Teacher’s Legacy Lives on In Scholarship at USAO
When Ethel Mae Nabors sent nine of her 10 children to college in Chickasha, she probably had no idea the lasting impact those children would have on the university and the world.
One daughter was a pioneer in computer technology and recently was named to the USAO Alumni Hall of Fame. Another daughter’s name will benefit students at the university for years to come thanks to a scholarship fund started in her honor.
The Loella Elizabeth Madison Scholarship was established by her daughter Beth Madison and the Madison Charitable Foundation in Sept. 2008. The initial gift totaled $60,000. The scholarship will provide assistance to students at the University of Science and Arts who are enrolled fulltime pursuing a degree in teacher education.
“Eight applicants for this scholarship were recommended by the teacher education faculty for the spring 2009 trimester,” said Dr. Michael Nealeigh, vice president for university advancement. “At the donor’s suggestion, all eight applicants were selected for a total of just over $45,000 in aid. Six of the eight recipients are seniors and four of these are doing their student teaching this trimester.”
“We want our money to begin working immediately to help prepare a new generation of teachers,” Madison said. “I initiated the scholarship in my mother’s name out of respect for that generation and the effort made to attend college during that time period – the 30s and 40s – when so few women were expected to go to college.”
The scholarship is renewable as long as the recipients are making acceptable progress toward their degrees. The scholarship will cover tuition, fees, room and board, books, and other expenses customarily considered as a cost of attendance not covered by other grants or scholarships, Nealeigh said.
“Lt. Governor Jeri Askins announced the scholarship during the Hall of Fame Ceremony honoring Loella’s sister Nan. It was a surprise for Loella who was with her family to honor her sister,” Nealeigh said.
Madison was born in 1920 and lived in Chickasha where she attended and graduated from the Oklahoma College for Women in 1949. In 1942, she married Fines Madison, a chemical engineer and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. They had four children.
They left Chickasha in 1951 to focus on her husband's engineering career in Oklahoma and Texas. Loella taught in seven high schools along the way. After her husband passed away, she continued teaching in long-term substitute positions – which she found extremely gratifying over the years, she said. She is now a resident of Houston.