$3 Million Bequest to Fund Southeast Scholarships for Sikeston High School Grads

sikestonSIKESTON, Mo., March 11, 2014 — The Southeast Missouri University Foundation has received a $3,006,500 bequest from the estate of the late Ann Draughon Matthews of Sikeston, Mo., to fund scholarships for students graduating from Sikeston High School to attend Southeast Missouri State University or any of its regional campuses, said William Holland, vice president for University Advancement and executive director of the Southeast Missouri University Foundation.

Holland says Southeast is profoundly grateful for this substantial gift that will make higher education more affordable for so many students from the region that otherwise may have had financial obstacles in attaining a higher education degree at Southeast Missouri State University.

“Mrs. Matthews’ gift will have a lasting impact and her legacy will be one of providing extraordinary educational access and opportunity for many, many Sikeston High School graduates now and in the future,” he said. “Our mission is to support students who want a college education. Mrs. Matthews embraced this mission and the commitment that Southeast Missouri State University has to our region. On behalf of all of Southeast’s current and future students, as well as our alumni, I would like to express our deepest appreciation for this generous bequest that will change countless lives in this region for many years to come.”

The Anna C. Draughon and Harris N. Draughon Scholarships, named in memory of Ann Draughon Matthews’ parents, will be awarded beginning next fall.

Ann Draughon Matthews was a long-time resident of Sikeston who died Nov. 16, 2012. Since 1999, Matthews had been a member of the University Foundation’s President’s Council and attended many events at Southeast Missouri State University over the years.

“We are most grateful for the generosity and philanthropy of Ann Matthews,” said Sikeston Public Schools Superintendent Tom Williams. “Our mission is to help our students achieve a college education.  Mrs. Matthews embraced this mission and the commitment that Sikeston High School and Southeast Missouri State University have to our region.”

Tim Regenold, principal of Sikeston High School, said “This gift will fund many scholarships for students from Sikeston to earn a college degree now and in the future.  The legacy of Ann Mathews will live through these students.”

Ann Draughon Matthews first established an endowed scholarship in her mother’s memory in 1986 through the Southeast Missouri University Foundation. Since that time, she established another scholarship in her own name.  Both are for students in the Department of Political Science, Philosophy and Religion at Southeast.

The Anna C. Draughon and Harris N. Draughon Scholarships will be awarded to students graduating from Sikeston High School who are enrolled at the Southeast Missouri State University main campus or any Southeast regional campus. Annual awards will be made by the University Scholarship Committee working with the principals of Sikeston High School to full-time undergraduate students in any field of study. The scholarships will cover tuition, fees, room and board, and book fees.

Consideration may be given to funding special fee requirements for internship programs and research projects for exceptional students. The scholarships will be awarded to incoming freshmen who have a minimum ACT composite score of 25 or who rank in the top 25 percent of their graduating class. The scholarships are renewable for four years for students who maintain a minimum overall grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale and a minimum 3.0 grade point average in their major. Financial need will be a consideration in selecting the recipients.