The Dr. Wayne F. Ewbank Endowed Scholarship has been established through the Southeast Missouri University Foundation.
Linda Ewbank of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, along with friends and family, established the scholarship in honor of her husband, the late Wayne F. Ewbank.
The renewable scholarship will be awarded to a full-time economics student in their junior or senior year with a financial need and a minimum 3.0 grade-point average. The Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance Scholarship Committee will select the recipient in conjunction with a Ewbank family representative.
Dr. Wayne Franklin Ewbank, Southeast professor emeritus of economics, died on Aug. 7, 2020. Wayne was born on Feb. 4, 1934 in Ludlow, Illinois, to the parents of Lloyd Francis Ewbank and Lela Sarah Edington Ewbank. He grew up a poor farm boy on a tenant farm in a large, loving Christian family in eastern Illinois. Neither of his parents graduated from high school but worked hard to provide for their 9 children, of which Wayne was a middle child. It was a rural area where families, hard work and church were a big part of the community. Growing up on a small farm is where his love for agriculture started.
Wayne had rheumatic fever as a young man, which damaged his heart. He was told he could not participate in athletics and instead he focused his energy on academics, where he excelled.
Through scholarships, raising pigs and hard work, he earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from the University of Illinois, a master’s degree in agricultural economics from Southern Illinois University, and a doctorate in agricultural economics from the University of Kentucky.
He had a love for education and learning. He chose it as a career, first teaching high school agriculture in Mattoon, Illinois, as well as sponsoring the school Future Farmers of America (FFA) program. In 1964, Wayne launched his teaching career as a college professor at Southeast Missouri State University, where he taught economics for 33 years. During his tenure, he served as chair for the former Department of Social Sciences.
When asked once if teaching the same subject over and over ever became boring, he smiled and responded, “I suppose it would if I taught a subject, but I teach students and every one of them is different.” Wayne retired in 1997.
Wayne devoted his life to family and friends. In addition to teaching, Wayne served as a deacon and a finance committee member for his church.
“He was a gentle and kind man committed to creating a safe home where one could learn and grow,” said Lisa Ewback. “He was an encourager and had a great sense of humor, always having a quick twinkle in the eye and smile on his face as he delivered his witty comments. Wayne would encourage all scholarship recipients to challenge themselves academically, seeking to gain knowledge and study hard, recognizing that education has the power to change lives and circumstances when combined with hard work.”