By Natasha Mitchell ('94) Link to original story
Oral Roberts University Golden Eagles men's basketball player Robert Aery not only enjoys being in the spotlight as a college athlete, but he treasures the importance of an education. Aery, a senior government and business administration major, is the recipient of the Hatton W. Sumners Scholarship from Oklahoma City University School of Law.
Aery, who is also a Whole Person Scholarship recipient, will graduate in May with honors and will be attending OCU in the fall. He has been a Golden Eagle Scholar and a Super Scholar.
"There is no doubt that the Whole Person Scholarship program played a large part in preparing me for law school and the Hatton W. Sumners Scholarship competition," Aery said. "While high academic achievement was a requirement to become a Sumners Scholar, the committee also looked for involvement within the community, civic awareness, and a future desire to impact the political and social climate of one's country. Whole Person Scholarship winners are encouraged to develop all of these attributes. In fact, Oral Roberts' vision was that all graduates would go into 'everyman's world' to be a positive agent of change. The holistic education that I have received here at ORU, along with the leadership opportunities available to me through the WPS program, have prepared me to become a good law student and an active and informed citizen within my community."
OCU LAW is one of only two law schools in the country to receive the generous support of the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation to assist in the establishment of several full-tuition scholarships for incoming law students. In addition to full-tuition, recipients of these awards receive book and living stipends.
The Whole Person Scholarship Program was established at ORU to recognize students who model the Whole Person concept. Scholarship recipients will demonstrate the following: Christian Worldview, Lifestyle of Service, Academic Achievement, Leadership Ability, Vision to Make a Life-Changing Impact on Others and Healthy Lifestyle.
Any high school junior or senior or prospective transfer student may be nominated to the Whole Person Scholarship Program by a high school or college counselor or other school official, youth pastor, community leader or member of the ORU faculty, staff or alumni. All students nominated, invited and who subsequently participate earn scholarship dollars of varying amounts.
Aery said that the best part of being at ORU is participating in many opportunities he has had while on campus.
"While attending ORU, I was able to play Division I basketball, maintain a double-major in Government and Business Administration, obtain leadership positions within my county political structure, volunteer in state and local elections, found and run a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and develop lasting relationships with my classmates and professors," he said. "Becoming a great lawyer is not just about developing great legal skills, while that is vital. A lawyer, as with any profession, rises above the competition when he or she is more aptly able to balance every aspect of life, while still maintaining focus and handling stress within his or her practice. While my daily schedule at ORU was sometimes exhausting, I feel that it helped prepare me for law school, a career in law, and general citizenship within my community. I thank God that I won the Whole Person Scholarship and had the opportunity to attend ORU."