Emanual UCC Margaret Puchbauer Scholarship Established

Photos of studentsCAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., April 30, 2014 – The Emanual United Church of Christ Margaret Puchbauer Scholarship has been established through the Southeast Missouri University Foundation.  The scholarship honors its namesake, Margaret Puchbauer, a beloved lifelong church member who recently retired after serving as the church’s secretary for the past 43 years.

Emanuel United Church of Christ of Jackson, Mo., made a $10,000 gift to establish the scholarship. The gift will be matched with an additional $10,000 through a University matching gift program.

The matching gift program is part of the Honoring Tradition – Inspiring Success Comprehensive Campaign through the Southeast Missouri University Foundation. This program allowed donors to make a minimum commitment of $5,000 to a maximum commitment of $10,000 through donation or pledge by March 1, 2014, that qualified for a $1-for-$1 match. The goal of the Campaign is to raise $40 million for student scholarships, academic programs and renovations that benefit students both today and tomorrow.

The renewable Emanual United Church of Christ Margaret Puchbauer Scholarship will be awarded to a full-time student enrolled at Southeast Missouri State University with a minimum 3.0 grade point average. First preference will be given to a member of the Emanuel United Church of Christ. Second preference will be given to a member of any United Church of Christ church in Cape Girardeau County, and third preference will go to any Jackson, Mo., resident. The University Scholarship Committee in consultation with the Emanual United Church of Christ will select the recipient.

The Emanuel United Church of Christ was organized in 1867 as the Jackson Evangelical Church. Over time, the small congregation grew, and in 1957, became a part of the United Church of Christ, a denomination of more than 5,100 churches across the United States that believe “God is still speaking.” No matter where people are on their life’s journey, they are welcome at the United Church of Christ.

Education is an important mission of the church. Funds set aside over the years were used by the Christian Board of Education to assist young people furthering their education, particularly those interested in the ministry. However, those funds reached only a small number of people.

The board determined that many more students could benefit in a meaningful way by partnering with the Southeast Missouri University Foundation to endow a scholarship in honor of its beloved church secretary, Margaret Puchbauer. Puchbauer retired from her position in March 2014 after 43 years of service. During that time, her love and positive, uplifting spirit touched the lives of hundreds of church members and children. The Christian Board of Education, along with the church council and members, felt it a fitting tribute to Margaret’s years of faithful service and love of learning that this scholarship bear her name. It is their intention that recipients of this scholarship demonstrate good moral character, school and/or community involvement, potential to succeed, and the desire to become a productive citizen.

For additional information on the matching gift program, please contact the Southeast Missouri University Foundation at (573) 651-2203 or foundation@semo.edu.