Nanny and Papa's Gift Branches Fund Ray & Carolyn Lovejoy Scholarship
No sooner had their youngest child graduated from OC did Alfred (84) and Judy (Lovejoy 85) Branch offer a new scholarship to students in dire financial need. Dawn Shelton (90) interviewed them about their gift.
What led you to establish this new scholarship?
Al: My parents, Charles and Sylvia Branch, established an excellent example of sending many other students besides their own five children through OC. It is a fitting tribute that Judy and I continue that tradition. We are humbled to launch the Ray and Carolyn Lovejoy Student Scholarship. The graduation of our son, Lee, marked the end of 15 years that Judy and I have either been employed at OC or had our children attending. Given that close relationship, we are continually aware of students from within our church or children’s circle that sometimes have difficult financial challenges.
What do you pray for the students who will receive this scholarship?
Judy: This past year, we were personally affected by our relationship with a student who lost a parent. Without financial assistance, our adopted daughter would not have been able to return to OC. This event was the thing that started the idea of creating this scholarship.
With God, all things are possible and I hope God can use us to fulfill that promise for families in crisis that want a Christian education from our alma mater!
My parents love OC. They are “nanny and papa” to many students. They have blessed so many students who have become their adopted grandparents over the past 10 years, and those students have enriched my parents’ lives as well. Maybe it should be the Nanny and Papa Scholarship Fund?
What can you advise other OC alumni (and true empty nesters) about giving back to OC?
Al: One of the fundamental foundations and core values of our lives is trying to be generous. We have had great examples in our lives from our parents. I am so pleased that so many new alumni givers are now giving back though our Homeward campaign. I believe that as many see OC shining brightly under John deSteiguer’s leadership, more alumni will be engaged to give back in greater ways. Many of our friends are now reaching “empty-nester” status; Judy and I would encourage those in that situation to find new “children” at their churches or within their families to encourage and support in getting a great OC education.
We remember your leadership as OC’s fifth president and first lady … thank you! But if you had ONE more day as president, what would you do?
Al: I’d walk the campus (on the Eagle Trail now), count my blessings, pick up trash, and find some students to talk with, as it is those energetic and optimistic 18- 22 year olds that give everyone in higher education a sense of joy and satisfaction in what we do. Can I come back and do that? (Editor’s note: President deSteiguer says you can!)
Alfred is president of Moriah Real Estate Company and a member of OC’s Board of Trustees. Judy is retired as children’s ministry director at Memorial Road Church of Christ, allowing her more time to support her parents. Daughter Meagan (Branch 11) Lytton just completed her third year teaching fifth-grade science at Crossings Christian School. New graduate Lee Branch (14) is off to Dallas to join the accounting firm of Ernst & Young.
View more stories from the Summer 2014 issue of Vision magazine.