Burruss Family Scholarship

Merrill Burruss and his sons John and Charlie started this scholarship in recognition of his parents’ association and interest in the university. Zelma and M.B. Burruss were longtime active members of the Chickasha community, participating in and supporting the university’s many activities.

The scholarship is to assist USAO students who are working their way through school who are of good character.

The university also is part of the Burruss family’s tradition. Charlie’s wife, Angie, was the most recent to attend the local campus. Zelma was one of three Ball girls who attended OCW in the 1920’s. The other sisters were Alma Lee and Thelma. Thelma would marry J.O. Wood and also reside in Chickasha and support the college.

Attendance at the Chickasha college also runs on the maternal side of the family. Merrill’s mother-in-law, Beeler Roberts Foley, was an OCW graduate and his late wife, Mary Ann, was a 1960 home economics graduate.

M.B. was in Cyril when he met Zelma. They were married in 1931 in Oklahoma City. While at Cyril, M.B. served on the bank board and helped organize the Cyril Rotary Club. In 1941, they moved to a farm near Blairstown, Henry County, Mo., where they lived for 12 years. In 1953, the couple moved to Chickasha.

Zelma graduated from Oklahoma College for Women Preparatory in 1923. She attended OCW from 1924-1926. She was active in the Alumni Association. She was a member of the McDowell Music Club for several years. She was Trustee of the State Board of Oklahoma Federation of Music Clubs. Zelma also was a member of the Salvation Army Board and Paul Harris Fellow of the Rotary Club.

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