If the measure of a good teacher is the impact he has on his students, Harry Rusche ranks at the top.
Rusche, who held the Arthur M. Blank Distinguished Teaching Professor of English at Emory University’s College of Arts and Sciences from 1992 until 1996, says his students are his motivation for staying engaged and involved in teaching.
This dedication to his students extends to his personal philanthropy. Rusche and his wife, Sue, are annual supporters of the Harry and Sue Rusche Scholarship Fund, an endowed fund that provides an annual need and merit-based scholarship to an outstanding rising senior English major at Emory College.
The Rusche fund was established when a former student, Sam Stahl 03C, and his family’s foundation, the Stahl Family Foundation, donated $25,000 to establish the scholarship in Rusche’s honor.
“The classroom time I spent learning with Professor Rusche made an important mark on my Emory education and, upon graduating, it felt natural to thank and honor such a wonderful teacher and friend,” Stahl says. “The best way to do so was to give other potential students the opportunity to share this same experience.”
Rusche and his wife, Sue, gave another $25,000 to endow the fund and now support the fund through annual gifts. Other former students of Rusche also have supported the fund.
“I am touched that some of my students have contributed to the fund, and it is rewarding to see the students it helps,” says Rusche, who is currently teaching one of the scholarship’s recipients.
Emory College professor of film studies Matthew Bernstein, the College’s volunteer chairman for MyEmory, says the gift strengthens the College by supporting students.
“Scholarships are at the heart of what Emory College is all about, because students are what the College is all about. Especially in this time of economic decline, Emory's commitment to scholarships is so admirable—they bring us the students faculty want to teach,” Bernstein says. “The honor Professor Rusche's students have bestowed upon him in this way is extraordinary. That Prof. Rusche and his wife have chosen to support Emory only confirms their devotion to higher education and strengthens our already strong sense of community here. We are all very grateful.”
Among Rusche’s honors at Emory are the Emory University Outstanding Award early in his career in 1968 and the Emory Williams Distinguished Teaching Award in 1987 in addition to his appointment to the Blank chair in 1992. In 2008 the fraternity Alpha Tau Omega honored him as the outstanding teacher of the year.
The Rusches’ gift is part of MyEmory, the employee component of Emory University’s $1.6 billion fundraising effort, Campaign Emory. MyEmory offers the University’s faculty, staff and retirees a powerful way to make a difference in the world. Few organizations have the broad, comprehensive impact of a major research university. Through MyEmory, you can help Emory reach out to more communities and take on a growing number of challenges. The goal of MyEmory is to raise $50 million by the end of 2012. You can support scholarships, patient care, research, or countless other priorities that will enable Emory to advance among the world’s top universities and health care providers. The possibilities are endless.