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College Heights Foundation

Badgett Foundation creates scholarship fund for Hancock students, teachers

Badgett Foundation creates scholarship fund for Hancock students, teachers

Bentley Badgett (front, center) signs an agreement establishing the J. Rogers Badgett Sr. Foundation Scholarships at Owensboro Community and Technical College and Western Kentucky University-Owensboro on Tuesday along with Alex Downing (left) of WKU’s College Heights Foundation and OCTC Interim President Larry Durrence. Also present (back row from left) were WKU-O Director Gene Tice, Hancock County Superintendent Scott Lewis, WKU Development Director Josh Hawkins and Larry Miller, OCTC Institutional Advancement. (WKU photo by Bob Skipper)

Bentley Badgett said his uncle knew the importance of an education. That’s one reason the Madisonville entrepreneur left the bulk of his estate to the J. Rogers Badgett Sr. Foundation and the majority of the funds are used for educational purposes.

It’s also the reason Bentley Badgett, president of the foundation, is using some of those funds to create a scholarship program to help students and teachers from Hancock County attend Owensboro Community and Technical College and WKU’s Owensboro campus.

An agreement signed May 11 establishes the J. Rogers Badgett Sr. Foundation Scholarships. The funds, housed in WKU’s College Heights Foundation, will help up to 20 students from Hancock County obtain associate’s and bachelor’s degrees and up to five Hancock County teachers earn master’s degrees.

“Education is a tool for growing a community,” Bentley Badgett said. “It is good that WKU and OCTC are teaming up to provide the opportunity for area students to earn a four-year degree.”

OCTC and WKU-O have a joint admissions agreement that allows students to move seamlessly from an associate’s degree at OCTC into a bachelor’s degree program at WKU-O. Bentley Badgett said this offering is important because some students do not want to leave their hometowns to pursue an education. He added that a vast majority of those who do earn a degree close to home stay in the area if jobs are available, providing a more educated workforce that encourages job development.

Larry Durrence, interim OCTC president, said the scholarship fund is significant since 79 percent of students enrolled are in need of some kind of financial assistance.

“A number of students are unable to go to college, or only take one or two classes a semester, and that reduces the likelihood they will complete a degree,” Dr. Durrence said. “This will encourage a lot of students who are capable to set a goal to succeed in their first two years and earn an associate’s degree, then cross New Hartford Road and earn a bachelor’s degree at WKU-O.”

WKU-O Director Gene Tice said the scholarships will be a “tremendous benefit to students and teachers, helping offset loans and solidifying four-year public education in this area.” He added that the timing of the Badgett Foundation’s recurring gift gives the joint admissions program a significant boost.

Hancock County Schools Superintendent Scott Lewis said the scholarship fund was a win-win situation by providing financial support so that students can earn a degree while staying close to home. Financial need is a major part of the scholarship requirements.

Lewis added that the teacher scholarships will allow younger teachers who are less likely to be able to afford classes to work on a master’s degree to fulfill their educational requirements.

“This is a wonderful tribute to the value of education,” he said.

Bentley Badgett, who is on the board of Hancock Bancorp., the holding company for Hancock County Bank and Trust, said the scholarship program was also a way of giving back to that community.

J. Rogers Badgett, Sr., Foundation Scholarships

Hancock County High School Grads Attending Owensboro Community and Technical College

•           $30,000 commitment for annual, full-tuition scholarships to OCTC

•           Special consideration given to those with great financial need

•           Special consideration given to those expressing an interest in completing a bachelor’s degree at WKU-Owensboro

Hancock County High School Grads Attending WKU-Owensboro

•           $72,000 commitment for annual, full-tuition scholarships to WKU-O

•           Reserved for students who complete an associate’s degree at OCTC and wish to finish a bachelor’s degree at WKU-O

•           Financial need is an important consideration

•           May be full- or part-time students

Hancock County Teachers for Graduate Work at WKU-O

•           $15,000 commitment for graduate scholarships at WKU-O for any teacher working in Hancock County

•           Reserved for teachers pursuing a Masters in Teacher Education

•           Financial need is an important consideration

Contact: Gene Tice, (270) 684-9797.

FULL ARTICLE

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 Last Modified 9/25/14