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Six-Time Grammy Award-Winning Artist Headlines Mississippi College’s Spring Scholarship Banquet

Grammy Award-winning artist Amy Grant is scheduled to headline the Mississippi College Foundation's Scholarship Banquet April 30 - the largest fundraising event at the Christian University.
Grammy Award-winning artist Amy Grant is scheduled to headline the Mississippi College Foundation's Scholarship Banquet April 30 - the largest fundraising event at the Christian University.

If there were a soundtrack to Elizabeth Moore’s life, Amy Grant’s music would be featured prominently.

A fourth-generation MC graduate (B.A. ’07, M.Ed. ’15) and former admissions counselor at the Christian University, Moore grew up listening to the multiple Grammy Award-winner’s music in the church where her father, Charles Wallace, served as minister of music for decades. She sang Grant’s arrangements as a member of the Naturals, a “mini show choir” of Mississippi College students that performed contemporary Christian songs on campus and at local churches. And Moore and her mother, Becky – a member of the Naturals in the 1970s – performed Grant’s “Sing Your Praise to the Lord” several times in church.

Today, the director of childcare at Pinelake Church-Reservoir Campus enjoys singing Grant’s melodies while running errands in Flowood with her daughter, Emerson, 7, and son, William, 3.

“They both request ‘Baby Baby’ in the car,” Moore said, referring to Grant’s Billboard Hot 100 chart-topper from 1991. “I feel like I’ve always known Amy Grant’s music from growing up in the church and hearing her stuff on the radio. ‘Baby Baby’ was popular when I was a kid, and now my 7-year-old knows every single word of it and my 3-year-old tries to sing it, too.

“I’ve always loved her music. God definitely blessed her with a great voice and songwriting abilities, and she’s been able to showcase that on various stages and at different places. She’s had a great longevity in her career, and it’s cool that my children now have favorite Amy Grant songs, too.”

In her wildest dreams, Moore never thought she’d see one of her favorite vocal artists of all time appear at her alma mater. But on the last day of April, she’ll have the opportunity to see her on campus – and perhaps even watch her perform.

Grant is scheduled to headline the Mississippi College Foundation’s Scholarship Banquet at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 30, in Anderson Hall in the B.C. Rogers Student Center. Tickets are available for the Office of Giving and Development-sponsored dinner, the largest fundraising event at the Christian University.

Lori Bobo, director of university events at MC, calls the multi-platinum-selling artist an icon of Christian music.

“Her name recognition is huge – you say ‘Amy Grant’ and everyone knows who you’re talking about,” Bobo said. “Her popularity spans several decades. Generations of people have memories tied to her music, whether it’s a relationship, time spent with a family member, a youth group outing, or a church activity.”

Count MC President Blake Thompson among Grant’s throng of fans. He will welcome the audience to the banquet and introduce Grant, who will entertain questions submitted in advance by audience members. With a little good-natured arm twisting, Grant may agree to perform a song or two from her vast catalogue of hits.

It’s all in an effort to benefit scholarship recipients at Mississippi College. Proceeds from the annual event have topped $4 million since the banquet was established in 2008.

“Through the years, this event has provided an opportunity for businesses and individuals to support our general scholarship fund,” Bobo said. “This fund allows the University to offer critical financial assistance to students, some of whom may otherwise be prohibited financially from attending Mississippi College.

“Attendees receive a lovely meal, entertainment, and lots of fellowship with fellow alumni, former colleagues, community leaders, and MC’s business partners. They get to spend an evening with a wel-known artist who is quite kind, personable, and generous. It’s an extremely good value.”

Grant’s impressive musical credentials span more than four decades. Springing from an award-winning foundation as one of the most popular performers in Gospel music – she was the first contemporary Christian artist to have a platinum record, the first to hit No. 1 on the Pop Charts and the first to perform at the Grammy Awards – she launched a sensational solo career in popular music.

She racked up six No. 1 hits, 10 Top 40 singles, 17 Top 40 adult contemporary tracks, and multiple Christian chart-toppers. With three multi-platinum albums, six platinum albums, and four gold albums, her total career album sales have exceeded $30 million and more than 1 billion global streams.

Few recording artists are more decorated than Grant: the songwriter, television personality, and philanthropist has garnered six Grammy Awards and 26 Gospel Music Association Dove Awards (fourth all-time) and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Music City Walk of Fame. In 2022, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts included her among five distinguished honorees to receive the 45th Kennedy Center Honors for lifetime artistic achievements.

Because her voice range is similar to Grant’s, Moore was chosen to sing Grant’s songs while performing for the Naturals. She remembers performing her favorite piece, “A Christmas to Remember,” during holiday shows on campus.

“It became one of our group’s go-to songs that year,” Moore said. “There were different voice parts for the chorus and the bridge. It was fun, lighthearted, and got you in the Christmas spirit.

“To this day, if I hear it at Christmastime, I get excited because it brings back good memories of my undergraduate years at MC and being with some of my best friends.”

Today’s undergraduates at MC will enjoy making their own memories involving the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Famer. During her visit to MC, Grant will give a small presentation and host a question-and-answer session for students.

Bobo said her appearance continues an impressive lineup of guests who have been generous enough to spend quality time with the Mississippi College family.

“From the year we started with Bob Dole, we’ve had many high-profile individuals who have served as speaker at the banquet,” said Bobo, who listed such prominent dignitaries as Reba McEntire, Drew Brees, Dr. Ben Carson, Steve Forbes, Rudy Giuliani, Condoleezza Rice, Chuck Hagel, and last year’s guests, Erin and Ben Napier. “At this time of year, the dinner is something everyone looks forward to.

“Because it is tied to the general scholarship fund, donors give generously to MC because they know the funds are being used exclusively for our future students.”

Moore understands it’s highly unlikely she’ll hear Grant sing “A Christmas to Remember” at the April dinner. But there are some things she and her husband, Chris (B.S. ’05, J.D. ’08), would love her favorite artist to cover.

“I’m sure she’ll give an overview of her career, and I would love to hear her talk about her husband, Vince Gill, because he’s incredibly talented, too,” she said. “I would like to hear of the different ways the Lord has shown Himself faithfully throughout her career and the different paths He’s ordered her steps on.

“Her visit is a great way for people to learn about MC. As an alum, it means a lot that someone like Amy Grant would come to our campus, see how beautiful it is, and share stories about her career and how the Lord has blessed her and guided her. I hope those who hear her speak will have good memories of the time she came to little ol’ Mississippi College.”

Tickets to the MC Scholarship Banquet cost $300 each, and table sponsorships are available. To purchase tickets or for more information, click here.