For Earl and Nancy McCuin, generosity and service to others was a way of life. Their giving culminated with a recent estate gift of almost $1.4 million to Ouachita Baptist University for student scholarships.
As Ouachita invites alumni and friends of the university to participate in Giving Tuesday on Nov. 28, the McCuins are prime examples of faithful benefactors whose lifelong contributions increased over several decades to benefit students for generations to come. The annual Giving Tuesday emphasis, held after Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, highlights charitable giving throughout the nation.
Marsha Allbrittion, the McCuins’ niece, is serving as the trustee of their estate. Reflecting on the motivation for their generosity, she said, “Their faith was most important to them. They loved volunteering, teaching and ministering to people.”
Earl McCuin was a 1952 Ouachita graduate who majored in speech. He was active in Baptist Student Union, band, drama club, wrote for The Signal newspaper, was a member of Alpha Psi Omega and was a commissioned ROTC officer. He went on to earn his Master of Religious Education degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and his Master of Science in Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington. He served as a pastor and as director of social work at Lee and Beulah Moor Children’s Home in El Paso, Texas. Prior to his death in 1999, the McCuins retired to Rogers, Ark.
Nancy McCuin was a former Ouachita student who was involved in choir, BSU, Gamma Phi social club and The Signal staff. While she loved her Ouachita experience, she left school during her junior year in order to help support her family after her father’s death. While on a Ouachita choir trip to El Dorado, a couple offered to pay her tuition if she could stay at Ouachita and graduate. Although she wasn’t able to take advantage of the offer, it inspired her to help support other students, including leaving her estate to Ouachita following her death earlier this year at age 86.
“It is such an inspiration to see a former Ouachita student and her husband giving back to help our current students,” said Terry Peeples, Ouachita vice president for development. “Nancy and Earl McCuin have been obedient and such good stewards out of their blessings from the Lord. Nancy always said, ‘I hope those students have half as much fun as I did!’ She was a joy to know.”
“Small gifts over the years often lead to larger legacy gifts,” noted Ouachita President Ben Sells. “Most people make their largest gift in their estates. As we observe Giving Tuesday, the McCuins are excellent examples of dedicated supporters whose generosity grew into a major gift that will make a lasting impact for Ouachita.”
Mrs. McCuin, who completed her degree at the University of Texas, El Paso, during their years there, served as the librarian at Moor Children’s Home where she inspired many young readers. Following her husband’s death, she volunteered in the library of the retirement center where she lived, helping refurbish and expand the library as an enhanced resource for the center’s residents.
In keeping with the McCuins’ desire to benefit students with financial needs, the Earl and Nancy McCuin Endowed Scholarship Fund is designed to give priority to students “from middle-income families who don’t qualify for other financial aid.”
Affirming the McCuins’ legacy of giving, Allbritton said, “They both valued education and always worked with children their whole lives.
“They had nice jobs. They were comfortable, but they weren’t high-paying jobs,” she recalled. “They didn’t want a lifestyle where they spent a lot of money. They were frugal and invested and saved but for them to be able to give a gift that large to Ouachita was unbelievable to me.” She said the $1.39 million estate gift “was the entire amount of their trust – all of their retirement and life insurance and investments.”
Noting that her aunt and uncle “were very positive and happy people, very young at heart,” Allbritton added, “They wanted their estate to go to students who don’t have the money for tuition. It will make a difference in so many people’s lives, not only the students, but their families and future families.”
Memorials gifts in honor of the McCuins may be made to the McCuin Scholarship Fund at Ouachita Baptist University, Office of Development, Box 3754, Arkadelphia, AR 71998. To make contributions to Ouachita on Giving Tuesday or throughout the year, visit www.obu.edu/give or contact the Office of Development at 870-245-5169.
By Trennis Henderson, vice president for communications
November 27, 2017