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College Scholarships

Annual Scholarship Opportunities


First United Methodist Church has been blessed with some faithful members who have graciously established endowment funds that support scholarships for university students. Scholarships will be awarded at the discretion of the First Methodist Scholarship Committee using the criteria established for each scholarship as listed below. Priority consideration will be given to applicants who demonstrate active church involvement.

The First Methodist Scholarship Committee will consider all applications that are deemed complete, legible, and submitted by the specified deadline. Applications are accepted each year in the spring and scholarships are awarded during the summer for the upcoming school year.

The deadline for this year’s application is May 31. 

Apply Online

or using the printable PDF

Scholarship Recipients

Melanie Foreman – Recipient of the Ross & Jean Marrs Scholarship, and the Harold & Lillian Jackson Scholarship

Mikayla Muzii – Recipient of the John Hoadley Scholarship, the Ross & Jean Marrs Scholarship, and the Harold & Lillian Jackson Scholarship

David Norris – Recipient of the Ross & Jean Marrs Scholarship, and the Harold & Lillian Jackson Scholarship

Julia Wood – Recipient of the Jill Behrman Scholarship, the Ross & Jean Marrs Scholarship , the Judith Thurston Watts Scholarship, and the Harold & Lillian Jackson Scholarship

List of Available Scholarships

Download the Scholarship Descriptions Brochure PDF

The Jill Behrman Scholarship

This scholarship fund was established by Eric and Marilyn Behrman to honor their daughter, Jill Kristen Behrman. They want the scholarship to encourage deserving undergraduate students in their academic pursuits.

Jill was born September 17, 1980, in Bloomington, Indiana, and was baptized at First United Methodist Church. A list of Jill’s involvement at FUMC includes membership in the church youth program and participation in several mission trips. Before entering college, Jill volunteered at Bloomington Hospital as a Candy Striper and at the Hoosier Hills Food Bank. She also served as a page in the Indiana State Legislature. In 1999 Jill became the first recipient of the FUMC Ross and Jean Marrs Scholarship.

Jill’s love for physical activity was evident very early, and her natural athletic ability soon found expression in everyday play and in involvement with school and club sports. In high school, she concentrated on volleyball making the varsity team as a sophomore. She was voted honorary captain by her teammates and also made the All-Conference team. Jill was known by her many friends as one who worked diligently at the YMCA to attain the level of fitness needed to compete, whether by lifting weights, swimming, or cycling.

As a teen, Jill held several part-time jobs but as a college freshman, she began work at the Indiana University Student Recreation Sports Center, a job that would be her favorite. There she found her niche, working hard to be a responsible employee and hoping to train to become an exercise instructor and supervisor.

On the morning of May 31, 2000, Jill went for a bike ride, planning to be home in time to go to work at noon at the SRSC. She never returned home. Jill was missing and presumed abducted for three years before her body was discovered in the woods of Morgan County – Jill had been murdered. As tragic as this story is, Jill’s parents, Eric and Marilyn, and her brother, Brian, have used every opportunity to turn this tragedy into a rallying point. That includes this scholarship. Through this scholarship, the Behrman family hopes to honor their daughter by assisting students who share her commitment to strong moral character and sense of responsibility.

Scholarship criteria:

  • Demonstrate good scholastic achievement.
  • Demonstrate good character and leadership potential.
  • Be engaged in the pursuit of a bachelor’s degree.
  • Preferably, be a member of a United Methodist Church.




The Lillian Gay Berry Scholarship

Lillian Gay Berry, a native of Indiana and a long-time member of First United Methodist Church, was a recognized scholar in Greek and Latin at Indiana University. She was a dedicated teacher who gave 25 years of service to her church in the Sunday School. She was an outstanding personality on campus and in the community.

This scholarship she established continues a tradition begun during her lifetime, as she had assisted students who otherwise would not have been able to attend college.

Scholarship criteria:

  • Be a resident of Indiana.
  • Be a member of a United Methodist Church.
  • Have at least sophomore standing in college.
  • Show evidence of good scholastic achievement.
  • Pursue a liberal arts course in the humanities.
  • Exhibit an interest in some form of ministerial work as a minister, missionary, nurse, religious musician, social services worker, etc.
  • Show a need for financial assistance.

The Mary Alice and William R. Breneman Memorial Scholarship

A scholarship fund has been established by the Breneman family honoring the life and memory of Mary Alice and William R. Breneman.

Mary Alice Breneman was an active supporter of the youth groups, Scout troop, and women’s societies for many years. She was a teacher for a brief time and a strong advocate of the value of education. She contributed greatly to Bill’s graduate years and encouraged all of her family to pursue advanced degrees. That there are 33 degrees held by members of her family is a witness to her effective influence. She had a special concern for families engaged in pursuing advanced degrees.

William Breneman was chairman of the Zoology Department and was with Indiana University for 43 years. His pioneering research in endocrinology shed light on the nature, functions, and interactions of hormones at a time when they were little understood. His work formed the basis for many later advances and earned him an international reputation. He was the author of a widely used textbook, Animal Form and Function. To thousands of alumni, however, he is best remembered for his annual Christmas lecture, “From Kalamazoo to You.” This long-time campus tradition was a vivid account of the history of the planet and the biological history of humans.

Among Dr. Breneman’s numerous awards were the Frederick Bachman Lieber Award for outstanding teaching and the Sigma Delta Chi’s Brown Derby Award for the most popular teacher on campus. He was chairman of the faculty committee on athletics, faculty representative to the Big Ten, and grand marshal for the university. Professor Breneman was a scoutmaster of Troop #4. The Brenemans were members of FUMC for 57 years.

This scholarship was established to continue Mary Alice’s and Bill’s lifelong dedication to education. Their children maintain the scholarship in loving memory of their parents.

Scholarship criteria:

  • Preferably, be a United Methodist couple or a single parent engaged in educational pursuit beyond the Bachelor’s degree.
  • Show evidence of good scholastic achievement.
  • Show need for financial assistance.

The John A. Hoadley Memorial Scholarship

John Albert Hoadley was born in Stinesville, Indiana, on July 30, 1904, one of four sons born to Bert and Kathryn Hoadley. John was a graduate of Bloomington High School and Indiana University (1926).

He was associated with his father in the firm of B.G. Hoadley Quarries and served as its president from 1937 to 1958. From 1958 until 1964 he was administrator of the Indiana Methodist Children’s Home in Lebanon. A Boy Scout leader and president of the White River Council of Boy Scouts of America, John was awarded the Silver Beaver Award in recognition of 25 years of Scouting leadership. He was an active member of several organizations interested in community affairs; and as chairman of the Mayor’s Human Relations Council, he was instrumental in ending discrimination in area restaurants.

John was responsible for helping organize the Christian Center in Monroe County, was chairman of the building committee following the 1937 fire at First United Methodist Church, and served as lay leader of the Indiana Conference of The Methodist Church in the 1940s. He was elected delegate to the General Conference of The Methodist Church several times and continued to be active at First United Methodist until his death.

A Major in the United States Air Force in World War II, John was decorated with the Order of Orange-Nassau by the government of Holland to honor his efforts in supplying food and medicine to the Dutch.

This scholarship was established in 1977 by family and friends as a memorial to John’s life interest in and concern for the well-being of young people.

Scholarship criteria:

  • Be engaged in the pursuit of higher education.
  • In the judgment of the Committee, be deemed most deserving of this scholarship.

The Jackson Family Scholarship

The Jackson Family Scholarship was established by Harold and Lillian Jackson in honor of their three sons and their families. It is their wish to help deserving individuals in their pursuit of academic excellence.

Harold and Lillian have made many contributions to the growth and well-being of the church since their membership began in 1974, shortly after moving to Bloomington. They have participated and served in many ministries of the church. Harold has been an usher and has been very active with the church’s sports teams, including pitcher for the men’s softball team from 1974 – 2006. Lillian has served on several church committees and has volunteered countless hours to music ministry, the Wednesday Pantry, and several areas of Christian education. She has been active with many community organizations as well. Both Harold and Lillian have been generous with their time and resources for Methodist mission trips and other church organizations. Both have volunteered many hours to the FUMC Wednesday Pantry. Their faith and dedication to First United Methodist Church have helped them to serve as living disciples of Christ.

Scholarship criteria:

  • Be enrolled or will be enrolled in college.
  • Be actively involved in their community and church.
  • Seeking to exemplify Christ in their lives.

The Ross and Jean Marrs Scholarship

As pastoral partners, Ross and Jean Marrs served First United Methodist Church from 1972 to 1992. Both West Virginians, they graduated from Marshall University but not at the same time. Jean had finished college and was a fifth-grade teacher in Coalwood, West Virginia when they met.

Ross served in the U.S. Army during World War II, and in 1948 he was working as a banker when he and Jean were married. After Army service in Korea, Ross returned to school and completed his bachelor’s degree summa cum laude at Marshall in 1955. Then Ross entered Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary, from which he graduated with special honors in 1959. While he was in school, he served as pastor of a church.

Ross and Jean were the parents of two daughters, Krystal and Elyce. Both daughters earned college degrees, Krystal at Baker University and Elyce at Indiana University.

At FUMC Jean was active in United Methodist Women and adult Sunday School. As senior pastor, Ross delivered powerful and inspired messages from the pulpit. He worked constantly at building up the congregation and putting the church on a sound financial footing.

Once described as “the great Protestant rabbi,” Ross was the recipient of doctor of divinity degrees from DePauw University and the University of Evansville. He was one of Methodism’s outstanding preacher-scholars.

Ross and Jean established this scholarship to celebrate all the support and assistance they received when they were students in college and seminary.

Scholarship criteria:

  • Show need for financial assistance.
  • Show evidence of good scholastic achievement.

The Zachary Joseph Daniel Novak Scholarship

A scholarship fund was established by the Wesley Choir in loving memory of Zachary Joseph Daniel Novak (September 17, 1980– April 20, 2006); in recognition of the immeasurable spiritual gifts that Zachary shared with us; and to the glory, honor, and praise of our Almighty God, the everlasting Father, Christ Jesus our Lord, in and with the Holy Spirit, whom Zachary adored and to whom he committed his life. This fund was created for the purpose of awarding scholarships annually to high school seniors, college undergraduates, or post-graduate students of music who are either members or active participants of First United Methodist Church or who are in some way connected with FUMC and its ministries and who wish to undertake the serious study of music or a music-related profession.

The study of music generally includes, but is not limited to, vocal or instrumental music performance, conducting, music composition, musical theater, or music education. Preference will be given to high school seniors, then undergraduates, and then post-graduate students.

Scholarship criteria:

  • The length of time an applicant has been associated with FUMC.
  • The nature and extent of an applicant’s involvement in the life and ministries of the church.
  • The applicant’s level of demonstrable musical or artist talent.
  • The applicant’s financial resources and needs.

The Judith Ann Thurston Watts Scholarship

Born in Bloomington, Indiana, Judith Ann Thurston Watts was baptized in and was a member of First United Methodist Church. After graduation from University School, she attended MacMurray College in Jacksonville, Illinois, and Indiana University, where she received her A.B. in Social Service in 1964.

Judith began her graduate study at the IU School of Social Work and, after marriage to Michael Watts, became a law student at the University of Michigan, where she completed her master’s degree in 1966.

Following three years of association with the Wayne County School that served children with special needs in the Detroit area, she and Michael, then an Air Force Captain, moved to Texas and then to Japan. The family returned to the States in 1974; and at the time of Judith’s death in January 1976, she was planning to resume work with children in the Denver area.

This scholarship was established in 1976 by Judith’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth B. Thurston; relatives; and family friends with the purpose of perpetuating Judith’s ideals of service.

Scholarship criteria:

  • Be engaged in the pursuit of higher education toward involvement in a serving vocation, with preference given to a church-related or church-based program.
  • Show need for financial assistance.
  • Show evidence of adequate academic ability and promise.
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