Memorial scholarship celebrates student’s legacy


The Brady Cole Scherer Memorial Scholarship honors ’21 alumnus Cole Scherer. (Photo courtesy of Scherer family)

Erinn Finley, Staff Writer

The parents of a former Murray State student launched a scholarship for English and creative writing students in memory of their son who died in February.

Christopher Brady “Cole” Scherer held a bachelor’s degree in English and was working toward a second bachelor’s degree in Japanese at Murray State. His plan after college was to teach English in Japan for a year.

His parents, Christopher and Laurie Scherer, started the Brady Cole Scherer Memorial Scholarship in honor of their son’s love for the University.

During his time at the University, Cole developed a deep appreciation for Murray State and the college experience. Although he eventually moved off campus to focus on his studies, he remained involved by working as front desk security at White College, according to a University press release.

“He was a deep thinker,” Laurie said. “His teachers loved him because he was one of those kids that…just wanted to do his best, but he always wanted to help somebody else, and if he could do something for somebody that really didn’t have the same advantages he had, he was all for that.”

Cole encouraged his peers to pursue higher education and helped his close friends in their journeys at the University.

“That’s one of the reasons why we wanted to do this scholarship because we knew that he would want us to continue helping other people, giving them a hand up, not a handout, so they can realize their goals and dreams,” Laurie said. “And in some small way, we can be a part of that, and Brady can, too.”

Kala Allen-Dunn, the director of Development for the College of Humanities and Fine Arts and the Honors College, helped the family  establish the scholarship.

“A lot of what I do in working with scholarships is talking with the family of the person if it’s a memorial scholarship and finding out a little information about them so that I can help create guidelines with a biography that reflects who the person was,” Allen-Dunn said.

The family established a renewable scholarship, which means they will continually add money every year to the scholarship fund.

The scholarship is for students majoring or minoring in creative writing or English. Allen-Dunn said the scholarship can go to a student at any level of study—undergraduate, graduate, post baccalaureate, etc.—so long as they have a 3.0 GPA.

“Through their generosity, Laurie and Chris, they’ve really ensured that…[Cole] is going to continue to make a difference in the lives of Murray State students,” Allen-Dunn said. “This scholarship will help people obtain degrees and go on to lead successful careers, so what they’ve done has really made a difference and made sure that Cole is still making a difference in the lives of others.”

Chris said the scholarship currently awards $1,000 dollars to the recipient.  Laurie and Chris hope the scholarship will grow until it can be a full ride scholarship for the student who receives it.

Eventually, Cole’s parents would also like to expand the scholarship and have one for both the English department and the Japanese program, if funds allow.

Laurie teaches English at North Pemiscot High School in Wardell, Missouri. The school held a fundraiser called Baskets for Brady, a basketball competition that includes students and adults from other local schools.

Laurie said there was enough interest that the school is considering holding two competitions next time, one for the high school and one for the junior high school.

Laurie said Cole really flourished at Murray State. She couldn’t believe the changes she saw at him even at the start of his time at the University.

“I remember when he came home that first weekend and just sitting around and talking,” Laurie said. “He’s like, ‘Mom, oh my gosh, I can be myself. I can explore the things that I want to explore. I can say what I want to say.’”

Memorial contributions to the scholarship fund can be made by contacting the Murray State University Office of Development at 270-809-3001.