Scholarship for the Visual and Performing Arts Established at Southeast


paintingCAPE GIRARDEAU, MISSOURI, March 11, 2015 – The Charles and Mary Ellen Sharp Scholarship for the Visual and Performing Arts has been established through the Southeast Missouri University Foundation.

The Sharps’ contribution to establish the scholarship was matched through a University matching gift program that was 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 the match.

The recipient of the renewable Charles and Mary Ellen Sharp Scholarship for the Visual & Performing Arts will be a student enrolled at Southeast Missouri State University pursuing an undergraduate degree in the visual or performing arts, who has completed 45 credit hours with a minimum 3.0 grade point average.

Dr. Charles Sharp, a native of Arkansas, grew up in California. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Baylor University and his doctorate from the University of Georgia, where his primary area of study was diplomatic history. Currently a professor emeritus at Southeast, he taught on the Southeast campus for 35 years as a professor of history. Dr. Sharp was the Faculty Merit Award winner in 1984. The focus of his career has always been classroom teaching and student learning.

Mary Ellen Sharp received her Bachelor of Arts from Baylor University with majors in English and speech. She continued her studies at Southeast, where she earned her Master of Arts in English. Her career spanned over 30 years and included 25 years in the Cape Girardeau Public Schools where she taught high school English and speech, directed a secondary gifted program, coached competitive speech events, directed plays, and served as department chair.  After retirement she taught as an adjunct instructor in English and speech communication at Southeast.

The Sharps also have provided a scholarship for non-traditional students.

For additional information, please contact the Southeast Missouri University Foundation at (573) 651-2203 or