Wewers establish $200,000 in endowments

Inspired by the educational opportunities offered at their alma mater, two Henderson State University graduates have established two scholarship endowments at the university. Chris and Debra Wewers of Little Rock donated a total of $200,000 for scholarships to assist full-time students at Henderson State.

“Educational opportunities and empowerment are the cornerstones to improving our cities, our state, our country and our world,” said Chris Wewers. “Debra and I are excited at the opportunity to give back to Henderson State in support of these efforts.”

Chris Wewers is chief financial officer for Southern Bancorp and a member of the Henderson State University Foundation Board of Directors. He graduated from Henderson in 1992 with an accounting degree. The Christopher M. Wewers Scholarship Endowment will benefit students in Henderson’s School of Business.

Debra Wewers is a 1993 graduate of Henderson with a degree in elementary education. The Debra L. Nutt Wewers Scholarship Endowment benefits students studying education in Teachers College, Henderson.

“Chris and I have discussed how we could give back to Henderson, recognizing the importance of education and empowerment and their ability to positively change individuals and families forever,” Debra Wewers said. “In endowing these scholarships, we are putting our words and thoughts into action by creating opportunities for generations to come.”

“We know firsthand the tremendous springboard these types of funds can provide to students as both of us were blessed to earn scholarships that helped us earn our degrees,” Chris Wewers said. “The impact that had on our lives is immeasurable and instilled in us a commitment to ‘pay it forward.’”

Henderson President Glen Jones thanked the Wewers for their investment in the potential of both the university and future students.

“The Wewers know the value of their degrees and have decided to invest in current and future generations of students who seek to obtain a higher education from Henderson,” Jones said. “We are deeply grateful for their generosity toward students in the School of Business and Teachers College.”

Students can apply for these and other privately funded scholarships available through the HSU Foundation at the start of the spring semester. The HSU Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides private support to the students, faculty and staff of Henderson through scholarships, programmatic endowments and annual gifts.

“Establishing a scholarship endowment through the HSU Foundation is a wonderful way to provide perpetual financial assistance to deserving students,” said Jennifer Boyett, executive director of the foundation. The foundation awards more than $360,000 in privately funded scholarship support annually.

The couple agreed that their personal experience at Henderson and their volunteer work with the university’s foundation showed them that endowments make a difference in the lives of students.

“Serving on the Business Advisory Council and the HSU Foundation Board of Directors has also given me additional perspectives on how broad an impact something like this can have,” Chris Wewers said.

“Henderson has an excellent track record of equipping teachers and business people alike, and these funds will help ensure the legacy continues,” said Debra Wewers.