Alumnus creates scholarship for volunteerism

Bud Tully ’59 wants to recognize students for their commitment to service

For Bud Tully ’59, helping others is its own reward. So it was a natural extension of his own ethic of service when he established the Robert C. Tully Endowed Scholarship for Volunteerism.

 “Service for me and my family and the church that I belong to goes back a long way,” says the retired schoolteacher and MU administrator who was raised in the Church of the Brethren.

The scholarship, Tully says, is something he can do “to recognize service for students coming to the University for what they’ve done, and what I think the alumni of the University want them to continue to do when they leave.”

The endowed fund, he adds, fits with Manchester’s longtime motto of “learning, faith and service.”

Tully certainly understands Manchester.

In the mid-1950s, he followed a grandfather, his parents, aunts, uncles and cousins to the family college in North Manchester. He majored in math and physics education, played football and was active in extra-curricular activities.

After graduation, he taught two years at Wabash High School before joining Brethren Volunteer Service for a year, something he wanted to do since he was a child.

With BVS, he served as director of the Church of the Brethren’s National Youth Conference in Colorado. He stayed with the church for several years at its Elgin, Ill., headquarters, where he worked on the youth ministry staff. After a year earning a master’s degree in counseling and guidance at Indiana University, he returned to his alma mater, serving first as Manchester’s dean of men, then as director of alumni affairs, and finally as director of admissions.

He missed the classroom, however, and finished his career teaching mathematics at Manchester Junior High School, retiring in 1995.

 “I made a deliberate choice in retirement not to get other jobs but to focus on volunteering,” says Tully, who has served the Manchester Church of the Brethren in numerous roles, as well as the Manchester Symphony Orchestra Board and Friends of the Library, the auxiliary arm of the North Manchester Public Library.

These days, Tully spends two days a week tutoring math at the Learn More Center in North Manchester, helping people work toward their high school equivalency diploma or prepare for college-level courses. With preparation time, Tully estimates he works 15 to 20 hours a week for the center.

“It allows me to use my background and skills to help an individual student along rather than a classroom of students,” says Tully.

Tully doesn’t attach strings to his endowed scholarship at Manchester. He trusts MU to steward the gift wisely and says he would be happy to have it go to either incoming students or those already at Manchester.

The important thing is that service be recognized and rewarded, because it’s such an important part of the Manchester culture.

“I just really hope that people find ways to volunteer in their lives because, in many ways, it can be very rewarding and sometimes the most rewarding experience that they have beyond their work,” he says.

“I enjoyed the things that I did in my work experience but the frosting on the cake is your volunteer work and doing the things that you choose to do with some people that you might not have had contact with otherwise.”

Manchester encourages students to get out of their comfort zones, and service is no different, says Tully. “Sometimes in volunteering you get out of your wheelhouse and do something different.”