DBU Student Luke Brooker Awarded Hatton W. Sumners Scholarship

DBU student Luke Brooker, recipient of the Sumners Foundation Scholarship

The Sumners Foundation was founded in 1949, and they work to create a network of thought leaders passionate about self-governance, active civic participation, lifelong learning, and more. Each year, the Sumners Foundation awards a $30,000 scholarship (distributed over four semesters) to a candidate based on their civic engagement, academic excellence, capacity for leadership, and desire to further our democracy. This year's recipient is DBU student Luke Brooker. 

Luke just completed his first year at DBU and will enter his junior year this fall. He is majoring in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics with a minor in Legal Studies, where he hopes to use his passion for research and argumentation to protect vulnerable people and safeguard freedom. After graduation, he plans to specialize in First Amendment litigation or international law. Luke competes for DBU's Track and Field and Cross Country teams and is involved with CRU campus ministry. He enjoys volunteering at a local speech and debate club in his spare time.

DBU's Director of Scholarships, Wendy Morris, assists students with finding private scholarships. She continually searches for new opportunities and combs through the database of over 500 private scholarships to match the right student to the right opportunity. Wendy helps students throughout the entire process by helping them complete applications, proofreading their essays, and reviewing additional financial opportunities throughout their time at DBU. 

When the Sumners Scholarship Application opens each year, Wendy contacts the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics Department for student recommendations. Dr. Keith Loftin, Director of the PPE program and Professor of Philosophy, recommended Luke Brooker. Wendy shared, "I agreed completely with Dr. Loftin that Luke was a perfect fit for the Sumners Scholarship. I assisted Luke by helping him understand the scholarship, the expectations, and the process; Luke did the rest!" Wendy and Dr. Loftin connected Luke with DBU alumnus Grayson Goebel, a previous scholarship recipient. Grayson gave Luke advice and encouraged him throughout the essay and interview portions of the application process. "Luke earned this scholarship completely on his own merit. We were just able to connect him to the scholarship God had laid out for him" — Wendy Morris.

For the initial application, Luke wrote an essay in which he shared how his future career would help bolster the principles of democratic self-government. After he submitted the essay, he was named a finalist. The next step was an in-person interview with three Sumners Foundation's Board members. Luke said, "They asked me about my beliefs about the First Amendment, and they had me elaborate on specific details within my essay, such as the need for a financial gain clause in the EU's Facilitation Directive. The interview was an incredibly high-pressure environment!"

That same day, Luke received an email from Sumners informing him that he had been chosen as the recipient. "I was shocked at how quickly they replied! I was on the phone when I saw the email notification and couldn't believe it. I was incredibly grateful and stunned. I am grateful to God for granting me peace throughout the interview process, and I am thankful for Wendy and Grayson's invaluable help in preparing me. I am also thankful to Dr. Loftin and Dr. Dickinson for recommending me for this opportunity and helping me along the way."

Are you interested in learning more about scholarship opportunities at DBU? Explore DBU Scholarships for more information.

Written by Cameron Billings

Cameron Billings is the Assistant Director of Written Content in University Communications at Dallas Baptist University.