To honor the life and legacy of one of the school’s founders, the West Bay Christian Academy created the Doug & Evelyn Brush Scholarship Fund.
The Brushes were known for their desire to provide assistance to families looking for a Christian education for their children, so naming the school’s scholarship program after the couple made sense. Providing financial aid has always been a priority for West Bay Academy, and now that aid will be given in the Brushes’ name.
“One of Doug’s priorities was to make a Christian education affordable for kids regardless of their families’ financial situation, so I think making the scholarship in his and Evelyn’s name is an extremely important thing for us to do,” said Dr. Richard Clarkson, the school’s headmaster since 2006.
Evelyn was always a major partner in Doug’s work on behalf of the school, so it was determined that the fund would be named for both of them.
Doug, who passed away in April of 2012, was very dedicated to the Warwick community; a World War II veteran, he worked for the Warwick Police Department for 26 years and was an elder at Buttonwoods Bible Chapel. The Brushes were also licensed foster parents to over 100 children throughout their life.
Evelyn passed away in 2013, about a year after her husband. Doug was inspired to start an academy in Rhode Island after briefly serving as headmaster of Sunbury Christian Academy in Pennsylvania. West Bay Academy opened in 1981 under leadership from Doug and fellow founders John Farrell, Rev. Henry Bell and Rev. Linwood Bishop.
“Doug wanted kids to be rooted in God’s word as children, and he saw the school as the best way to accomplish that,” said Clarkson.
Over the years, Doug was a member of the school’s Board of Trustees and a supporter of the school, attending events and graduations together with Evelyn. Doug even came out of retirement in 2000 to work traffic detail to financially support the school.
At the time of his death, West Bay had grown to a preschool through grade eight facility with over 200 students enrolled.
“Doug was such a huge part of our beginning and history. West Bay was his vision and his dream, and the scholarship allows that dream to continue.”
Students will not need to apply directly for aid from the Brush Scholarship Fund; the scholarship will support and supplement what is already provided to families in their need-based packages.
“He was such a big proponent of making sure families had access to West Bay regardless of their financial situation,” said Whitney Bonham, West Bay Academy’s director of marketing and development. The hope is that by honoring Doug and Evelyn in this way, word will continue to spread about the school’s financial giving.
In addition to West Bay’s contribution to the scholarship fund, the school will be open to accepting private donations for the scholarships.
Last year, over $140,000 in financial aid, including money from the Rhode Island Scholarship Alliance, was given to West Bay families. Tuition at West Bay Christian Academy ranges between $7,000 and $7,500 a year depending on grade.