Cameron University to establish Jessie Pittman Dunbar President’s Distinguished Scholarship

Cameron University will establish the Jessie Pittman Dunbar President’s Distinguished Scholarship (PDS) in Teacher Education, the university’s fourth PDS. It is made possible thanks to a gift received from the estate of the late Jessie Pittman Dunbar. A contribution of $25,000 or more is required to establish a President’s Distinguished Scholarship, Cameron’s most prestigious academic scholarship.

“The late Jessie Pittman Dunbar was a staunch advocate of education,” says Cameron President Cindy Ross. “Her generous bequest to Cameron is evidence of that. Private donations such as the gifts made by Mrs. Dunbar are vital to the students of Cameron University. They are one of the reasons that for the past three years, Cameron has ranked in the top three in the nation among like institutions with students graduating with a low-debt load.”

photo of jessie pittman dunbarJessie Pittman Dunbar graduated from Cameron Junior College in 1934. In 2003, she presented $3,000 to the Cameron University Foundation to be used for scholarships. A member of President’s Partners, Mrs. Dunbar was a regular donor until her death in 2007. Predeceased by both her husband Paul and her only child, Franklin, who was also a Cameron graduate, Mrs. Dunbar included Cameron in her estate planning. 

To date, Cameron has received gifts and assets, including mineral rights valued at $361,793, exceeding $500,000 from the Dunbar estate. In addition to the PDS, funds have been used for a variety of projects on campus, including $30,000 for the Bentley Gardens, where an Area of Repose commemorating Mrs. Dunbar’s life was established. Another $30,000 was allocated to the McMahon Centennial Complex as part of the “Pillar of Support” program. Funds will continue to accumulate from the mineral rights that Cameron received from the Dunbar estate.

Mrs. Dunbar was one of the children of Comanche County pioneers Tuck and Anna Pittman, whose dedication to education has become a family legacy. More than 30 Pittman descendants have attended Cameron, and more than half have become educators. Members of the Pittman family have endowed two lectureships and one scholarship at Cameron in recent years.

“Much of our family has always been devoted to education,” says Tuck Pittman, a nephew of Jessie Pittman Dunbar. “The Pittman family firmly believes that higher education is a vital part of giving the children of Comanche County the opportunity for a bright future.”


January 5, 2011