Tekla Research has made a major, matching gift to the Williams Works initiative at Williams Baptist University. Tekla CFO Beth Russell West and CEO Dave Russell, both of Jonesboro, presented checks totaling $100,000 to WBU President Dr. Stan Norman Friday.

“Tekla Research has blessed the Williams Works initiative richly with this matching gift,” said Norman. “The generous and faithful contributions from those who believe and support Williams enable us to advance our mission. A gift such as this fuels our growth and allows WBU to continue moving in this bold new direction. Thanks to the generosity of Beth, Dave and Tekla Research, many students will be enabled to work their way to an outstanding, Christ-centered education. We are grateful to Tekla Research for this gracious gift.”

The presentation was made at WBU’s Williams Corner, a store which sells goods produced by students in the university’s work program. Previously, West and Russell, along with Tekla Research President Kevin Wilcutt, donated $75,000 for two greenhouses used for starting plants and for growing produce and flowers at WBU’s Eagle Farms.

“Tekla Research is pleased to continue our partnership with Williams Baptist University and in particular the Williams Works program,” said West. “We were thrilled to see plants and produce move from the greenhouses to the shelves at Williams Corner, but we’re even more encouraged to see what this program produces in the lives of those students that take advantage of this opportunity to graduate debt-free. 

“Not only will they graduate in an envious financial position, but because they have honed their leadership and work skills throughout their time at WBU, they will have a head-start in whatever career path they choose.”

Tekla’s gift of $50,000 was matched by another $50,000 from Dave & Debi Russell.

Dave Russell, a former WBU trustee and board chair, also affirmed the value and importance of Williams Works. “Deb and I have been blessed to watch Williams Works come alive,” he said. “Each time we visit we are amazed at the talented and hardworking students we meet. We are committed to this visionary program. As I love to say ‘God has blessed us to allow us to bless you.’”

Students accepted into the Williams Works initiative work 16 hours per week through the fall and spring semesters, and in exchange their tuition and student service are covered. Additionally, Williams Works students can apply to work full-time through the summer to cover room & board for the following year, giving students the opportunity to graduate debt-free.

Tekla Research,Inc. is a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business headquartered in Fredericksburg Va. with offices in Norfolk, Va., Patuxent River Md., Cherry Point N.C. and Jonesboro Ark., and employees located throughout the country.

Williams is a private-Christian university in Walnut Ridge.