Donation helps endow scholarship - Coastal Carolina University
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Donation helps endow scholarship

Jessica Hughes

Jessica Hughes ’17

The Jessica K. Hughes Scholarship at CCU will now be endowed thanks to a family friend. Hughes, who graduated from the University in 2017 and then worked as a student accounts specialist in the University’s Office of Financial Services, passed away at the age of 25 following a car accident in August 2020. Her former colleagues established an annual scholarship in her memory in August 2021. When family friend Capt. Bruce D. Rutherford learned of the scholarship, he decided to make a donation to endow the fund at $50,000.

The fund will provide perpetual scholarship support for eligible students majoring in marketing or finance in the E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration. 

“I am thrilled that this scholarship was established in Jessica’s memory,” said Hughes’ mother, Diana Gore. “She was very passionate about her school and was able to go there with scholarships and become a first-generation college graduate. She made it her goal to get back to CCU to work, and she was honored to work in the financial services office. She loved helping students, and now, with this scholarship, she is continuing to help.

“We are beyond grateful for Bruce and his generosity to get this scholarship going. Bruce has become a wonderful Christian friend over the years. He is very passionate and has a heart of gold. I’ve said it before – the world needs more people like Bruce in it. We are excited that more students will get the opportunity to go to college, all because of Bruce’s generous donation and in Jessica’s memory at the same time.”

Rutherford had a distinguished career in the U.S. Navy. He was the director of the Navy Blood Program at the Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery in Washington, D.C., and later became the director of the Armed Services Blood Program, where he coordinated the blood programs of the Army, Navy, and Air Force. 

“Through this gift, I have had the opportunity to get to know Bruce, learning about him, his accomplishments, and how his career was spent serving our country,” said Diane Sanders, CCU’s vice president for advancement and alumni engagement. “We are thrilled to have him endow this scholarship. Jessica’s legacy of helping others will now be continued in perpetuity through the generosity of Mr. Rutherford.”