What it means to be a McClurkan Scholar


Named after Trevecca’s very first president, the J.O. McClurkan Scholarship is awarded each year to two students who exemplify high academic success as well as leadership and service. It is the only full-tuition scholarship awarded to students at Trevecca. 

As applications have started pouring in for next year, we decided to check in with some of the previous recipients to find out what being a McClurkan scholar means to them.   


Brianna Corbett

Major: Music, Vocal Performance
Class of 2021

What made you decide to apply to Trevecca?

When I was looking at colleges, I focused a lot on vocal programs, job opportunities based on location and a Christian community. Trevecca has a stellar vocal program with options of majoring in commercial or classical studies. They have lots of opportunities to make connections in the music industry, being in Nashville, and they have a tight-knit community of Christ followers who build each other up. 

How did receiving the McClurkan scholarship impact your college decision?

When I came to Nashville for McClurkan Day, I also had auditions scheduled for Trevecca and Belmont's music programs. I felt strongly that I was being called to Nashville and had pretty much narrowed my college search to these two schools. Going into that weekend, family members, friends and I were praying that God would open the right door(s) to show me where I needed to be. When I got the call telling me I had won the scholarship, it was about as clear as God hitting me over the head with a brick letting me know that Trevecca was the place for me.

What does being a McClurkan scholar mean to you now that you’re a college student?

It’s been a huge blessing in more ways than one. For one, it took a huge financial burden off of me and my parents, who have two kids in college right now. Secondly, when I got to campus last fall, all my professors already knew who I was. I didn’t know anyone in Nashville when I moved from California, so it was nice for my academic reputation to precede me. It made me feel accepted into the Trevecca community and like I was already part of the family when I got there.


Jordan Van Nest

Major: Physics and Pure Mathematics
Class of 2018

How did receiving the McClurkan Scholarship impact your college decision?

I was attending Trevecca regardless, but it really verified that I was making the right decision.

What were some things you did in high school that prepared you to be a McClurkan Scholar?

I took AP classes to better prepare for college and used several ACT prep sources. I also participated in several extra-curricular activities like National Honor Society, band, and serving in my local church.

What did being a McClurkan Scholar mean to you as a student?

It made me very grateful and kept me in a constant mindset to appreciate my chance for education.


Mary Anna Turpin

Major: International Business
Class of 2020

What does being a McClurkan scholar mean to you?

I feel like it means I've been handed a great opportunity and a bit of a legacy—like the people here have invested in me and believe in me. I don't take that lightly, and I don't want their investment to return void.

What is a cool experience you’ve been able to have as a Trevecca student?

I was able to go on a business research trip to Belize this past spring break. I was also able to attend Oxford University for a summer program. Belize was incredible. The trip was led by two professors who really invested in me and the other students. The Oxford program was easily the most impactful program of my life. I learned so much and made some truly amazing friends. That would not have been possible without Trevecca and their partnership with the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).

What is your advice for future students applying for the McClurkan scholarship?

When doing things in high school, don't do things because, "Oh, it'll look good on a college application." Do things because you have a passion for them or an interest. Yes, resume-building activities are important for scholarships, but I don't think you should ever do something just to impress someone else. If you just do what you feel God's calling you to do, and you do it well, chances are, you are building your resume in your own unique way. So, it sounds very cheesy, but do what you love and do it well, and things like scholarships should fall into place.

What's next?

If you're ready to learn more about the McClurkan Scholarship or apply, now's the time! We can't wait to see you on McClurkan Scholarship Day!