Belmont University logo with University Advancement

Kenneth and Donna Watkins

Ken and Donna Watkins established the Watkins Family Endowed Scholarship in 2020 to support Belmont student-athletes. The Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Locker Room located in the Belmont University Basketball, Volleyball and Tennis Practice Facility will be named after the Watkins family in response to their generous support. 

How did you first decide to be involved with Belmont University? 

Donna and I moved to the Nashville area in 2010, the same year that JJ Mann (a family friend) started his basketball career at Belmont. 

When did you make your first gift to Belmont?

We joined the Bruin Club and made our first donation before the 2011-2012 basketball season. 

Why do you want to support Belmont as an institution?  

Belmont is a Christian university which makes it attractive to us as fellow believers. We have seen first-hand the positive impact on the lives of several students as a result of their time on campus at Belmont. God instructs us to give back to others and it is through our obedience to His calling that we have chosen to include Belmont in our annual giving.

Why are you supporting athletics specifically?

Many kids would never have an opportunity to attend a private Christian university without scholarships. Athletics are a great opportunity to introduce kids to a Christian environment when they might not otherwise have the chance. In addition, athletics prepare young men and women for life through the development of discipline and teamwork.   

What about your experience with Belmont inspired this gift? 

We had the opportunity to attend JJ and Amy Jo’s rehearsal dinner and wedding. Amy Jo played soccer at Belmont as well. One of JJ’s coaches, Mark Price, actually officiated the wedding ceremony. At the rehearsal dinner, one of JJ’s former teammates recognized JJ and Amy Jo for how their relationship and their faith had helped lead him to a relationship with Jesus Christ. We have a strong desire to see more young people get the same opportunity to change their lives for eternity through participating in athletics at Belmont University. 

As a donor, what would you like to see for Belmont’s future? 

Continued success in sports and expansion of attractive opportunities for kids to experience a Christian education.

Why would you encourage others to give to Belmont? 

Belmont has a long history of excellence in sports and a Christian environment where young people can discover and nurture their faith in Christ. We are commanded to store up treasures in heaven, and based on my experience, Belmont University provides just that opportunity for us as donors.