University was founded in 1907 in Enid and was affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). For more than 90 years, Phillips University provided a high quality, private Christian education to thousands of students from around the world. Phillips University closed her doors in 1998 due to financial difficulties.
Two years later the Phillips University Legacy Foundation was created by alumni and friends of Phillips University as a way of honoring their beloved school.
Phillips University Legacy Foundation awards merit based scholarships to students who have been accepted to one of the remaining 17 colleges and universities connected with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
Texas Christian University (TCU) in Fort Worth, Texas, is one of the seventeen schools affiliated with the Foundation. All three of the Gentles' sons attended TCU. Wesley Gentle, son to Stephen and Miriam, was awarded a Phillip's Legacy Scholarship while at TCU. When possible, The Jimmie L. and Connie K. Gentle Scholarship will be awarded to a Phillips University Legacy Scholar attending TCU.