The education Dr. Robert “Bob” Durant received at Northwest left a lasting impact on him so that when he died at the age of 76 in 2016 his estate plans included a provision that his farm near Savannah, Missouri, be sold and the proceeds be distributed to the Northwest Foundation for the establishment of the Huffman-Durant Scholarship.
“The farm was dear to him, so he wanted to do something that was a memory to the farm, his grandparents, his mom, his dad and himself when he passed,” Roger Durant, cousin of Bob Durant, said. “He was perpetual about education, and his passion was to help others.”
As a result of his wishes, the non-renewable scholarship – named for Bob as well as his mother, Marjorie Durant, and maternal grandmother, Minnie Huffman – will benefit deserving students attending Northwest from Andrew or Buchanan counties in Missouri, based on criteria of the Office of Financial Assistance.
Laurie Long, senior gift planning officer with the Northwest Foundation, worked with Bob to ensure his interest in giving to the University was met.
“I am extremely grateful to Bob for including Northwest in his estate plans,” she said. “After many conversations regarding his giving objectives, it’s humbling to see the much-needed scholarship assistance that Bob’s generosity will provide for our students. What a wonderful way to honor his family’s legacy.”
Always up for an adventure, Bob’s career spanned teaching, neuro-psychology and private clinical practice in addition to a life of myriad interests that included competing in rodeo and bull riding contests – and race cars, from working on them and driving them to enjoying vintage auto racing throughout the country. His love for horses began at an early age and continued through his adult years as he competed in the amateur rodeo circuit and was once a National Junior Bull Riding Rodeo Champion.
After completing a bachelor’s degree at the University of Missouri-Columbia, Bob furthered his education at Northwest and later obtained a doctorate degree from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville before returning to Northwest in the early 1970s to teach graduate-level psychology courses. Bob established a private practice in the mountain region of Frisco, Colorado, where he worked as a clinical psychologist and served on the Colorado State Board of Psychologist Examiners. While living in Colorado, he also enjoyed snow skiing and mountain biking, and he formed the Summit County Water Rescue Team, which remains active today.
Eventually, Bob moved to Fort Collins, Colorado, where he worked for several years with at-risk high school students and set up grants to support their schooling. After retiring, he spent a few years traveling the country with a private racing team and then returned to his deep roots in Savannah, where he cared for his grandmother, mother and the family farm purchased in 1919 and passed on to Marjorie.
Scholarships associated with Huffman-Durant