NIXA, Mo. – After four battles with cancer, Nixa school teacher Emma Talbot passed away in 2020. Talbot assured her legacy would live on, though, leaving a generous seven-figure monetary donation to the Ozarks Technical Community College Foundation.
The donation is one of the largest in OTC’s history and will help provide financial assistance for about 40 students per year. The school will honor one of Talbot’s wishes by pushing the scholarship towards single mothers who are in need of assistance.
“The contribution will endow scholarships that are designed preferably for women who are going back to college,” said OTC Chancellor Dr. Hal Higdon. “You’ll have people with the need and who will have the help to go to college. Which, we think, is a really good thing.”
According to her friends, Talbot was a life-long learner who had begun to teach herself about financial investing. She then started teaching single women how to budget better and invest their finances in order to live a more financially stable life.
OTC Chief of Staff and Executive Director Amy Bacon said that after Talbot was diagnosed with cancer, she borrowed all of her doctor’s textbooks to help him with his treatment of her, as she had already beaten cancer three times previously.
Talbot also made an impact in her community. As a teacher, she helped students who were dealing with heavier external burdens, including providing school lunch and rides to and from classes for those in need.
Because of Talbot’s generous contribution, OTC’s Richwood Valley Campus recently decided to rename their atrium after her. A dedication ceremony was held on August 12 to officially recognize it as The Talbot Family Atrium.
“It’s kind of a main gathering place,” Chief Media Relations Officer Mark Miller said. “There are tables, it is really bright and airy. We hope we can do right by her legacy. We are proud that she trusted us with it.”
Individuals interested in applying for the Emma Talbot Memorial Scholarship can visit OTC’s scholarship page.