New Scholarship Named For Darlia McLuhan Conn To Aid African Students

Friday, November 16, 2012 - by Christian Downes, Lee University
Darlia Conn and Dr. Paul Conn pose with several Lee students and alumni who came from African nations to attend Lee University.  The group assembled recently to honor Conn and her parents, the Rev. and Mrs. M.G. and Merle McLuhan in the establishment of the new Darlia McLuhan Conn African Student Endowment Scholarship program.
Darlia Conn and Dr. Paul Conn pose with several Lee students and alumni who came from African nations to attend Lee University. The group assembled recently to honor Conn and her parents, the Rev. and Mrs. M.G. and Merle McLuhan in the establishment of the new Darlia McLuhan Conn African Student Endowment Scholarship program.
- photo by Mike Wesson

Lee University has celebrated the creation of the Darlia McLuhan Conn African Student Endowment Scholarship, a need-based scholarship for African students attending Lee.  The endowment is a result of the collaborative effort by Lee alumnus Kelvin Tarukwasha, Augustine Bocco and many others who were in attendance at the celebration brunch.

Mr. Tarukwasha said, “I am honored to represent those who worked hard to make this program a reality, and all those who assist international students here at Lee University. I am excited to see that many people who helped me when I was a student at Lee are still actively supporting international students today.”

Darlia McLuhan Conn said, “In a very practical way, this scholarship will continue the good work that God prepared for my parents to do in Africa so long ago, and seeds will continue to be planted.” 

Ms. Conn was born in Saskatchewan, Canada, the second of three children born to Rev. M.G. McLuhan and Merle Reesor McLuhan. In 1949, the McLuhans moved to Minot, N.D. where her father served as president of the Northwest Bible College.

In 1953, her father accepted the challenge of leading Berea Bible Seminary, a struggling school in Kroonstad, South Africa, and moved there with his family for the next four years.  After a furlough year back in Canada, the McLuhan family returned to Africa a second time, to Salisbury, Rhodesia (now called Harare, Zimbabwe.)  McLuhan finished his service in Africa in 1964 and moved his family back to the United States, at which time Ms. Conn enrolled in Lee College. 

During the scholarship announcement ceremony, Ms. Conn reflected upon the evidence of God’s care and leadership, citing her father’s memoir, “My Spiritual Journey.” McLuhan recounts, “…I was far away in the bush with two or three African men whose language I couldn’t understand; I had the sense of God’s presence there that just changed everything…my companions sensed His presence too, and while we couldn’t understand each other’s language, we could understand each other’s God, and that was wonderful.”

Ms. Conn said, “In both Kelvin’s reflection and in my father’s memoir, the commonality is a sense of God’s leading and purpose. Isn’t that the reason that we are all here…because God has led us to this place at this time to fulfill his purposes? I have a special affection for African students; we share a love for a beautiful continent that I once called home and a beautiful people–some of whom are now students here at Lee. Thanks be to God for His miraculous plan.”

In 1997, Mr. Tarukwasha met M.G. McLuhan. Mr. Tarukwasha discovered that during McLuhan’s time in Zimbabwe, one of his greatest accomplishments was his focus on raising and training native born leaders. Among those he taught was Mr. Tarukwasha’s grandfather, Hasmon Tarukwasha Zimbeva, who became one of the pillars of their church. “So there he was,” said Mr. Tarukwasha, “thirty-three years later, wondering if his ministry in Africa had borne good fruit.” 

At the recent ceremony establishing the new scholarship, Mr. Tarukwasha spoke of his grandfather’s conversion. “In 1962 my grandfather was ordained to be a pastor. He pastored his first church in 1963. Before his passing in 2010, he led hundreds of people to Christ, and trained many pastors and various leaders. I grew up in a Christian home but never really questioned how our family came to know and serve the Lord until I met Dr. McLuhan.” 

Mr. Tarukwasha acknowledged the role and assistance in establishing the scholarship of Larry Berry, Augustine Bocco, Renee Lastra, Mike Formont, Brie McDaniel and Phil Cook.

“I believe that many years from now we will talk about the great African men and women that this scholarship helped. If only a few students are assisted, that is all we need to change the world.”



McCallie Future Business Leaders Of America Start 2017 Strong

The Future Business Leaders of America Chapter of McCallie has had a busy and efficient start to 2017.  Ten members of the club went to Knoxville to compete in the regional FBLA competition, while three other members took a test before the event.   All 13 members who took part in the regional competition were top finalists in their respective event and were invited ... (click for more)

Rosaria Butterfield To Speak In Bryan College Chapel March 8

Christian author and speaker Rosaria Butterfield will speak in chapel service on Wednesday, March 8, at 10 a.m in Rudd Auditorium. Dr. Butterfield was once a tenured professor of English who identified as a lesbian and worked to advance the cause of LGBT equality. After her conversion to Christ in 1999, she said she came to see the sinfulness of having any identity apart from Him.  ... (click for more)

Dallas Bay Firefighters Save Home After Kitchen Fire, But 2 Dogs Die

Dallas Bay firefighters saved a home from burning to the ground on Saturday afternoon. Around 1 p.m., the homeowner called 911 reporting a house fire located at 1856 Cotter Road. Dallas Bay Volunteer Fire Department responded and arrived on the scene reporting heavy smoke pouring out the front door. Dallas Bay VFD requested a mutual aid response for Red Bank Fire Department ... (click for more)

Man, 39, Shot Late Friday Night In The Vicinity Of North Chamberlain Avenue

Police said a 39-year-old man was shot late Friday night in the vicinity of North Chamberlain Avenue.   He was identified as Ruben Williams Sr.   Officers with the Chattanooga Police Department were informed just before midnight that a shooting victim arrived at a local hospital via personal vehicle.   Officers made contact with the victim who advised ... (click for more)

CVB Should Share Financials With The Home Folks

The recent debate over the Convention and Visitor's Bureau's funding and budget has gotten ugly. A Hamilton County commissioner has asked questions and made comments about the CVB. The director of the CVB has organized a campaign to dismiss the commissioner's questions and comments. The children on the playground are choosing sides and nothing useful seems to be happening. It's ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Haggling Must Stop

Far be it for me to suggest the Hamilton County Commission and the School Board need to spend more time at recess but it was obvious this week the two groups need to work at being better friends. We have nine county commissioners and just as many corresponding school board members to work together for the betterment of one entity – Hamilton County. Everybody who thinks that is happening ... (click for more)