Martha Funderburk Memorial Endowed Scholarship Established at University of Arkansas – Hope Texarkana
The University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana announced last week the establishment of the Martha Funderburk Memorial Endowed Scholarship. Named after the late Martha Funderburk, long-time beloved UAHT instructor, the purpose of the scholarship is to provide financial assistance to students pursuing a certificate or degree at UAHT. Martha’s son, Kevin Funderburk, said, “My mom wanted to help students no matter what; that was all that was important to her. The creation of this scholarship makes it possible to continue helping students in her memory.”
According to a press release, Funderburk began working at Red River Vocational Technical School in 1988 as the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) Coordinator. She later served as a faculty member in the Developmental Education Division where she taught pre-college reading and writing until she retired in 2014.
Long-time friend and colleague, Sondra Townsend, said of Martha, “She never met a stranger, and it was a natural instinct for her to help anyone she came in contact with. When students enrolled at the college, she knew the challenges they would face and the help they would need even before they were aware they needed it. Her desire to help students is evident in my personal testimony of how I met Martha.”
Townsend continued, “In January 1992, I enrolled at the college. I remember having just met with an advisor to register and make my schedule. As I walked away from my advisor looking at my schedule, I heard a voice say, ‘Let me see what you have there.’ I looked over, and this short, white-haired lady, sitting at a table was looking at me with her hand reaching out for me to hand her my new schedule. She looked at it, and said, ‘Let’s get you signed up for JTPA for financial assistance.’ From there, Martha checked on me often and became my cheerleader and encourager. This part of my story is no doubt identical to hundreds of other students she encountered. She approached so many to find out how she could help. But for me, she became so much more. She became my truly special friend and did not stop encouraging me throughout all of my education, as well as through other challenges life tossed my way.”
“Not only did Martha love her students, but she also loved and cared for her co-workers. This is evident by the immediate action that the college's Faculty Senate took in getting right to work to raise $10,000 to begin the endowment. So many have precious memories or stories of their own they could share about her,” said Townsend.
For more information about the Martha Funderburk Memorial Endowed Scholarship or other scholarships available at the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana, call 870-777-5722 or visit www.uacch.edu.