Welcome New UMHEF Trustees

The United Methodist Higher Education Foundation is blessed to have at the core of its team an impressive board of trustees. Each trustee shares in the grand vision to make it financially possible for United Methodist students to be educated at a UM-related institution of higher education. At its annual meeting in September, the UMHEF board approved the nominations of the following new trustees.

Dr. Herman J. Felton, Jr. is the is the 17th President and CEO of Wiley College, a UM-related school. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Edward Waters College, a Juris Doctorate from the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Administration and Supervision from Jackson State University. Dr. Felton is also co-founder of the Higher Education Leadership Foundation (H.E.L.F.), an organization ensuring that a pipeline of transformational, highly skilled and principled leaders are identified and cultivated to meet the needs, challenges and opportunities facing the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Tari Hughes has served as President and CEO of the Center for Nonprofit Management since December 2016. Before joining CNM’s team, Tari served as President of the Nashville Public Library Foundation for twelve years. Tari serves on the Metro Parks and Recreation Board, the Nashville Parks Foundation board, and the board of directors of Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association. In 2020-2021, she was appointed to the Governor’s Statewide Economic Recovery Group representing the nonprofit sector. She is an active member of the Nashville Downtown Rotary Club and is a Leadership Nashville and Leadership Middle Tennessee alumna.

Bishop Bruce R. Ough is a retired Bishop of The United Methodist Church, having served from 2000-2020 in the West Ohio Area then the Dakotas-Minnesota Area. In 2016, he became the President of the Council of Bishops to serve a two-year term. He is currently Executive Secretary of the Council of Bishops of The UMC, a position he has held since September 2020. He is also a member of the Council of Bishops Executive Committee. He serves on the Board of Trustees for Dakota Wesleyan University and the E. Stanley Jones Foundation. In 2020, Bishop Ough was named Distinguished Alum for Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and has received honorary Doctor of Divinity degrees from Dakota Wesleyan University and United Theological Seminary.

The Reverend Dr. Javier A. Viera is president of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, where he also serves as Professor of Education and Leadership. From 2014-2020, he served as Dean of the Theological School at Drew University, where he also served as the university’s Vice Provost and as Professor of Pastoral Theology. Prior to his service at Drew, he held positions in university campus ministry and congregational ministry for two decades, leading rural, suburban, and urban congregations.  Dr. Viera is a graduate of Florida Southern College, Duke, Yale, and Columbia universities and hails from San Juan, Puerto Rico, the city where he was born and raised.

Please help us in welcoming Dr. Felton, Ms. Hughes, Bishop Ough, and the Rev. Dr. Viera to UMHEF’s esteemed board of trustees. We are grateful for the expertise and passion they’re sure to bring to our shared work in support of United Methodist students.

UMHEF Scholar Turned Trustee

Jadd Masso, UMHEF Scholar and Trustee

Jadd Masso first received a UMHEF scholarship in 1995 as a student at Southern Methodist University and is now a lawyer living in Dallas, TX. He first joined the UMHEF Board of Trustees in 2010 and has since served in many roles of leadership. Below, Jadd shares some thoughts about making the connection between scholar and servant.

When I received a scholarship from UMHEF to help pay for my undergraduate education at Southern Methodist University, I had no idea of how great a blessing it really was. Of course, the money for tuition as appreciated, but what I didn’t realize then was how the scholarship would further strengthen my connection with the church.

I grew up going to Sunday school and was active in my youth group during high school, but (like many college students) was not particularly involved thereafter. Receiving a scholarship from UMHEF was, to me, a reminder of who I was, where I came from, and the community I belonged to.

While at SMU, I received frequent reminders from UMHEF about the church’s support for me and for hundreds of other students like me across the country. UMHEF stayed in touch with me after graduation, through law school, and as I began my career. As a young adult, I was eager to become a donor to UMHEF. I wanted to pay back the gift that had been given to me, so that other students like me could have the same opportunities–not just to attend a church-related college or university, but to do so with the love and support of their church community. My UMHEF scholarship inspired me to rekindle my involvement at church as an adult and to take on leadership roles in my local congregation.

I have also been honored to serve on UMHEF’s board of trustees since 2010. I support UMHEF now because I know that the scholarships we give are so much more than assistance with tuition. Our scholarships are a way for the church to connect with its youth during a transformational time in their lives and to inspire its future leaders.

Jadd’s reflection first appeared in the 2021 UMHEF Annual Review. Read the full report here.

New Scholarship Endowment Fund Honors Memory of UMHEF Trustee

The Robert Siegmund Rothe Scholarship Endowment Fund has been created to honor the memory of long-serving United Methodist Higher Education Foundation Board of Trustee Robert “Bob” Rothe of Kerrville, Texas, who passed away on July 29, 2021.

An alumnus of Southern Methodist University, Bob dedicated more than fifteen years to supporting the higher education of countless other United Methodist students through UMHEF. Once voted Trustee of the Year by his peers, Bob was respected and loved by all he served alongside.

Bob’s service went far beyond UMHEF. He served in leadership roles within community organizations like Allen Rotary Club, Allen Chamber of Commerce, First United Methodist Church of Allen, Allen Community Outreach, Arts of Collins County Foundation, Allen Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, Allen Schools Foundation, and First United Methodist Church of Kerrville, TX.

Our heartfelt sympathies are extended to Bob’s wife, Merry Ann Rothe, and his family and friends.

Gifts may be made in Bob’s memory to the Robert Siegmund Rothe Scholarship Endowment Fund here. Simply choose the fund from the drop-down menu.