Country singer Luke Bryan grew up the youngest son of a farmer in Leesburg, Georgia. He recently honored his roots by establishing the Luke Bryan Farm Tour Scholarship at Illinois State University, which provides support for students majoring in agriculture.

Four students were awarded scholarship dollars from this gift:

  • Joshua McWilliams, a graduate student studying agriculture education and leadership
  • Zachary Rippel, a senior majoring in agribusiness and agronomy management
  • Ben Temple, a junior majoring in agriculture education
  • Susie Thompson, a senior majoring in agriculture communications and animal industry management

The scholarship recipients, joined by an ISU staff member, will attend Luke Bryan’s Farm Tour stop in Pesotum, Illinois, on September 28, where they will enjoy Bryan’s concert and have the opportunity to meet and thank him backstage.

Bryan’s scholarship gift is part of the University’s $150 million comprehensive campaign, Redbirds Rising: The Campaign for Illinois State. The most ambitious campaign in the University’s history, Redbirds Rising supports scholarship, leadership, and innovation. More than 45,000 donors have already contributed nearly $124 million in outright gifts and commitments since the beginning of the campaign. To make a gift or find out how to be part of this exciting transformation, visit

For additional information, contact Laura Freyman at (309) 438-5935 or