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A Life Transformed—the true value of a Messiah College education

Bridget Nace and others with president Kim Phipps

There was a time when Bridget Nace ’10 (pictured in red) wasn’t sure she’d ever walk across the stage to receive her degree. Now, that goal is in sight, and she couldn’t be more grateful for all that God has done to provide for her so that she could reach this point in her life.

Difficult Decisions
Bridget isn’t your typical college student. At the age of 20, while attending a community college, Bridget’s mother suffered from a stroke. Bridget made the decision to drop out of college to care for her mother, and devoted herself completely to ensuring that her mother’s needs were provided for. When it was clear that her mother would remain in a nursing home for the long-term, Bridget made the decision to go back to school, and, although she is ‘on her own’ when it comes to paying for her education, she chose Messiah.

“I wanted—no, I needed—a Christian environment,” Bridget says. “I didn’t grow up in a Christian home, and I knew I needed support to help me grow in my new Christian faith.”

New Beginnings
Although Bridget accepted Christ in 2003, her life didn’t really change until she came to Messiah. Bridget had previously attended a state university and a community college, but she enrolled at Messiah as a new student and has spent four years here. Because Bridget was older than many of her peers, she initially felt alone and isolated in upperclassmen housing, until she experienced “Into the Streets,” a special service project that all first-year students participate in during Welcome Week. At that point, she realized that other first-year students accepted her, and she began developing relationships that would help to change her life. Then, as a work-study student in campus events, Bridget saw supervisors George Blackburn and Dennis Weller model their faith in a way that really impacted her. “From them, I learned how life should be when in a relationship with Christ. I started attending church regularly for the first time, and even got baptized. My life completely changed…I never knew I could experience so much joy. For the first time, my life has meaning. I came to Messiah with a lackluster faith, but God used Messiah to completely transform my life.”

Plans to move forward…and give back
Bridget graduates in May with confidence that God will continue to guide and direct her. Although she received financial aid, Bridget will graduate with considerable debt. Still, “it was worth every penny,” Bridget says. “God got me this far, and I know he will continue to provide for all my needs.”

Funds will be tight, but Bridget plans to give back to the Messiah Annual Fund right away. “For two years, I have been a Phonathon caller, asking alumni and others to give to benefit students like me. This past semester, I made the decision that I will give back even though I may only be able to give a few dollars. Plus, I decided I want to participate in the Alumni Centennial Challenge so that my small gift will be matched. I feel like it’s the least I can do because giving to Messiah isn’t just about giving an education, it’s also about giving students life.”

After Bridget receives her sport management degree in May, she hopes to obtain a full-time ministry position with Athletes in Action, a global organization that encourages college-aged athletes to spread the gospel through sports. “I don’t know what God has in store for me, but I am excited to find out. And I am grateful for every person God has used to make my Messiah experience possible.”

Gifts to the Messiah Annual Fund make a world of difference for students like Bridget Nace. Give now contact Rachel Pease,, director of annual giving, for more information.

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