09:29 AM

Faith Name Goes on Endowed University Scholarship

For more than a half century, longtime Bellevue University Board member Marshall E. Faith and his late wife, Mona, were a presence in the front ranks of Omaha business and civic life. The recent establishment of the Marshall and Mona Faith Endowed Scholarship Fund permanently cements their legacy at the University. Beginning in 2020, the fund will begin to provide financially needy students with annual scholarships through the University’s American Dream Scholarship program.

He chose to support scholarships, because they provide vital assistance, enabling students to complete college, upgrade their skills, get better jobs, and improve their lives while remaining in the community.  “It is such a delight to see the great pride, particularly of minority students, of the students receiving their earned diplomas—often the first college graduates in their family,” he said.

A 2013 inductee into the Omaha Business Hall of Fame, Mr. Faith purchased a majority share of Scoular-Bishop Grain Company in 1967, parlaying the company’s three grain-elevator, 10-employee operations into The Scoular Company, an international supplier of grain, feed and food ingredients with 120 locations and 1,200 employees worldwide. He retired from the company’s Board in 2016 and was named Chairman Emeritus, a lifetime position recognizing his longtime leadership role there.

Mr. Faith served numerous leadership roles for industry and civic organizations, including the Nebraska Leadership Council, the Strategic Command Consultation Committee, the Nebraska Methodist Hospital, Joslyn Art Museum, United Way of the Midlands, Youth for Christ/USA, Bellevue University, and many others.

Marshall and Mona Faith, who raised four children to adulthood, lost their two and a half year-old daughter, Leslie, to pediatric cancer about 60 years ago. In her honor, the Faiths funded the 7,500 square-foot “Leslie’s Healing Garden” at the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, which opened on Nebraska Medicine’s Omaha campus in 2017.

Mr. Faith joined the Board of then Bellevue College in 1984 and served actively until 2011, including three years as Board Chair in the early 1990s. At that time, the College was recovering from a fiscal and enrollment crisis and building new programs offerings, resources, and a reputation for innovation that enabled Bellevue College to become Bellevue University in 1994. “I came to Bellevue at the request of my friend, Freddie Hawkins (the late Fred Hawkins Sr., a Board member) to work with long-time directors to right a sinking ship,” he recalled recently. “And WOW, did it ever!”

He received an honorary Doctor of Commerce degree from the University in 1999, and has been an emeritus director of the University since 2012.

He is a strong believer in the working adult students that the University serves, and enjoyed hearing their testimonials during spring Board meetings, which preceded commencement exercises. “I appreciate the fact that the University is run like a successful business, and that it serves many students who can’t attend a state university because of the cost and time required, when they have full-time jobs,” he said.

The donor-funded American Dream Scholarships comprise the largest component of the University’s overall scholarship program, which made well over 600 scholarship awards last year, including nearly $1.3 million for American Dream scholarships to about 450 students, predominately local undergraduates who received an average of about $2,800 in scholarship support. Retention of students receiving renewable scholarships has been 90%.