The importance of education was instilled in Dr. Robert “Bob” Bush ’57 and Dr. Betty Johnson Bush ’60 at a young age. With that understanding and the pride they share for Northwest, the couple recently made a deferred commitment in the form of a bequest that will fund their existing Johnson-Bush Scholarship and provide additional, unrestricted support for Northwest’s greatest needs.
Recipients of the Johnson-Bush Scholarship must be a full-time junior or senior student who demonstrates leadership, maintains a 2.85 grade-point average or higher, and is majoring in early childhood education, elementary education, middle school education or secondary education.
The Johnson-Bush Scholarship also honors Betty’s mother, Lucile Agee Johnson ‘52, and her more than 30 years of teaching in rural communities of northwest Missouri. Lucile brought Betty to classes at Northwest while she was just a baby.
Having grown up in northwest Missouri, the Bushes transferred to Northwest from what was then St. Joseph Junior College to complete their bachelor’s degrees. Both Bob and Betty continued their educations, earning master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia and University of Missouri-Kansas City.
After several years with the St. Joseph School District and NASA, Bob was recruited to join Northwest’s staff in 1975 by then-president Dr. Robert Foster. He went on to provide the University with 34 years of service in various roles and helped establish numerous programs and services in the community, including Northwest’s renowned alternative energy program, before retiring in 2006. As a member of the Alumni Association, he helped organize alumni trips, social gatherings and fundraising events.
Betty joined the Northwest faculty in 1983, beginning as a reading instructor at Horace Mann Laboratory School and eventually advancing to the rank of professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. She also served as the department’s chair and retired in 2002.
In 2014, the Northwest Alumni Association honored the Bushes with Faculty Emeritus Awards for their impacts on countless Northwest students. The couple now resides in West Des Moines, Iowa, but maintain their pride in Northwest and interest in projects taking place in the Maryville community such as the recently completed Fourth Street Improvement Project and the development of the Watson 9 youth golf course at Mozingo Lake Recreation Park.
Scholarships associated with Johnson-Bush Scholarship