Wayne Starks, graduated from White House High School and Cumberland. He is a member of the Cumberland Board of Trust and the Cumberland Sports Hall of Fame. He and his wife, Stella Starks, established the Starks Family Scholarship fund to honor his parents, Odell and Esterlene Starks, and Stella’s mother, Tennie Mae Floyd. Wayne Starks, a successful entrepreneur, attributes much of his life success to his days of being raised in Middle Tennessee and his time as a student at Cumberland.
“We are extremely proud of our connection to Middle Tennessee. Stella and I both grew up there, as did our parents and many other members of our family. Even though we now live in Columbus, Ga. and Amelia Island, Fla., we want to give something back to the place that gave us so much,” Wayne Starks said.
“We are extremely grateful for the generosity of Wayne and Stella,” said Paul Stumb, president of Cumberland University. “The fact that they are investing in the lives of students is a testament to how much they believe in our University. This is not only a tremendous gift to the students who will benefit from the fund, but it also creates a lasting legacy to an outstanding family.”
The first scholarship from this fund will be awarded in the fall. For more information about scholarships at Cumberland University, visit cumberland.edu.
Cumberland University has one of the longest, richest histories of any higher education institution in the state. Founded in 1842, the university currently flourishes with exceptional faculty and fully accredited academic programs steeped in the liberal arts, including three distinct schools, the Rudy School of Nursing and Health Professions; the School of Humanities, Education, and the Arts; and the Labry School of Science, Technology and Business. With a student body approaching 2,000, 25 percent of whom live on campus, residential living and learning experiences allow students to find their sense of belonging. Athletics also are a strength of Cumberland University, as its teams in 20 sports regularly compete for conference and national championships. Its world-renowned baseball team has claimed the NAIA national championship title three times since 2004.