Tucked away in south Arkansas, near the Louisiana border, is the city of El Dorado. El Dorado has always had a spot in my heart because it was where my uncle coached and where my cousins lived. Visiting cousins didn't require a cross-country trip, just a short jaunt down down Highways 35 and 167 (Fordyce, the hometown of the legendary Paul "Bear" Bryant, was the half-way point on our journey from Benton to El Dorado).
When I was 23, I was offered the opportunity to move to El Dorado and serve as Youth Minister at the College Avenue Church of Christ. The opportunity to work with Dan Williams would have been outstanding, but something about the timing, then, didn't seem to fit with what I believed God was doing in my life.
Had I known then what I learned yesterday, I might have analyzed the will of God differently!
Yesterday, the El Dorado Promise Scholarship was announced. In recent years, El Dorado has become an economically depressed city, as has much of south Arkansas, but El Dorado has a real treasure in Murphy Oil. Murphy Oil's headquarters are located in El Dorado and the higher-up's with Murphy Oil have decided to do something unheard of in the history of public school education.
Murphy Oil is the el dorado of El Dorado.
As a way of giving back to the community and investing in the future, Murphy Oil has committed money ($50 Million) to a trust that will fund full scholarships for all graduates of El Dorado High School who choose to go to college.
That's full scholarships for all graduates to the college of each student's choosing.
When the announcement was made at El Dorado high school yesterday, one young El Dorado high school student sent this text message to his grandmother: "Don't worry. College is PAID for."
In an era of "big oil" company bashing, big kudos to Murphy Oil for their investment in the future.