Greenville, S.C. (October 3, 2013) – In the University’s chapel service Sept. 30, Dr. Stephen Jones, president of Bob Jones University, awarded Nathan Pelletier, a senior youth ministries major from Quebec, Canada, the Overcomer Award.
One of six President’s Club awards, the Overcomer Award is given to a student who has demonstrated the perseverance necessary to stay in school in the face of unusual family, financial, or physical hardships.
A fellow student nominated Pelletier for the award by stating, “I met Nate at the IT desk on the 2nd floor of the Alumni Building my first semester on campus. . . . We discovered we were both missionary kids, both under parents working with Baptist World Mission, both bilingual, and both carrying a heart passionate for the mission field and a gospel that transforms lives.
Our friendship continued though our schedules were vastly different, me fulfilling all sorts of business class requirements while Nate prepared further for the ministry.
Over time and a long conversation with my mom one evening, I was shocked to discover Nate’s dad was battling with very serious cancer while his son was here, continuing with school. The thing that has always impacted me the most is how Nate admires his father for “always having a smile and soul-winning spirit, even in the face of difficulty.” I have never met Nate’s dad, but I do know Nate well, and to me, Nate is the one who I admire for his smile in the face of trials.
I would never have guessed about the struggles his dad was facing or turmoil the family was going through by the attitude I always found Nate to possess. He could choose to be bitter or angry with God and shut out the world while focusing on himself and the unfairness of life, but instead, Nate has chosen to be grateful to God for the amazing parents God provided to raise him on the foreign field, and to use his life as his father has, dedicated solely to winning others to Christ.”
Many in our student body have immediate family members who have gone through great trials
in the past few months. The fact they are here is evidence of God’s enabling grace in their lives. Like many more of his peers, Nate has proven through his joy and passion for the Lord that our God delights to show His strength through our weakness, not just in spite of it.
Students are nominated for President’s Club awards by faculty, staff and their peers, and a committee selects recipients from the nominations received. In addition to recognition in a President’s Club chapel, recipients have their photo displayed in the university Student Center and enjoy dinner with the president.