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West Rusk scholarships do not come, ETX motor group donates $100,000 to scholarship fund

West Rusk scholarships do not come, ETX motor group donates $100,000 to scholarship fund

POSTED: Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - 5:09pm

UPDATED: Thursday, August 1, 2013 - 7:23am

Wednesday, at 4:00 p.m. was the deadline for scholarship funding promised by a Houston benefactor to enter the doors of an East Texas university.

KETK  spoke with administrators at East Texas Baptist University in Marshall, and as of now, none of the promised money from Nicolas Sturghill has come in.

The walk-in deadline for the money was at 4:00 p.m. Wednesday afternoon. At this time, offices on campus close.

According to West Rusk Superintendent Tommy Alexander, Robert Jordan, who promised the money on behalf of Sturghill, said Sturghill would not be back in the country on time to deliever the promised money.

KETK spoke with Sturghill and his business manager, Jenifer Pool, on Friday and Pool revelaed the money would not be coming, but that did not stop the community from being hopeful.

The online payment option will be open until midnight tonight, and if the money comes in, it will be paid toward all West Rusk students attending ETBU.

But, according to ETBU administrators, constant delays, and last minute decisions don't help organizing a promised donation of this size.

"It was going to be a very arduous process for us to be able to try to figure out exactly how we need to move forward, but our primary concern has always been what can we do to get these students taken care of for this year," said ETBU Vice President of Advancement Catherine Crawford.

The KETK exclusive story resonated with people across East Texas last week and now a fund was started at ETBU to benefit the West Rusk graduates.

It all started with a man in Longview who, along with others, asked the question, "How can we help these students?"

Well now, they've found their answer.

On Tuesday, a West Rusk fund was put together at ETBU.

"Other people have said they want to help as well so it's really really really kind and generous, " said ETBU President, Dub Oliver. "I think it's an indication of the spirit of people in East Texas."

This fund allows anyone willing to donate money to ETBU. That will directly go to the West Rusk students.

"Through August 14th, we will accept these gifts," said Crawford. "At the particular time, how ever many students we have enrolled and registered at East Texas Baptist University, we will do an even split all the way across."

When asked if the fund will remain open after August 14th, Crawford replied, "Absolutely, we are able to accept gifts and put these in a special restricted account which is what we've decided to do and then be able to administer these gifts through to these students."

At around 5:00 p.m., on Wednesday, ETBU received a $100,000 donation fron Fenton Motor Group in Tyler to go towards the fund set up for the students.

This will finally be something these families can count on.

"East Texas is full of people who care about their neighbors and they want the best for each other," said Oliver.

Officials with ETBU say 15 of the 16 West Rusk students have applied for financial aid at the university, and have earned a total of $125,000.

"This is a true, true gift of the heart for these individuals," said Crawford.

Stay tuned to KETK at 5:00 and 6:00 for more details.


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