EKU Foundation Receives Gift from Estate of Louise Rutledge Dowerman

Dowerman photo

The Eastern Kentucky University Foundation has received a gift of $843,420 from the estate of the late Louise Rutledge Dowerman.

The gift will support the Rutledge-Dowerman Endowed Scholarship Fund and benefit deserving EKU students for years to come. Combined with past contributions, the estate gift makes Dowerman, a 1933 graduate of Eastern Kentucky State Teachers College, one of the University’s most generous benefactors.

A Richmond native who spent much of her life in Florida before retiring to Danville, said in 1996 when she established the scholarship fund that she “always had a great love for Eastern. First of all, you get a wonderful education there, as good as any college. And I made some wonderful friendships there that lasted a lifetime.”

Dowerman’s father, Dr. John Hunt Rutledge, and her brother, Dr. Harold Rutledge, both practiced medicine in Richmond. Both of her brothers, Dr. Harold Rutledge and Dr. Charles Rutledge, also earned degrees at Eastern.

After graduating from Eastern, Dowerman served as a librarian at her alma mater and then at Broward Community College in Florida, where she was active in college and community fine and performing arts activities and helped her husband, Jake, run the family farm. Not long after her husband passed away, she moved to Danville, where she was similarly involved in the community. She passed away in October 2012 at the age of 100.

She also earned a degree from Vanderbilt University Peabody College and attended graduate school at the University of Wisconsin. In 1997, Dowerman was inducted into the EKU Hall of Distinguished Alumni and received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from the University. In 2000, when she served as grand marshal of EKU’s annual Homecoming Parade, Dr. Skip Daugherty, then associate vice president and executive director of the University’s Alumni Association, said, “Mrs. Dowerman is one of those special people whose love for Eastern is contagious.”

Published on April 17, 2013