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Rutha E. Moore

This scholarship was given by Dr. Julie Ray and her husband, Dennis Ray. Dr. Ray is a faculty member in the Southeast Missouri State College of Education and is currently the Chair of the Department of Elementary, Early and Special Education. She earned a Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction: Early Childhood Education from the University of Missouri – Columbia in 2000, and began teaching at Southeast in 2002. This scholarship was established to honor the memory of Dr. Ray’s grandmother, Rutha E. Moore.

Mrs. Moore grew up in the Delta region of Northeast Arkansas. She didn’t finish high school and Census records show that by the age of 13, she was cooking for a railroad crew. She never learned to drive a car, and her husband left her with three children to raise on her own. She picked cotton, did sewing work, took in ironing, raised her own vegetables and chickens, and did whatever else was needed to survive. Despite this difficult life, she loved her children and grandchildren unconditionally and passed on a lifetime of wisdom to them. As an educated woman, Dr. Ray is grateful for the opportunities her education has given her, which her grandmother never had. This scholarship is a way to honor her grandmother’s life and to provide assistance to a future teacher who has financial need during the student teaching semester.