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Graceland Announces Decatur County Promise Scholars Program


Press Release

January 8, 2020

The Higdon Administration Building at Graceland University

Graceland University President Patricia H. Draves has announced the formation of Decatur County Promise Scholars, a scholarship program aimed at investing back into the community it has called home for 125 years. In addition to Graceland, Decatur County, Iowa, is home to three high schools: Lamoni, Central Decatur and Mormon Trail.

“We see a lot of promise in Decatur County,” said Draves. “We believe in the people and the students of this area, and we are so fortunate to call this area home. This program is designed to shine a light on the talented students of Decatur County. It will invest in their future and the promising future of the community.”

The Decatur County Promise Scholars program will provide a full-tuition scholarship for any student who attends for two years and graduates from any of the eligible high schools, starting with the class of 2020. Qualifying students must meet Graceland’s acceptance standards and live on Graceland’s residential campus in Lamoni.

School administrators in the area shared Graceland’s excitement for the program. Superintendent of Mormon Trail Community School District Kerry Phillips said, “This program is a wonderful investment in the youth of Decatur County by Graceland. Mormon Trail Community School District views Graceland as a true partner in offering our students a quality education, and we look forward to working together.”

“The Decatur County Promise Scholars program provides a tremendous opportunity for our students, making college an affordable and realistic option.” – Chris Coffelt, superintendent of both Central Decatur and Lamoni community school districts

Superintendent of Central Decatur and Lamoni community school districts Chris Coffelt added, “The Decatur County Promise Scholars program provides a tremendous opportunity for our students, making college an affordable and realistic option. Through this program, Graceland University is in effect saying to students and families: ‘because you have invested in Decatur County, Graceland is committed to you.’ This commitment is a win for students and families who attend Lamoni and Central Decatur school districts, as well as Graceland University, and provides a unique opportunity for post-secondary education in Decatur County that is not found in many rural areas of Iowa or the region.” 

“I love the fact that this opportunity is being offered to youth from our own backyard. This program will remove barriers to opportunity, which, in the long term, will benefit us all.” said Graceland Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Deb Skinner, a Decatur County resident of 25 years. “Our faculty, staff and their families live nearby and believe in the community as we do.”

Students qualifying for Graceland’s Decatur County Promise Scholars program will not only receive the full tuition benefit to attend Graceland, they will also have opportunities to give back through service learning and community service. Graceland believes that investing in the students in its local community will make the county and the community stronger, and will make Graceland stronger as well.

For more information on the program, visit

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