A pre-med student with a heart for missions is the first recipient of the Martha Myers Memorial Scholarship at Samford University.

Jason Skelley, a junior biology major from Jacksonville, Fla., spent January working doctors in Cameroon, Africa, in a medical missions effort sponsored by Bread for Life.

"In our short time there, we treated over 1,000 people, and over 1,200 gave their lives to Christ through the medical outreach and nightly crusades," said Skelley, who hopes to return to Cameroon with Bread for Life in January, 2007.

"I believe that God has called us to fight for the oppressed and forgotten people in this world, pursuing them out of love just as He pursued us," said Skelley, a church ministry and missions minor at Samford.

"There is so much we can change if we just invest our time and efforts into it."

The Myers scholarship honors the late Baptist medical missionary whose decades of service in Yemen ended violently in late 2002. Dr. Myers, an Alabama native and 1967 Samford graduate, was murdered when a gunman attacked the Baptist hospital in Jibla, Yemen.

The scholarship was established to be awarded to pre-med students who express a calling to medical missions.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 66th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 104th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,683 students from 47 states and 19 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.