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When his mom died Oct. 27, 2004, Tred Hurst knew where he had to go.
“After I left the hospital, I came right to the Center for Women,” he said. “I discussed with Pat [Murphy, interim director] what my sisters and I wanted to do.”
Tred and his sisters, Angela and Shannon, wanted to establish a scholarship in memory of their mother, Rebecca A. Hurst, a well-known domestic violence victim advocate in the area.
“She was so respected in the battered women’s community for her work on behalf of women and children,” said Dr. Patricia Murphy. “Her children raised $10,000 in seven months to endow the scholarship. That’s amazing. They have so much love and respect for her.”
The first Rebecca Martin Hurst Scholarship for women survivors of domestic violence will be given this spring. The deadline to apply for the $350 award is April 1. Those interested should contact the Financial Aid Office at 419.530.8700 or stop by Rocket Hall Room 1200.
“She believed education meant everything,” Tred said. “Working with domestic violence
victims was her passion. This scholarship will carry on her work.”
In 1994, Rebecca decided to complete her bachelor’s degree and turned to the Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women.
“The Displaced Homemakers Program [Project Succeed] started her back to school,” Tred recalled. “She always wanted to be a social worker. She was a big advocate for women’s rights.”
Rebecca received a bachelor’s degree in 1996 and started working as a domestic violence victim advocate for Behavioral Connections in Bowling Green and later Family Service of Northwest Ohio. And she continued her education, earning a master’s degree in guidance counseling in 1998.
“I was so proud of my mom for going back to school,” Shannon said. “My mom was a selfless woman — going back to school was the first thing she ever did for herself.”
“Education was one of the most important things to my mother,” Angela said. “She was the perfect person to educate domestic violence victims on how to gain control of their lives and rebuild their self-esteem and their faith. She fought harder for those women than some of them fought for themselves. She always said that education was the window to freedom.”
Rebecca assisted with a research project to assess the need for a battered women’s shelter in Wood County, according to Dr. Mary Krueger, director of the Bowling Green State University Women’s Center. The Cocoon Shelter in Bowling Green opened in June 2005. “Unfortunately, she did not live to see that,” Krueger said.
Tred said he and his sisters learned more about their mom’s work after she died. Krueger understood that: “A lot of her work was fairly unhappy. She was working with unhappy issues, people in crisis and people in pain. She was a victim advocate for battered women — she went to court with them, sat in police stations with them. She was on the front lines of the horrible details of what abuse victims go through,” she said. “I think she made the decision not to take that home.”
And Rebecca wasn’t the kind of person to want credit for anything. “She would help someone silently by doing something, and they would realize in time what she did to help them,” Angela said.
Tred agreed. “My mom was not a person who ever wanted attention. She was a behind-the-scenes person,” he said. “To kind of shine the light posthumously on her with this scholarship is nice.”
The second annual Becky’s Tea will take place Sunday, May 7, at 2 p.m. in the Student Union Ingman Room. Last year, the event raised $3,000 to help endow the scholarship.
“The tea party is a wonderful way to remember my mother and raise money to send another woman through college,” Angela said.
For more information about the scholarship or Becky’s Tea, call the UT Center for Women at 419.530.8570.