October 12, 2018

Rev. Dr. Roosevelt and Dr. Nurame Austin, Sr. Scholarship

Pastor Roosevelt Austin’s commitment to his family and community has been evident for more than six decades throughout the Saginaw Community. To start, he pastored the historic Zion Missionary Baptist Church for 44 years.

The Rev. Dr. Roosevelt and Dr. Nurame Austin, Sr. Scholarship has been established to honor his tireless dedication to his church, his community, and to young people.

Born and raised in Opelousa, Louisiana, Pastor Austin married his high school sweetheart, Nurame, in 1950. They moved to Saginaw in 1953 where they raised their three children, Roosevelt II, Dona, and David. Dr. Nurame Austin, a social worker, shares her husband’s passion for the church and served at both the national and state levels of the National Baptist Convention, Inc., teaching in its Ministers Wives Division. She also served as church organist, retiring after 47 years.

Pastor Austin attended Southern University, A&M College, Moody Bible Institute and Detroit Bible College before receiving his Bachelor of Theology from McKinley Roosevelt College. He later received his Master of Theology from Ohio Christian College in Columbus, Ohio and his Doctor of Divinity Degree from American Divinity School in Chicago. He received an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Saginaw Valley in the mid-1990s.

Characterized as a “people person” by his wife, Pastor Austin’s impact has been felt throughout the community’s corporate, religious and nonprofit sectors. He has served as the vice president of the Clergy Coalition Against Crack Cocaine, religious commentator for WKNX radio, former City Councilman for the City of Saginaw, Honorary Chair of Delta College’s “A Possible Dream Scholarship”, and as board member of Citizens Bank, Habitat of Saginaw, the Commission on Quality of Education for all Children, the Opportunities Industrialization Center of Metropolitan Saginaw, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

In honor of his many accomplishments and contributions to the city of Saginaw, the Saginaw City Council in February 2018 approved the renaming Saginaw’s 2nd Street to Reverend Roosevelt Austin Avenue, marking the first time in the history of the city that a street was renamed for a living individual.

With respect to living a purposeful life, Pastor Austin has consistently advocated two principles. The first is that the authority for the children of God is the Word of God. The second is his firm belief in the power of education and/or training (“Something under your belt, something in your head, to allow you to make it in this technological, increasingly more complex world”), in order to be a productive citizen in this society.  


  • Minimum GPA 2.5
  • Graduating high school senior residing in Saginaw County
  • Part- or full-time enrollment
  • Pursuing an undergraduate degree or Career and Technical Education (CTE) training
  • Financial need 

Evaluation Criteria

  • Leadership (25)
  • Financial need (20)
  • Academic performance (15)
  • Awards and honors (5)
  • Community service (5)
  • Extracurricular activities (5)
  • Overall involvement (5)
  • Letters of recommendation (5)