1962 Gainesville grad sets up scholarship for GHS student attending Mizzou
Ron Evans, a 1962 Gainesville High School graduate now living in Lexington, North Carolina, has established a new $1,000 scholarship for a GHS graduating senior who is planning to enroll in the University of Missouri in the fall following the student’s high school graduation.
In his letter to the Community Foundation of the Ozarks designating how the scholarship should be managed, Evans said that if a graduating class has no students planning to attend Miz-zou, the scholarship would become $2,000 the next year. If more than one student plans to attend the university, he specified who would be authorized to select the scholarship recipient.
Evans is semi-retired but still owns Evans Real Estate and Investment Properties, Inc., in Lex-ington. He said he established the scholarship “to encourage a motivated GHS senior to continue their education on to the college level. It is my hope that they will be motivated by curiosity and a thirst for knowledge. I sincerely believe that a broad-based college education can be the key to a happy successful life. It is one thing that will last a lifetime and cannot be taken away.”
He added that his own college degree “made it possible for me to comfortably enjoy my later years financially.”
As a teenager in Gainesville, Evans worked at the Ozark County Times office, then owned by the late Fred and Ruby Robins. His job was “to roll the papers with a sheet of brown paper with the address printed on it and seal it to be mailed to subscribers” and carry them in big mail sacks to the post office, he said.
Evans graduated in 1967 from the University of Missouri with a B.S. in business administration.
“I loved my college experience there ... and know that it was only possible due to the help and encouragement received from many at GHS and the Gainesville community,” he said in an email to the Times.
“Notably among them were teachers like Madge Parker and Stella Luna. The recommendations of superintendent Mearle Luna and principal Rex Ebrite were the reason I received a scholarship to MU, for which I am deeply grateful,” Evans said. “Rex Johnson, a long-time friend, and J. J. Pace were motivating factors as well. Mr. Pace loaned me funds over the course of my college years to cover room and board, which I repaid after completing my service in the Army. I am forever thankful for the confidence he showed in me.”
After his 1967 graduation from MU, Evans served in the Army from 1967 to 1969. He then held jobs in corporate management in Illinois and North Carolina from 1969 until founding his own company in Lexington in 1990.
He and his wife, Susan, a student at Stephens College in Columbia while he was at Mizzou, were married in 1967. They have three daughters and four grandchildren. Evans enjoys golf, traveling and following Duke University and Georgia football.
He said he hopes his scholarship gifts “will be remembered by the recipients so that they may, in turn, help another student in the future.”