Eugene A. Malish Endowed Presidential Scholarship
The Eugene A. Malish Endowed Presidential Scholarship was established by the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System on November 17, 2010, to benefit The University of Texas College of Communication. The endowment honors Mr. Eugene Malish. Gift funds were provided by Mrs. Marsha and Mr. Robert Jones.
By Marsha Jones
My father and Robert’s father-in-law, Eugene (Gene) Malish, lived in Austin since his early adulthood, and The University of Texas was always important to him as he instilled in his family the value of education. He inspired everyone he met with his generosity of spirit, faithful encouragement, and belief that every person has the ability to fulfill their dreams when given the opportunity. And the lack of resources, in his view, should not be an impediment to an education. It was his philosophy that everyone deserved a chance to be their best, regardless of their social or economic status, and higher education was key to achieving their maximum potential.
Further, he instilled in each of his children the value and the importance of education. Dad was a wholly unselfish man who always put his family’s and friends’ needs ahead of his own. In particular, he and Mother made many personal sacrifices to ensure all his children had the educational opportunities they chose.
I am a graduate of the College of Communication. My husband, Robert, is a graduate of the McCombs School of Business. We have both been lifelong UT fans and supporters, as are numerous members of our families. My brother, Bobby Malish, and his wife, Michelle, are Communication graduates as well. Bobby earned a degree in photojournalism, Michelle in advertising. My brothers Eddie, Bobby, and I grew up in Austin, and we cannot recall a time when The University of Texas was not a part of our life.
Marsha and Robert Jones
During Dad’s funeral and memorial services several years ago, my family and I heard countless stories about him from people in the community whom we’d never met. His life’s example of giving generously was recounted over and over. That experience and his life motivated Robert and me to establish a permanent reminder of the difference one person can make in the life of many by giving.
By his example, my father brought out the best in whomever he met. As my brothers and I were growing up, he always told us how proud he was, regardless of what we did. For me, the influence of a father’s pride was powerful; his words of encouragement always made me feel as if I could achieve any goal, especially with an education. That is why we think he would be so honored to help provide financial support for persons for whom that opportunity might otherwise be beyond their grasp.
If I had to tell someone else one thing about my father, I would say Dad was a great man. His was a greatness defined by characteristics not often valued by society. He lived what most would describe as an average or even simple life: working, loving his family, attending church, attending and watching football games almost as faithfully as church, and volunteering in a variety of settings in his retirement. But he was great in the character of the man he was: humble, faithful, unselfish, devoted to family. A man not measured by bank accounts or public accomplishments.
My husband and I chose this endowment to honor the commitment to community, family, and education my father lived every day. It was important for the endowment to fund scholarships to the College of Communication because our family has such strong family ties to that school and it was important that the endowment seek to assist a student in need of financial support and from a small community, as my father was born in a very small town and grew up in Taylor, Texas when it was considered a rural community prior to settling in Austin. Supporting a student from a small town in need of financial support is like helping the student he would have been. This endowment is our way of remembering Gene Malish in a way he lived his life: always contributing so someone else could have a better life.
Through his generosity, giving spirit, and commitment to education, my father instilled in me a sense that we all have a responsibility to something larger than ourselves. Regardless of the nature of our skills or the size of our financial resources, we all have something to give to others. Being faithful to that responsibility — indeed, to that privilege — gives life true meaning.
I am blessed to have found my husband, Robert, who shares my Dad’s integrity and so many of his character traits. Because Robert shares my father’s values, this opportunity to honor him and to financially support the University is possible.