Rushing Family’s Trusts Establish Scholarships

2013_stu_GeneralCAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., March 18, 2014 –The Rushing Family’s Trusts have established two scholarships through the Southeast Missouri University Foundation.  Each trust has made a $10,000 gift to establish these two scholarships.  Each scholarship 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 Rushing Family Trust Scholarship will be awarded with first preference to an individual who has been in the foster care system in Cape Girardeau County who is an incoming freshman, with second preference to an upperclassman. Third preference will be given to an individual who has been in the foster care system in Missouri, and fourth preference will be given to an individual with financial need.

The renewable Evelyn L. Rushing Trust Scholarship will be awarded with first preference to an individual who has been in the foster care system in Cape Girardeau County who is an upperclassman, with second preference to a freshman. Third preference will be given to an individual who has been in the foster care system in Missouri, and fourth preference will be given to an individual with financial need.

Recipients of both scholarships must have a minimum 2.0 grade point average. The University Scholarship Committee will select the recipient of both scholarships.

The Rushing Family Trust was established in 1999 in memory of Capt. C.W. “Woody” Rushing. Capt. Rushing was one of the greatest of the modern river captains to come from the Cape Girardeau area. Born into a family of Mississippi sharecroppers, Capt. Rushing followed a migration pattern to Arkansas and then southeast Missouri.

Following his graduation from Dielstadt High School, he took a job as a deckhand on a construction boat and worked his way up to pilot. In 1946, he “came ashore” and worked for Missouri Barge Lines, which was positioned on the Mississippi River near the International Shoe Factory on North Main. A short distance from there on North Main was a small family restaurant, which Capt. Rushing enjoyed. He was especially fond of the owner’s daughter Evelyn, who became his wife and lifelong partner.

In 1979, Capt. Rushing and his son Mike created Rushing Marine Corporation, at one time owning and operating three towboats. One of them was named the Evelyn Rushing, in honor of Capt. Rushing’s wife. A painting of a towboat bearing her name can be seen on the floodwall at the Cape Girardeau riverfront. This towboat proudly carried her name up and down the rivers for many years.

Capt. Rushing was a skilled pilot and became the “resident river expert” in Cape Girardeau. By the time of his death in 1998, he had more than 60 years of river experience, observing firsthand the impact of the technological revolution on the river.

Near his death, Capt. Rushing expressed a desire to do something to help others who are in need, having a soft place in his heart for disadvantaged women and children. With that in mind, his family established the C.W. Rushing Charitable Trust, now known as The Rushing Family Trust. Since 1999, the trust has hosted the annual Captain Woody Rushing golf tournament with the proceeds benefiting many charitable organizations, such as the Cape Girardeau Safe House for Women, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), and Hope Children’s Home. In 2013, the trust was officially renamed The Rushing Family Trust, in memory of Capt. and Mrs. Rushing.

The late Mrs. Rushing, formerly of Cape Girardeau, died Sept. 29, 2005. She was born Feb. 14, 1919, in Bonne Terre, Mo., daughter of Arthur Cellis and Elba Rhoda (Pratt) Bullock.

Mrs. Rushing was a life-long member of the First Baptist Church of Cape Girardeau. She joined the church in 1932 and served as a Sunday School teacher for a number of years. She was a loyal member of the King’s Daughters Sunday School class for many years, and was a devoted member of the congregation for more than 70 years.

Mrs. Rushing graduated from Cape Central High School in 1936. As a youth, she served as a member of the drum and bugle corps. In adulthood, she worked as a volunteer at the Southeast Missouri Hospital snack bar for a number of years.  She served as a member and president of the PTA, as a mentor to several young women and often engaged in other volunteer activities.

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