Students Give Thanks: Gary McCullough

Scholarship recipient: Gary McCullough



Name of scholarship(s) you have received: Charlie Rich Scholarship
Current residence: Millington, Tennessee
Hometown: Millington, Tennessee
College: Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music
Major: Music
2014-2015 Classification: Senior
Year Graduating: 2015


Why did you choose University of Memphis?
The University of Memphis has a great reputation and I already knew some people at the university.

What is unique about you? How are you different from other students at UofM?
My age, I guess, is the most obvious difference. My son is also attending the University of Memphis at the same time as me. He is a piano performance major and a loves classical piano.

Describe any extra-curricular or community service efforts. What personal impact have they had on you?
I am very involved at our local church helping with an instrumental group that plays for church services, working with youth this summer at vacation bible school, and various other church outreach activities. Also, on occasion I have played taps for funerals of military veterans, which was one of the responsibilities I had when I was active duty in the Navy band. Through my time in the Navy band I saw how music is such an intricate part of our lives and can be used to stir great emotions in people like patriotism, appreciation, celebration, etc.

What has your college experience been like so far?
Everyone has been very supportive of me coming to college at age 53. I was quite worried if I could even make it or survive college this late in life. I had some transfer credits from the Navy School of Music in Little Creek, Va., and also Thomas Edison College in New Jersey.

What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, I will probably go back to church music in some capacity either as orchestra director again or music minister.

If you were to meet your donor in person, how would you describe what receiving a donor-funded scholarship means to you?
I am very grateful and appreciative. This scholarship helps me to have enough money to get some of the extra things needed to succeed in college and also helps with additional expenses such as gas. Now I don't stress anymore about working full-time while trying to be in school. I'm just very thankful and blessed to have received this extra help.