Bagwell Scholarship created in McCurtain County

DURANT, Okla. – The Tom and Betty Bagwell Scholarship has been established through the Southeastern Foundation and the Eastern State College Foundation to benefit students attending Southeastern’s McCurtain County Campus.

An endowment ceremony was held Wednesday on the McCurtain County Campus. Southeastern president Larry Minks, Eastern president Steve Smith, Betty Bagwell and trustees of the Bagwell scholarship trust fund were among those in attendance.

Carlos Daniel Thomas “Tom” Bagwell passed away May 31, 2011, at the age of 92.

He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on October 10, 1939, and spent the majority of his career in various naval hospitals at home and abroad. His last assignment was with the Naval Hospital in St. Albans, New York, as Chief Warrant Officer. He retired on December 3, 1963.

The long-time Idabel civic leader spent time on his 1,477-acre Bear Hollow Farms in Pineville, Missouri, working with cattle and timber. He returned to the medical field as supervisor for Brown and Root Construction. In 1970, he was transferred to the Weyerhaeuser Company in Valliant, Oklahoma.

He served on various boards of directors in Idabel and eastern Oklahoma, and was charter president of the McCurtain County Historical Society from 1972-73. He also served 10 years as director of the Oklahoma Heritage Association in Oklahoma City.

After retirement from Weyerhaeuser in 1979, he was actively involved in the Idabel Rotary Club, serving as District Governor (1988-89), the Masons and the American Legion.

Tom and wife Betty have sponsored the Tom and Betty Bagwell Scholarship Fund for more than 10 years for McCurtain County seniors to study at Southeastern’s McCurtain County campus for six credit hours.

Tom was a member of the First Baptist Church of Idabel and wrote the first church history book in 1976, detailing the first 75 years of the church.