New Fund Provides Access to Christian Education


Second Presbyterian Church birthed Presbyterian Day School in 1949. The founding of PDS was an incredibly important missional decision by our church in furthering God’s Kingdom. Since its inception, PDS’s mission has been to honor God by developing boys in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man. PDS is deeply rooted in its founding belief that Jesus Christ is Lord and that Christian education is vital.

It is an integral part of the PDS mission to provide an academic and Christian foundation not just to those who can afford it, but also to boys who would otherwise not have access to a PDS education. Second Presbyterian Church and subsequently the Foundation have historically supported that mission with the Clay Scholarship Fund, which was established by a donor to support boys of members of Second seeking financial aid through PDS.

In an effort to reflect God’s Kingdom and the city of Memphis, PDS is also taking intentional and strategic steps to become more ethnically and socioeconomically diverse.  PDS Headmaster Steve Hancock recently stated, “We need to make certain this world-class education is affordable and accessible for all qualified applicants. The possibilities are very exciting as we build a robust community that mirrors our city.”

The PDS Young Scholars Program was launched in 2010 to provide the opportunity for boys from any part of the Memphis area to attend PDS. The initial efforts have borne fruit in the lives of many young men, who are now well on their way to completing the secondary level of school.

“The great news about this program is that PDS has, for many years, successfully recruited, welcomed, discipled, mentored and graduated boys from under resourced families,” says Don Batchelor, former PDS Board Chair and 2PC Foundation Board member. In fact, the first Young Scholar graduates were so well taught and mentored that they were all in the top half of their respective classes.

Based on this proven track record, PDS is expanding the program this fall.  The Foundation recently established the Presbyterian Day School Young Scholars Fund. The PDSYSF will help support this goal with partial scholarship funding for tuition and related costs to attend PDS.

With Christian Leadership Development a key missional focus for the Foundation, the Board approved partial support for one Young Scholar beginning the fall of 2017 and also established this endowed Fund with seed money of $50,000. A goal of approximately $300,000 will net sufficient earnings to sponsor an additional student in perpetuity.  The Fund also has an expendable component, which allows donors to contribute resources that can be immediately deployed to support current students.

Howard Graham is Chairman of the PDS Board and a member of Second. He said, “ I know I speak for all of PDS when I say we are truly grateful that the 2PC Foundation is partnering with us to help fund scholarships for boys of diverse backgrounds from around our city allowing us to better fulfill our mission. We are particularly encouraged by the establishment of this fund with seed money and are hopeful that it in turn will be a catalyst for action for those desiring to support this PDS ministry through the Foundation. For members of Second who want to support both organizations this makes a lot of sense.”

Those who would like to make a donation to The PDS Young Scholars Fund through the Foundation can contact Vicki Simmons at 507-7898, or

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