NEW LONDON — At a West Rusk senior award event, a man named Robert Jordan announced that a friend of his would pay for all the graduating seniors’ tuition at East Texas Baptist University, and would also for every graduating class after that. But the problem is the money has not come in. KETK reports the deadline for the first payment is July 31st, and they have had no personal contact with Nicholas J. Sturghill, the man Jordan says is the benefactor.
Thursday night, ETBU president Dr. Dub Oliver explained this to parents and students at the West Rusk cafeteria. After a quick speech, he and other administrators from the university met with families one on one, and went over other scholarship opportunities and financial aid. But if the money is not in by that July 31st deadline, many of these students will not get to attend ETBU, or any other university, this year.
One question that was posed by a parent was about offering a deferment for these specific students. Oliver gave two reasons this was not an option. On one hand, said Oliver, it would not be fair to other applying students. Also, Oliver added, if they deferred, and the money never came in, the families would be responsible for making those payments.
The students and parents in attendance were very somber, some feeling as though they will have to find another option for college, others saying this was their only chance at higher education. West Rusk superintendent Tommy Alexander spoke to the group as well, and told them that Robert Jordan is a very Christian man, and feels positive the money will come through at some point. No one other than Jordan has had any personal contact with Sturghill. Jordan was not able to attend the night’s meeting because according to Alexander, a problem came up.