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ACU professor, students establish scholarship; honor long-time teacher, business icon Don Drennan

June 9, 2006

Although now retired, longtime Abilene Christian University College of Business Administration faculty member A. Don Drennan's impact on business students can still be felt. So much so, they created a scholarship to honor him.

Dr. Monty Lynn, professor of management sciences, and his Management 120 class established a scholarship fund honoring Drennan in late April. This is the class that Drennan taught for years, developing it into a course and becoming known for memorizing the names of approximately 250 students in the class each semester within the first week of school.

While Lynn was instrumental helping establish this endowment, he is quick to give full credit to the Intro to Business students for raising every dollar of the initial investment.

Students raised the money through the Venture Out Program, a component of the Intro to Business course. This program was established to give business students a taste of entrepreneurial activities as freshman in the Introduction to Business course. Students are divided into teams where they create a small business, taking it from conception to harvest. The proceeds from the sales of Venture Out products formed the core investment for the Drennan Scholarship Fund.

The university will now invest the lump sum that serves as the foundation for the endowed scholarship, and earnings will be added to the fund. Along with the earnings, the fund will grow with donations.

Scholarships will be awarded to deserving ACU students in the College of Business Administration who face financial hardship. Criteria for the scholarships will include character, hard work and a promise of growth by each recipient. Recipients must acquire and obtain a grade point average of 2.75 or higher.

"It's fitting that Don be named for this scholarship," Lynn said. "Students are what Don is all about; he loves them, expects much from them and sacrifices for them."

Lynn said Drennan has given his life and time to support Christian education. He taught the class for many years for $1 per semester. In 1998, Dr. Jack Griggs, former dean of the College of Business Administration, doubled his salary to $2 per semester with great ceremony. Griggs noted Drennan's remarkable history of leadership and service:  president of the student body at Abilene High School, president of the student body at ACU, assistant to the president and director of budgeting at ACU, professor of accounting, ACU athletic director, member of the ACU Board of Trustees and member of the Abilene City Council.

Drennan is responsible for starting the Student Managed Investment Fund (STAR), which gives students a real approach to handling money, investing and putting to practice the skills they've learned. Dr. Rick Lytle, dean of the College of Business Administration, and ACU's Financial Services now administers the fund.

"We're attempting to continue the tradition [Don] set of quality education as students embark on their study of business," Lynn said.

Drennan graduated from ACU in 1958 with a bachelor's degree in business administration. In 1962, he received a master's degree in general business from ACU. Don and his wife, Rudith, now reside in West Virginia.

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