Inspired alumnus endows language arts scholarship

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Inspired alumnus endows language arts scholarship

It is on rare occasions that special people come into others’ lives for just a fleeting moment and profoundly inspire them to make a difference. That is exactly the effect that Judith “Judy” Jenlink had on David Bradley, a Northwestern Oklahoma State University alumnus and former faculty member from Stillwater. In fact, Jenlink, who passed away in February 2012, so inspired Bradley that he established the Judy Jenlink Language Arts Scholarship at Northwestern to honor her memory.

“In spite of only knowing Judy Jenlink for a few months, I experienced a connection that was unique and special,” Bradley said. “It was one in which I could say that Judy not only touched my heart, but also made a deeper connection where I felt that she has touched my soul.”

Jenlink, who received her undergraduate degree in social science at Northwestern and later pursued graduate classes in education at Northwestern, taught English and language arts at several Oklahoma schools including: Mustang High School, Putnam City West High School, Chisholm High School and Junior High, Alva High School and Timberlake High School.

While attending Northwestern, Jenlink excelled and was named to both the Dean’s Honor Roll and the Northwestern Honors Program. During her distinguished 37-year teaching career, Jenlink received the Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers award and the McDonald’s Teachers Make a Difference award and was chosen as the Timberlake District Teacher of the Year.

“I believe that Judy’s dedication to education and the profound effect that she had on her students should be recognized and her life’s work should be honored by the establishment of a scholarship,” Bradley said. “By offering assistance to English education students at Northwestern, I hope to inspire them to achieve a similar level of excellence and have a positive effect on the lives of future students.”

Bradley grew up on a farm near the Jefferson and Medford communities. He graduated from Northwestern with a Bachelor of Science degree in math and physics in 1966. He later taught math at Northwestern in the early ‘70s. He stays connected to campus and attends events, such as Homecoming, as his time permits.

After graduating from Northwestern, Bradley received a National Science Foundation Fellowship to attend graduate school in the College of Engineering at the University of Oklahoma. He attributes this opportunity to the excellent recommendations he received from his math and physics professors at Northwestern. Because of this, Bradley has developed what he calls a “pay it forward” attitude and encourages anyone thinking of giving to do it now, he said.

“I believe that we all have a sense to be a part of something larger than ourselves,” Bradley said. “I am the last of my primary family members and have the hope to develop an extended ‘family’ through making opportunities for others to be successful.”

Full-time, upper- division English education majors with a minimum 3.25 cumulative grade point average are eligible for the Judy Jenlink Language Arts Scholarship. Applicants must be northwest Oklahoma residents and be active members of at least one campus organization. The scholarship may be applied toward university-related expenses, such as tuition, fees, room, board or books.

For more information about investing in Northwestern students, call Skeeter Bird, Northwestern Foundation CEO, at 580-327-8599 or email him at