“The Pullman Foundation saw something in me that I did not see in myself at the time,” says Bob Dahl, Pullman Scholar Alumnus, Hope College, 1966. Like many Pullman Scholars, Dahl was ranked high in his high school class and scored well on the ACT. But during his senior year of high school, Dahl’s father passed away suddenly. Dahl struggled emotionally and financially and lost confidence in his own abilities as a graduating high school senior.
Dahl put attending his dream college on hold and enrolled in community college at Thornton Junior College (now South Suburban College). With Dahl’s innate intelligence and encouragement from his mother and his English professor John Stanfield, Dahl made the dean’s list and decided to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree at Hope College. “There was no evidence at the time that I would make good on this scholarship. But they saw something in me and presented me with the scholarship,” says Dahl.
With support from the Pullman Foundation, Dahl graduated from Hope College with a degree in English and went on to attend and graduate from Western Theological Seminary with a Masters of Divinity. He began writing more for the seminary’s literary publication, started a weekly newsletter editorial, and overall, felt like he was “beginning to fulfill the promise that people had seen in me and that was a very gratifying experience.” (more…)