Giving back is more than a way of life for the Stocks family; it’s a legacy.
“Trevecca has been near and dear to my family’s heart since around the year 1930,” says Stephanie Stocks Rosenjack (’80), “with four generations attending school there and some, including myself, living on campus for a prolonged period. This university meant so much to my mother and father. My father became a pastor here, and my mother learned a wealth of knowledge in the education/library sciences field.”
Rosenjack’s parents, Morris H. Stocks Sr. and Joyce Stocks, began the scholarship endowment with inheritances Joyce received on the death of her parents, R.E. and Laura Merchant, and her sister, Mary Rose Pickard. Rosenjack and her siblings—Morris H. Stocks Jr. (’77), Angela Stocks Farmer (’75) and Beverly Stocks Strickland—now contribute and oversee the endowment.
“The Stocks-Merchant Scholarship was established in honor of my grandparents and my parents,” said Dr. Morris Stocks Jr. “While my grandparents didn’t attend college, they did retire to Trevecca Towers in the very early years of its existence and loved Trevecca.”
The Stocks-Merchant Scholarship is awarded to worthy students with financial need. Fourteen Trevecca traditional undergraduate students are currently benefitting from the scholarship, including Diego Benavides, a sophomore majoring in biology and chemistry.
“College is expensive, and the constant need for money can prevent developing a mental habit of staying focused and solely dedicating my efforts to academics,” Benavides said. “Therefore, this scholarship has granted me the financial security I need in order to succeed during my time here at Trevecca.”
Benavides, who worked as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) throughout high school, wants to go to pharmacy school after he graduates from Trevecca.
“While [working as a CNA during high school], I became especially intrigued by all of the different medications listed in patients' charts,” Benavides said. “This led to getting my state pharmacy technician license and working and interning in several different pharmacy environments for the past two-and-a-half years.”
For the Stocks siblings, contributing to the scholarship is about honoring their parents and grandparents, but also the university
that has made an indelible mark on their lives as well as their children’s.
“We have a bond with Trevecca and would like to pass on the life lesson and the chance to have lasting friendships with fellow students and teachers,” Angela Stocks Farmer said. “I had experiences I never would have had in my life because I was a Trevecca student. My hope is that the students receiving this scholarship will have wonderful experiences and make positive life choices during their tenure.”
Strickland echoed her sister’s sentiments.
“Trevecca gave me an excellent education and prepared me to excel in my teaching career and administrative work as an educator,” Strickland said. “My siblings, husband and children all attended Trevecca and are better for that opportunity. I want today’s young people, especially those who struggle financially, to have that same opportunity—not only for the excellent education but also for the Christian experience and opportunity to make lifelong friends.”
The Stocks-Merchant Scholarship allows the family to help a number of students achieve their goal of earning a college degree. It’s something they learned from their parents, Morris H. Stocks Sr. and Joyce Stocks, and a way to honor and remember them.
“For me, [this scholarship is important] because my parents believed strongly in education,” Farmer said. “Not only did they help us, but they encouraged and helped many young people start their higher education.
For the Stocks family, Trevecca has become like home for generations of family members. And their endowed scholarship allows them to extend that opportunity to many more students.
“Trevecca has a unique way of becoming a home—a safe place to come and grow in the Lord while navigating the early years of adulthood,” Rosenjack said. “What we long to do for students is so small in the light of the Lord’s blessings, but my parents faithfully taught us that we can never out give the Lords, and I pray the special recipients of this scholarship will be positively influenced just as my family has been all these years.”
Want to be a part of a legacy of higher education like the Stocks family? Visit give.Trevecca.edu to learn more or give to Trevecca’s scholarships.