Campus News: Bellah Gives Financial Gift, Starts New Endowed Scholarship

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Bellah Gives Financial Gift, Starts New Endowed Scholarship
- 11/10/2020

Bellah Gives Financial Gift, Starts New Endowed Scholarship   


Bill Bellah, majority owner of Bel Air MT and founder of Compass Chemical International, recently donated a six-figure gift to establish a scholarship in honor of his parents, Ellen and the late Delbert Bellah.  


The Delbert and Ellen Bellah Scholarship will assist with tuition and other fees for selected students with demonstrated financial need. Over the next five years Bellah will also match the initial gift toward the scholarship fund.  


"My sister, brother, and I grew up in a very loving home," said Bill Bellah. "Both of our parents worked tirelessly to give us every opportunity they could. We'll always be grateful for that."   


Delbert Bellah moved from Arkansas to attend Lee College (now Lee University) in 1955-57, during which time he met and began a courtship with Ellen Morgan of Dayton, Tennessee. The two were married in 1957 in Joliet, Illinois, where both Delbert and Ellen's families had settled. They both decided that it was best there to start a family. 


"We were young, but people got married young in those days," Ellen Bellah said. "Delbert passed on September 12 of last year, and we had been married almost 63 years."   


Delbert Bellah spent the bulk of his career in the data and systems management for Modern Drop Forge in Blue Island, Illinois, but he shared his personal faith freely. "He loved going to church," said Ellen. "When he was 10 years old, he'd hitchhike to church, and when he got there, he'd invite whoever drove him to come in and attend with him. He was leading people to the Lord from such a young age." 


"He was a great man and taught me so many things about life, how to treat other people - to be kind to all of humanity," said Bill Bellah. "He spoke so highly about his time at Lee that I wanted to honor him at his alma mater in a way that would help others attend there."  


"We so appreciate the generosity of the Bellahs," said Dr. Brad Moffett, Lee's vice president for University Relations. "It's such a great way to honor Delbert's memory at Lee to help make it possible for others to follow in his footsteps. We know they'll be grateful, too."  


The scholarship will be ready to assist students starting in the spring 2021 semester.  


Bill and his wife Trish turned their efforts to philanthropy after selling Compass Chemical in 2015 in order to "give back." In addition to their alma mater College of St. Francis, the Bellahs give to numerous other charities including CASA of Kane County, Akron's Children Hospital, St. Cecilia Foundation, and many others, as well as being involved on various boards. The Bellahs reside in the Nashville Area.

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