Endowed scholarship carries on leadership legacy

Published: January 24, 2023

Darrell Fast (Photo provided)

Darrell Fast of Leamington, Ontario, Canada, loved to preach, teach, travel and grow through international experience. He earned a Bachelor of Divinity from AMBS in 1966 and subsequently served as a pastor in churches in Toronto and Leamington, Ontario; and North Newton, Kansas. He believed that pastoral ministry was a calling, for which AMBS provided a solid biblical foundation. He also understood the importance of mentoring potential pastors, having been nudged in that direction by a pastor in his youth. 

Darrell served the wider church as AMBS Board Chair (1982–92); General Conference Mennonite Church Moderator (1992–99); and Mennonite Church Eastern Canada Moderator (2003–06). After he died in June 2017 at age 77, his wife, Loretta Fast, and family established an endowed scholarship in his name to honor his commitment to the church and to preparing pastoral leaders. The Darrell W. Fast Scholarship is for an AMBS student who intends to go into pastoral ministry and is a woman, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) or an international student. 

Since its inception, the scholarship has supported three students. In 2022, to mark the five-year anniversary of Darrell’s death, the family set a goal of raising an additional $15,000 to cover 15 percent of the tuition cost for one student for one year.

Endowed scholarships at AMBS

Darrell’s scholarship is one of about 90 endowed scholarships at AMBS. Most students require financial aid, and most endowed scholarships are awarded based on need, not merit. Some endowed scholarships support up to three students each year.

All endowed scholarships work in the same way: after a donor gives a financial gift, AMBS invests the money in its endowment fund and uses regular payout to help students. 

Endowing a full-tuition scholarship requires $300,000; a half-tuition scholarship requires $150,000; and a scholarship covering one-third of tuition requires $100,000. It doesn’t take that much to establish an endowed scholarship, though, and anyone can contribute to an existing one. The name of a benefactor can be added to an endowed scholarship once the fund reaches $25,000.

To establish a new scholarship or contribute to an existing one, contact [email protected]. We’re grateful for all those who have contributed to endowed scholarships throughout AMBS’s history in support of current and future leaders!

 — Bob Yoder, DMin, CFRM, Director of Development; and Heather Grennan Gary

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