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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Myrna Whitehead
Scholarship set up to honor the late Robert Slaughter at South Plains College
LEVELLAND – The South Plains College Foundation recently announced the establishment of the Robert Slaughter Memorial Scholarship Endowment. Preference will be given to a student from a small school (1-A or 2-A).
At 6’6” Robert Slaughter may have seemed like a giant. However, for anyone who knew the man beyond the gruff exterior, Slaughter was a kind and generous soul. He was a Professor of English at SPC from 1969 to 2003. He served as chairman of the English Department from 1969 to 1976 and 1979 to 1991. He retired from South Plains College in 2003 after 35 years of service.
Slaughter died March 22, 2014. His widow, Luanne, recently established the scholarship, and she encourages his former colleagues, students and friends to contribute to the scholarship in his honor.
According to his wife, Slaughter truly loved literature. “Robert was known for his dry wit and loving nature beneath a seemingly gruff exterior,” she said. “He was a brilliant and entertaining teacher. He loved to travel, talk about literature and spend time entertaining family and friends with his humorous stories.”
His path to teaching was far from direct. Slaughter’s father thought he would become a doctor. While attending the University of Heidelberg, Slaughter found that he enjoyed the German language so much that he decided to study the language. He also studied at the University of Freiburg.
Slaughter received his Bachelor of Arts degree in German from the University of Texas in Austin in 1962. He received his Master of Arts degree in English from Sam Houston State University. Slaughter did graduate work at Texas A&M University and completed the course work at Texas Tech University.
In 1963, Slaughter taught German and English at Brazosport High School. His wife, also an educator, taught theatre for five years at Whitharral High School and 30 years at Whiteface High School. She was very successful in University Interscholastic League one-act play competitions. Her teams advanced to the state competition for eight of 10 years, and she won state the first year her team competed. She had three students win the Best Actor award at UIL.
The couple has two sons, Lee M. Slaughter and David Alan Slaughter. Lee, associate professor of Chemistry at the University of North Texas, and his wife, Haekyung, live in Highland Village. They have two daughters – Ellie, 7, and Annabel, 4. David, a dentist, and his wife Kim live in the Austin area.
“Robert loved to teach,” Mrs. Slaughter said. “He loved to teach poetry and especially drama. He was a gifted teacher. He would have his students read through plays like they were performing them. The scholarship is a good way to honor him.”
The eligibility requirements state the recipient must be a U.S. citizen and permanent resident and take at least 12 semester credit hours. The scholarship can be awarded to a freshman or returning sophomore. Preference will be given to an English major with second preference for a Theatre major. The recipient must maintain at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average.
For more information about ways to support scholarships and students at South Plains College or to make contributions, contact Julie Gerstenberger, director of Development at SPC, at (806) 716-2020.