LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas, has received a five million-dollar gift to establish an endowed scholarship fund for home-schooled students.
The gift, which came from an anonymous donor, was announced Wednesday by LETU President Dr. Dale A. Lunsford at the university convocation and is believed to be the single largest endowment for home-school scholarships ever established.
"The generous donor sees the critical need to endow scholarships for future generations and believes deeply in the value of the kind of quality Christian education that LeTourneau University offers," Lunsford said.
According to the Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics, the number of home-schooled students has increased from 1999 to 2007 by 74 percent to more than 1.5 million. The number of home-schooled students at LETU, meanwhile, has risen in the past 13 years from two percent of the incoming student population in 1997 to 18 percent in the current incoming class for 2010.
Over the past year, LETU's mission has been to increase endowments for scholarships across the board.
The five million-dollar gift, added to the nearly $1.5 million for other new scholarships endowed this year, brings the school to nearly $6.5 million in new endowed scholarships this year alone.
"Our goal as a university is to equip our students to impact every workplace in every nation for Christ," said Vice President for Development Ben Y. March. "It is a priority at LETU to build our endowment funds to help support our students and their parents so these talented students can fulfill that goal."
Recently recognized in U.S. News and World Report's annual rankings of "America's Best Colleges" as one of the top 10 universities among private schools in Texas and above all state universities in Texas in the same category, LeTourneau University is an interdenominational Christian university that offers more than 60 graduate and undergraduate programs in a variety of liberal arts with flagship programs in aeronautical science and engineering.
LeTourneau University also offers graduate and undergraduate degree programs for working adults online and at educational centers in Austin, Bedford, Dallas, Houston and Tyler.
LeTourneau University is named for its founder, businessman and devout Christian R.G. LeTourneau, who invented earthmoving equipment.