Michael Pulley found a way to impact OTC students long after his retirement. Thanks to earnings from his latest writing project, the former English instructor endowed the Michael Pulley Scholarship Fund through the OTC Foundation. The scholarship will support current OTC students who plan to transfer to a four-year university to earn a bachelor’s degree in English. The OTC Foundation will award its first Michael Pulley Scholarship in the spring of 2020.
“I’m very happy to establish this fund through the OTC Foundation,” he said. “It’s something I didn’t think I’d ever be able to do.”
Michael was one of the first instructors hired by the college in the early ‘90s. He taught at the institution for the next 26 years until his retirement in 2016. Besides his work at OTC, Michael wrote several novels, short stories and a memoir. He also contributed to a bi-monthly opinion column in the Springfield News-Leader.
In his first few years of teaching at the college, a local plant closed down displacing hundreds of workers. Many of these individuals made the decision to continue their education at OTC. As a result, Michael quickly grew fond of all the nontraditional students in his classes.
“I liked older students who needed to get their life on track, and knew that coming to college was a way to do that,” he recalled. “They were very, very serious about their education, and that dedication had a lasting effect on me.”
Of the courses he taught at the college, Michael enjoyed teaching literature and creative writing the most.
“Before OTC, I taught the same creative writing course at a local university,” he said. “But I’d put the work of my OTC students up against any university student – they were some of the most creative, hardworking students I ever had.”
Michael credits his students’ perseverance and grit for inspiring him to establish the scholarship fund. He hopes it will empower students to continue their education in English – the same subject that brought him a meaningful, rewarding career.
About the OTC Foundation
Now in its 22nd year of operation, the OTC Foundation serves as the fundraising arm of Ozarks Technical Community College. The foundation supports OTC’s mission by securing private gifts, building partnerships and establishing resources for students. In line with these efforts, the OTC Foundation awards approximately $330,000 in need and merit-based scholarships to students annually. Since 2005, the OTC Foundation has awarded nearly $3 million in scholarship funds to students. For more information about the OTC Foundation, visit foundation.otc.edu.