Second Presbyterian Church birthed Presbyterian Day School in 1949. The founding of PDS was an 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. Scholarships in the amount of $215,000 have been provided since 1985.
In an effort to reflect God’s Kingdom and the city of Memphis, PDS also has been 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. There are an additional twenty young scholars who are currently enrolled at PDS across the JK – 6th grade spectrum.
“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 expanded the program in the fall of 2017. The Foundation also established the Presbyterian Day School Young Scholars Fund at that time. 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, in the fall of 2017 the Board approved partial support for one Young Scholar for eight years and also established the 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.
John Alexander is the Chairman of the PDS Board and also serves on the Foundation Board. He said, “The PDS Young Scholars Program is helping qualified boys who might not otherwise have the opportunity to gain access to world class Christian education. In supporting this program, the 2PC Foundation is participating in changing our school, our church, and our city for the glory of God.”