Mitchell Community College Endowment for Excellence recently received a $100,000 donation from Drs. John and Suanne Roueche to establish an endowed scholarship with the Colleges’ Endowment for Excellence. Since 2002, the Roueches have contributed full-time scholarships to support ten Mitchell students per year. The new donation will establish the John & Suanne Roueche Endowed Scholarship Fund. The fund is permanently restricted, and only the interest generated will be used for annual scholarships, allowing the fund to benefit students in perpetuity.
The Roueches have a long-standing connection to Mitchell — Dr. John Roueche graduated from Mitchell in 1958. “I never would have gone into teaching had it not been for my experience with caring faculty and staff at Mitchell,” Roueche stated. Mitchell faculty, he noted, have a personal connection with their students that goes far beyond the classroom. Speaking from his own experience during his time at Mitchell, Roueche reminisced about one particular faculty member, Louis Brown, who gave him a “gift that no one could ever repay.” Professor Brown asked the then young adult Roueche if he had ever considered being a serious student. Roueche remembers this question, “Have you ever thought about what you might accomplish if you learned everything you possibly could?” and then his advice, “If you just decide to live your life that way, just giving it your best, you will always have options throughout your life.” Roueche took Professor Brown’s words to heart and continues his commitment to education today.
Both Drs. Roueche have a strong belief in the power of education. Higher education, whether community college or university, is where lives are changed. When asked about their one wish for the students who are beneficiaries of their Mitchell scholarships, Dr. John Roueche replied, “That somehow this support and the culture at Mitchell will help them to see themselves in ways they never thought of before.” Dr. Suanne Roueche replied, “That they will embrace the concept of ‘looking forward, reaching back,’ that having educational opportunities of their own would remind them to encourage others to take that journey.” Very few people, they both noted, make it very far in life without having people helping them and pushing them along the way. They hope they can give back and “help students become more than they ever envisioned.”
Dr. John Roueche is president of the Roueche Graduate Center, National American University. Previously, he served as the Sid W. Richardson Regents Chair and as professor and director of
the Community College Leadership Program at The University of Texas at Austin from 1971-2012. Roueche received his Ph.D. in higher education administration from Florida State University, in 1964. He has served as a high school history and English teacher, community college dean of students and instructional dean, and faculty member at UCLA and Duke University. Since 1970, Roueche has spoken to more than 1,300 colleges and universities on multiple topics of teaching and leadership excellence. He is the author of 37 books and more than 175 articles and chapters focused on leadership, teaching and learning. He has received several dozen national awards for his research and leadership, including the Distinguished Career Research Award, from the University of Texas, the university’s highest research award.
Dr. Suanne Roueche is Senior Lecturer Emeritus in the Department of Educational Administration at The University of Texas at Austin, and Director Emeritus for the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD). Roueche is a graduate of North Texas State University, where she received her B.A. and M.A. degrees in English. She received her Ph.D. in educational administration from The University of Texas at Austin, in 1976. Her major program of work was completed in the Community College Leadership Program in the Department of Educational Administration. Prior to beginning her graduate work, she taught for nine years at El Centro College (Dallas, TX), developing and implementing a nationally recognized developmental studies writing program. Since 1974, she has spoken to more than 400 colleges, universities, and conferences on topics of teaching and learning. She is the author of 14 books and more than 50 articles and chapters focused on teaching and learning in American colleges and universities.
The Mitchell Community College Endowment for Excellence was established in 1996, by the Mitchell Community College Board of Trustees, to facilitate fundraising and encourage public support of the College. Since its inception, the Endowment has contributed more than $3.5 million to Mitchell Community College, allowing the development of additional programs and services for students. For more information on the Endowment, including ways to give, please contact the Office of Development and College Relations at (704) 878-4321.