The family, husband and children of a member of the University of Arkansas System College of Agriculture who passed away suddenly in December will be remembered by the Arkansas 4-H Foundation.
The foundation has created a scholarship in memory of Hope and Don Bragg, their son Kenny, 22, and daughter Elizabeth, 19. The four people died in a house explosion on December 30th while visiting family in Michigan. Survived by their son Stephen (16) and Hope's father Richard Pruden.
On Friday, the Department of Agriculture announced it would donate $5,000 to the fund.
The Bragg Family Memorial Scholarship Fund recognizes Hope Bragg, a 4-H STEM instructor with the Farm Bureau Cooperative Extension Service. Her husband, Don, was a project leader for the U.S. Forest Service with offices at the University of Arkansas at Monticello.
“We would like to thank John Thomas and the 4-H Foundation for quickly establishing this scholarship in honor of Hope and the Bragg family,” said Agriculture Department Director DeQue Fields. “This scholarship will honor their memory for years to come by helping young people achieve their college goals.”
The Bragg family is beloved by their friends and colleagues, many of whom have donated to this fund. With the department's $5,000 donation, the foundation has now raised $16,000, said John Thomas, the foundation's managing director. The foundation said it needs $25,000 to contribute to the endowment so it can maintain its funding and award scholarships from the interest it earns.
“Our 4-H, extension agents and agriculture department families are all devastated by the sudden loss of our beloved colleague,” said John Anderson, director of Cooperative Extension Services. “We all wanted to do something to honor the Bragg family and their love for Arkansas 4-H, education, and especially science. This scholarship will help 4-H members further I hope to get an education and be able to pursue my passion for science.”
This scholarship is awarded annually to an Arkansas 4-H member high school senior who plans to pursue a college degree in the field of natural resources or science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. Archeology is also a field of study.
Hope and Don are both members of the Arkansas Archaeological Society, and their son Kenny was scheduled to graduate from Michigan Technological University this spring with a degree in archeology. Their daughter Beth was a freshman at the University of Arkansas, and Hope was pursuing his Ph.D.
“This is our mission to ensure that the passion that members of the Bragg family had for 4-H is not only remembered, but passed on to future generations of Arkansas 4-H youth. method,” Thomas said.
Hope and Don both shared a deep love of education.
“They were both very focused on youth education,” said Debbie Nissler, assistant vice president for 4-H youth development at the Farm Bureau. “If I ever have the opportunity to see either of them working with youth, I can't help but be excited. We want to make their passion for education a legacy.”
For more information about the Arkansas 4-H Foundation and scholarships, please visit: https://www.arkansas4hfoundation.org.