NEW LONDON, Texas (KETK) -- — The lives of every student at West Rusk High School were changed forever this morning after an announcement was made that all students would receive a tuition-free college education.
Student's at West Rusk honor elite students every year just before graduation, but this time, students got much more than a 'certificate of excellence' for math.
Superintendent of West Rusk CCISD, Tommy Alexander, explains, “Every graduating senior from West Rusk high school will have the capability to earn a scholarship to East Texas Baptist Univeristy in Marshall Texas, “ and as long as they meet the requirements—it's free.
Student's couldn't believe their ears when they hear the news, Anette Marmolejo, a sophomore at WRHS says, "It was more like ‘woah’, what? and it took a second for it to sink in."
The announcement was even a surprise to the teachers and staff.
The men behind it all, 87 year old Robert L. Jordan, a 1949 graduate from WRHS, and his friend Nicholas J. Sturghill, of Houston.
Jordan says, "My alma mater has always been in my heart."
Jordan met Sturghill 6 years ago at a reunion for the New London School Explosion.
Jordan says,"He's in the movie business but his heart was changed after he sat through a business meeting" A meeting with Jordan and his fellow West Rusk former graduates.
Because of Jordan''s love for his old high school, Sturghill wanted to do something for his friend.
Jordan says it was a gift from God, "We get our abilities through the grace of our lord."
The average cost to per-student, per-year to attend ETBU, Marshall is $20,244 per year, according to the Admissions office.
The full scholarships are not just a one-time thing. Alexander says, "This is for as far as we can see into the future." A very generous gift, and some very grateful students.