God Prepared Her Way to DBU: Junior Math Major Joelle Newton

Joelle Newton

As it came time for Joelle Newton to graduate high school and choose which college she would attend, Joelle’s grandmother was the one to suggest Dallas Baptist University. To understand why, one needs to travel back nearly 60 years, over 40 years before Joelle was even born.

Joelle’s grandmother, Joanne Dickey (Berglund at the time), attended Austin College in Sherman, Texas. There, she met a young lady named Sally Robinson, who became her roommate and sorority sister. The two became close friends and they continued to stay in touch through the years.

After graduating, Sally met and married a young man named Jim Nation, and the two began their life together, eventually becoming  some of the most well-loved and dedicated friends of Dallas Baptist University. Visitors driving onto campus are most familiar with Jim and Sally Nation Hall, which houses the Gary Cook School of Leadership, a wonderful tribute to the Nations’ faithfulness and generosity to the DBU Family. 

One day, Joanne Dickey attended DBU’s annual Hymn Sing on campus with her church group. While on campus, she asked to be added to the DBU Report mailing list, and while flipping through a copy one day, she noticed a familiar face—her former roommate and friend, Sally.

After reading more about DBU and the Nations’ involvement, Joanne suggested that her granddaughter, Joelle, look into attending school on University Hill. 

“We took a tour and fell in love,” Joy Newton (Joelle’s mother) says. However, there was one obstacle to overcome before Joelle committed to life as a Patriot.

“DBU was a school just out of reach for financial reasons,” Joelle says.

After Joanne mentioned her granddaughter’s interest in DBU to Sally, the Nations graciously offered Joelle a scholarship, which provided Joelle the means to attend and pursue a degree in mathematics.

As Joelle explains, “These scholarships helped to allow me to come to DBU and continue my education here.”

After arriving on campus, Joelle interviewed with the Athletics Department and began in a part-time student worker position with DBU Baseball tracking pitches as a statistician, and shortly there after, she became the team’s Video Coordinator. Because of her time spent with the baseball team in tandem with her mathematics degree, Joelle can successfully say she fulfilled what her mother encouraged her to do—combine what she loves (sports) with something she is gifted in (math). 

After nearly two years of being at DBU, Joelle had the opportunity to meet Sally and Jim Nation.

Being able to meet and thank the Nations for the impact they have had on Joelle’s life through their generosity was priceless. “Who knew that back in her college days my grandmother and her roommate would have such a lasting effect that would bring me to DBU, right where I belong?,” Joelle asks. “God did.”

Written by Emmalie Ellis

Emmalie Ellis writes for the University Communications Department at Dallas Baptist University.