One of the most significant giving options at Nyack College and Alliance Theological Seminary is donating to a scholarship fund that provides resources to specific students. Stakeholders who give contribute to education and leadership development for students with real dreams of making a difference in the world and serving others. You will be able to follow the progress of students who are recipients of your scholarship fund. When you hear from these students, you’ll be fully persuaded that your generous giving is an invaluable part of their educational journey.

Our goal is to provide opportunities—within and outside of the classroom setting—that will help make a student’s dream of a Christian education become a reality. Scholarship awards, which are based on financial need and outstanding academic performance, are an integral part of this goal. Our scholarships are not financial handouts, but a means of rewarding deserving students who demonstrate strong academic and leadership qualities and who take the time to research and apply for these funds. Students who qualify based on need are often the first generation of college graduates in their families. Our hope is that you will join other friends who have made the decision to give the gift of a scholarship.

Featured below are the stories behind the scholarships established by families and/or friends of the individuals for whom they are named.

The David Denyer Scholarship Fund

Professor Emeritus of Old Testament and Archaeology Dr. David Denyer began teaching at Alliance Theological Seminary (ATS) in 1977, when it was known as Alliance School of Theology and Missions. He joined founding faculty Dr. Lin Barney and Dr. David Moore as the only full-time professors. Even following his retirement in 2000 and relocation to Arizona, Dr. Denyer wasinvited back to teach modular courses at ATS each January and May.

For two of his 23 years at ATS, he served as Dean of the Faculty. With The Christian and Missionary Alliance, he served two three-year terms on the Board of Directors. His irrefutable call to theological training of seminarians was also carried out in his role as an adjunct professor at Canadian Theological Seminary in Regina; West Africa Alliance Seminary in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire; and in the graduate program of Simpson University in Redding, CA. He also taught at an extension site of ATS in Kiev, Ukraine.

While his scholarship and leadership at Alliance Theological Seminary are legendary, equally significant is the indelible mark that Dr. Denyer left on the hearts and minds of his students. To honor this extraordinary role model, the David A. Denyer Scholarship Fund was established in 2001. During his tenure, he passed on to students his passion for the lost, his love for scripture, his heart for God and his commitment to excellence. He modeled the authentic Christian life and an infectious concern for others.

Today, still living in Tempe, Arizona, Dr. Denyer remains in retirement and has served as an Elder and a substitute teacher for adults in a number of faith communities. His reputation remains a gold standard among seminary students. Consequently, each year a graduate of ATS is awarded the David Denyer Award, which recognizes an outstanding student who exemplifies the qualities and character of Dr. Denyer.

Dr. Denyer and his wife, Dorothy, left their fingerprints on the future. This precious couple’s investments of praying, giving, and mentoring ATS students will reap benefits for decades to come for the worldwide Church. Their sacrificial service has catapulted an army of dedicated men and women into Christian service fueled by a zeal to know the God of history and the God who knows the future.

Gifts to the David Denyer Scholarship Fund will support students pursuing seminary degrees at ATS where scholarship and spiritual formation are preparing leaders for life-changing impact.

Downs Memorial Nursing Scholarship

The Downs Memorial Nursing Scholarship is a fund for nursing students that was established by Dr. Carolyn Tonge, a Nyack College/ATS Trustee, in memory of her mother, Cassilda Downs. Mrs. Downs’ passion for the profession came together in a nursing career that lasted for all the working years of her lifetime. She was committed to serving God and serving others.

Mrs. Downs completed her nurse’s training in 1929 at Kingston Public Hospital in Kingston, Jamaica. She spent an additional nine months in training as a midwife before returning home, where she became the first registered nurse on the east coast of Nicaragua. She served her island community tirelessly by treating the most severe illnesses as well as the minor things that ailed her patients. There are thousands of fortunate men, women, children and babies, who benefitted from her selfless and loving ministry of healing. Nursing was not what Cassilda did; a nurse was who she was.

The Downs Memorial Nursing Scholarship is awarded to a student enrolled in the nursing program from either Central or South America who is in financial need.

Comments from Downs Memorial Nursing Scholarship recipients:

“I chose Nyack College because of the mission focus of the school. This scholarship will help me accomplish my goal of becoming a missionary nurse. I hope that, in the future, I can go to South or Central America to spread God’s word while giving people the medical attention that they really need.”

“My goal is to start an orphanage for street children so that they cannot only have a bed and food every day, but also be loved. I want to help orphans get adopted into loving families, while first meeting their physical needs. This scholarship was an answer to my prayer as God provided a way for me to finish paying for my last year of school.”

Craig Ellison Scholarship

The Alliance Graduate School of Counseling (AGSC) began as a concept in 1982 with Dr. Craig Ellison’s vision for a master’s level counseling program that had the ability to train future counselors to address the psychospiritual needs of hurting people in the church, on the mission field, in the city and in the community. Dr. Ellison was known as a highly gifted, active and prolific Christian psychologist. In his professional career, Dr. Ellison wore many hats, among them psychology professor, author, clinician, researcher and radio show host (“Perspectives on Personal Living”).

Dr. Ellison was named Distinguished Professor of Urban Studies and Counseling. He was the first professor in the history of Nyack College/ATS to receive this recognition. Awarding him the title of Distinguished Professor was the unanimous decision of the Nyack/ATS president and Board of Trustees because of Dr. Ellison’s consistent excellence in teaching and scholarly work, as well as his service to the institution, to society and to the Church.

Dr. Ellison went to be with the Lord on March 13, 2012. He is remembered with much affection and gratitude for the legacy he established at Nyack College. The work of Dr. Ellison will continue to be honored as generations of students benefit from the Craig Ellison Scholarship Fund.  Fundraising is underway to endow this scholarship for awards to eligible AGSC students.

H. Robert Helker Memorial Scholarship Fund

This is an endowed scholarship established by Mr. Helker’s wife, Mrs. Doris Helker. Because of their empathy for those who face financial obstacles to continuing studies at Nyack, this award was established to assist students who would not be able to travel to campus without aid.

Though the Helkers were unable to complete their degrees at Nyack, their appreciation for the time they did spend as Nyack students prompted Mrs. Helker to help future students fulfill their dream of earning a Nyack degree. Her heartfelt words describe their love for Nyack best:

“In 1953, my husband and I loaded our old car with most of our earthly possessions and drove to Nyack, NY. We had a six-week-old baby, and we were barely 21 years old, but we had both felt the urge to study at Nyack in preparation for going to the mission field if that was God’s will for us.

We left for Nyack with high expectations and very small resources. We arrived to present ourselves for registration needing a place to live and a job to pay our expenses. Bob worked and attended classes. I found a job at Lederle Laboratories, and God provided a student friend to care for our son while I worked. During our second year there, I also enrolled in classes and worked part-time. Bob and I learned so much and loved the classes and instructors. We also became close friends with other couples who later were called to the mission field.

During our third year, it became obvious that we could not continue trying to raise our son, going to school and working. The stress was becoming very difficult. We decided after much prayer that God had other plans for us. In 1956, we returned to Missouri where Bob finished his degree in architecture, and I received my degree in education.

Our years at Nyack were some of the most joyful times, and we learned so much. We continued the friendships we formed there and found many ways to serve our Lord and Savior. He blessed us with a fine family and many opportunities to use our talents.

This gift in my husband’s name is given as a tribute to him and to Nyack for the influence our education there had on our lives. To God be the glory!”

Photo of Marion Howe

The Marion B. Howe Jubilee Scholarship

The Marion B. Howe Jubilee Scholarship was established in 1998 by Nyack alumni and friends in honor of the illustrious music professor, who for 57 years gained the praise and admiration of students and colleagues. This scholarship is awarded to music or music education students. Candidates major in sacred music, intend to serve in church music vocations and show promise in the discipline of music with strong academic performance.

For more than half a century, the Norway, Maine native gave Nyack students the opportunity to experience the cultural arts—painting, sculpture, architecture, ballet—as well as music. Under her leadership, Nyack’s Carol & Candlelight tours ministered to thousands throughout the Northeast. She created the English Handbell Choir, a tradition and highlight of the Christmas season at Nyack College.

Marion Howe, a 1948 Nyack alumna, was presented with an honorary Doctor of Music degree at Nyack’s 2006 commencement ceremony. She was an extraordinary example of how professors impact the lives of students by going beyond the classroom or the textbook. One colleague captured the essence of Dr. Howe by referring to her as “Nyack’s notable aesthete and unshakable stalwart of high standards.” She was also called “beautiful, bright, elegant, with the voice of one of God’s angels and a conducting technique so exact and clear that the Women’s Chorus she conducted was unparalleled for its precision.” One alumnus spoke of Dr. Howe’s “class, style, passion, Christological clarity and desire for and commitment to excellence.” Another alumnus said, “I will be forever in her debt for cultivating my love of singing, but she has been far more than a voice teacher. She has been an inspiration, a wise advisor, a patient instructor, a spiritual mentor, a model of integrity and a friend.”

The undeniable common thread in the sentiments of all who encountered this beloved Nyack College School of Music luminary is that Dr. Marion Howe was a Nyack pillar–a woman of substance and excellence.

Photo of Elizabeth Jackson

Elizabeth C. Jackson Scholarship Fund

Elizabeth Jackson served on the mission field in Indonesia with The Christian and Missionary Alliance from 1947-1959. Mrs. Jackson’s husband, a pilot during World War II, was one of several missionaries captured and killed in Borneo, Indonesia.

While on furlough in 1959, Elizabeth Jackson accepted the position of Nyack College Dean of Women. In 1976, Vice President was added to her title with legendary results. A year later, she became the first woman elected to The Christian and Missionary Alliance Board of Managers.  She served as Nyack’s beloved Dean until 1983, the year she went home to be with the Lord.

Though the Dean of Women, Elizabeth Jackson’s door and her heart were open to both male and female students. Her gift of encouragement was widely known by the thousands of students whose lives she touched. One such benefactor was Dr. Barbara Underwood, an internationally known authority in the field of nutrition and the biochemical aspects of vitamin A, who retired from the National Eye Institute (NEI) at the National Institutes of Health in 1998. Dr. Underwood established the Elizabeth C. Jackson Scholarship Fund in her beloved mentor’s name with a $100,00 gift to Nyack College.

Dr. Underwood shared memories of Elizabeth Jackson in an interview. “The main thing was that Elizabeth listened. She let you talk. She never forced decisions on you. But as she talked, she always took you back to the Bible for guidance. She was a loving, godly woman. Everything she did was rooted in trying to help young people grow in their relationship with the Lord.”

Inspired by her own experience and love for Dean Jackson, Dr. Underwood established the scholarship “so that more Nyack students could be encouraged and taught.”

Paul L. Liljestrand School of Music Scholarship

Dr. Paul Liljestrand’s impact on the School of Music is legendary. During his tenure at Nyack, beyond his role as an educator, he was a mentoring and loving presence for students and faculty alike. A graduate of the Julliard School and the School of Sacred Music at Union Theological Seminary, he was the conductor of the Nyack College Chorale and presented the group to an international audience, which included performances in Ukraine, East Berlin, Poland, France and Spain. Under his leadership, the Chorale performed at two iconic venues—Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall.

A noted composer of sacred music, the world premiere of his oratorio O God Our Help was presented at the Norton Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, TX, and the New York premiere was performed at Carnegie Hall in 1993.

The Paul L. Liljestrand School of Music Scholarship exists to award worthy students majoring in music at Nyack College.  An accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music, Middle States Association and the Association of Christian Schools International, the Nyack College School of Music is one of the oldest and most popular divisions.

Comments from Paul L. Liljestrand School of Music Scholarship recipients:

“I am a sophomore and a Music in Worship major here at Nyack. I am a part of the Honors program and regularly participate in Honors trips, retreats, and special projects. After I graduate, I hope to lead worship full-time. My major is unique in that it combines my vocation, career and ministry goals. This scholarship will enable me to take out fewer loans and leave college with less debt.”

“Words cannot express my appreciation for the honor of receiving this scholarship! My hope is to be able to minister to people through music. Receiving this scholarship has been a reminder to put all my cares and worries at the foot of the cross, for God always provides for my needs.”

Photograph of Kathy Mascaro

Kathleen L. Mascaro Memorial Nursing Scholarship

Established by family and friends of Kathleen L. Mascaro, this scholarship provides aid to deserving students who are majoring in nursing and who have a strong call to the nursing profession and to ministry.

The 1968 Nyack alumna was a registered nurse for nearly 40 years, 20 of them at Nyack Hospital in Rockland County, NY. She once shared, “I believe the need, challenges and opportunities for nurses have never been greater—the critical shortage of nurses, the expanding life expectancy with increasing health care needs of the elderly, the threat of global diseases and the growing concerns for education and health of families. To be a Christian nurse, educated with a biblical worldview, is a high calling and a privilege. Nyack offers a great opportunity to fulfill this dream on the doorstep of New York City.” Nursing students trained at Nyack are responding to Mrs. Mascaro’s near prophetic words (spoken in 2008) by serving today in the healing profession with the love of Christ.

Long before the nursing program came to Nyack, Mrs. Mascaro earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Taylor University in Upland, IN, and Miami School of Nursing in Dayton, OH. She went on to study Bible and Missions at Nyack College. Prior to living in Nyack, she and her husband, Augustine Mascaro Jr., lived in Brooklyn, NY, where they served with the Brooklyn Gospel Team (1968-1973), once a student ministry at Nyack.

A gentle, humble soul, Kathleen Mascaro is remembered for her compassion, love of people and faithful devotion to her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and to her beloved family.

Rev. Harold M. Rhoads Scholarship Fund

This scholarship honors the memory of 1931 Nyack College alumnus Harold M. Rhoads of Canton, OH. Recipients of this award are students who exhibit a passion for evangelism, particularly to children, as did Rev. Rhoads.

Crippled by polio at age 5, he grew to become known as “Uncle” Harold, a man who would not allow a physical malady to deter his pursuit of God’s call on his life. He traveled to some 42 states and Canada to share the Good News with young audiences. Using simple object lessons, he communicated the message of salvation. As a pastor, he worked extensively with The Christian and Missionary Alliance, the Evangelical United Brethren and the United Methodist Church.

In May 2021, From Paralysis to Pulpit: The Autobiography of “Uncle” Harold M. Rhoads was released. Edited by his grandson, Kenneth Carl, the inspirational testimony is sold on Amazon. All proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to the Harold M. Rhoads Scholarship Fund at Nyack College to provide financial support to qualified students earning a degree in Christian ministry.

Photo of Dr. Paul and Mrs. Flora Siu

The Dr. Paul and Flora Siu Memorial Scholarship

Known for his passionate teaching, sincere care for his students and his heart for Jesus, Dr. Paul Siu was the Director of the Chinese Bi-Cultural Pastoral Ministries program from 1997–1999 and Professor of Systematic Theology at Alliance Theological Seminary from 1999 until his death in 2010. He and his beloved wife, Flora, pastored Chinese churches in Canada and the U.S., served as Christian and Missionary Alliance missionaries in Taiwan and ministered in a broad range of settings in countries including Indonesia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, China, Suriname, France, Venezuela and Israel.

An extraordinary model of scholarship for his students, Dr. Siu was published in more than 20 academic journals in both English and Chinese, including Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, Asian Journal of Theology, Evangelical, Missiological Society and the Alliance Academic Review. He translated Francis A. Schaeffer: Portraits of the Man and His Work into Chinese, wrote a chapter on local theology for the Global Church (a project of the World Evangelical Alliance Theological Commission) and wrote The Horizon of Theology: Constructing a Method for Evangelical Theology.

Dr. Siu and his wife, Flora, who passed away in 2021, were both dedicated to serving the Lord with their lives and committed to the work of equipping workers for the Kingdom of God. This scholarship honors them and exercises the Genesis law to be fruitful and multiply by facilitating the pursuit of a seminary education for disciples of Christ who will emulate the lifestyle of Paul and Flora Siu and their infectious love for the Lord.

Dr. John F Taylor Memorial

Dr. John F. Taylor, a Nyack College legend, devoted his life to the service of God and others. His commitment to higher education and the development of emerging leaders marks his legacy. Dr. Taylor received a diploma at Nyack Missionary College in 1943, a B.A. in 1945 from Wheaton College and an M.A. in 1947 from Wheaton Graduate School of Theology. His B.D. was earned at Southern Baptist Seminary, and his Ph.D. was completed at New York University in 1966.

His profound impact on Nyack began when he was a student and continued when he became a faculty and staff member. Taylor held different positions on campus that included Dean of Men, Director of Publicity, Vice President of Public Affairs and Executive Director of Nyack’s Alumni Association. Dr. Taylor taught classes such as Fundamentals of Speech, Bible Archaeology, European Civilizations and Pastoral Epistles.

The Dr. John F. Taylor Memorial Scholarship was funded to honor his life. The scholarship is awarded to students preparing for full-time vocational ministry and students with the vision to become a Christian business leader. Through his dedicated commitment to Nyack College, the works and good deeds of Dr. Taylor live on in the many lives that he touched.

If you are interested in learning more about becoming a donor and giving to a Nyack scholarship fund, please contact our College Relations Office by emailing collegerelations@nyack.edu or phoning 646.378.6151.

Students interested in applying for endowed scholarships should contact the Office of Student Financial Services. (Awards are made each year during the spring semester for the following academic year.)