Published on July 17, 2023 by Sharon Smith  
Elliott Family

Chizuru Elliott embodies Gospel ministry, using her incredible cooking skills, heart for teaching and gift of hospitality to be the hands and feet of Jesus. She views the new Elliott Family Legacy League Scholarship as a way to minister to students who have faced tremendous challenges by providing them with transformational educational experiences. She prays its recipients will view the scholarship as the Lord’s provision and experience deepened faith as a result.

Growing up in Tokyo, Chizuru could never have envisioned her future. Seeking a graduate degree in blind rehabilitation, she came to the United States— a brave decision and example of her deep passion for service. She met, then married Jeff Elliott, and they moved to Birmingham, which has been home for decades. Chizuru started a Japanese school to help other families keep their Japanese heritage while experiencing the love of Jesus. She also taught Japanese at Samford and Birmingham-Southern College and has been part of a local Japanese church for many years.

As a 36-year-old mother of two young children, Chizuru battled breast cancer. “I was really, really sick,” she said, “but felt love from God. During that time, He taught me to trust Him.” After her chemo treatments, she invited people into her home to thank them and share her testimony, impacting many, including her daughters.

 “She … has always been such a great example of how important it is to serve and love others just as Christ has done for us,” one said. “The strength of her faith has become the most evident as she has battled cancer, now for the fourth time. With each diagnosis, she continues to depend on the Lord, and inspires me to do the same. …”

The Elliott Family Legacy League Scholarship was announced at the November meeting. Though Chizuru could not be present, her daughters, Christina (Elliott) Douglas ’10 and Stephanie (Elliott) Walter ’09, and son-in-law, John Walter, attended.

Support the Elliott Family Legacy League Scholarship

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. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 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.