To give back to farming communities, country singer Luke Bryan puts on a series of shows called the Farm Tour to help fund charities and student scholarships — and four Bradley students set to receive a one-time $2,000 scholarship through this tour will be able to testify to that.
Bryan tours for around two weeks every year at different outdoor venues as a part of the Farm Tour. His performance in Chillicothe on Sept. 11, 2021 was a part of his 12th annual event and is partly funding the scholarships Bradley students will be receiving.
This scholarship program has been a part of Bryan’s annual tour since its beginning and has given out 66 scholarships as of September 2021.
Bradley’s Office of Donor Relations received the $8,000 from one of Bryan’s business managers on April 4, according to Andrea Wicker, director of donor relations.
“It was a total surprise to everyone,” Wicker said about the day they received the unexpected gift online with the donor’s name as Luke Bryan with an address stating it was from Nashville. “A pleasant surprise … we weren’t expecting it.”
After receiving the money, Wicker reached out to Bryan’s business manager to put together a memorandum of agreement for a scholarship with the agreed-upon criterion. The Office of Donor Relations decided how to split up the money and what the application process is like, and Bryan’s only wish is that it will go to a student from a farming community or with an agricultural background.
“We decided to award four students with $2,000 because that’s how we felt it would make the biggest impact for our students,” Wicker said.
They also took into account the decisions that other colleges in the area that have received this opportunity, like Illinois State University and Eastern Illinois University, made with the money.
The application is open only to current full-time Bradley students in good academic standing that demonstrate financial need as determined by the university. Interested students are not required to be studying agriculture, but must prepare a personal statement on how farming has impacted their lives. Students can access the application via Google Form here. Entry closes on May 31.