Category: History

Cowboy Tuesday: The Eugene J. TenBrink Scholarship Fund

Eugene J. TenBrink, ca. 1950s. Courtesy of Eileen Moelker.

As a member of the Allendale Zoning Board and Allendale Improvement Association, Eugene TenBrink was instrumental in securing the location for a new institution of higher education in West Michigan: Grand Valley State College (now University) (GVSU). He had always regretted not telling his mother he was going out West and so Eugene established a $10,000 scholarship in her honor. The description of that gift states that his mother, Alice, was “remembered for her strength, faith, and courage.”

The Alice TenBrink scholarship was fully paid out and deactivated in 2008. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of my book, Grandpa the Cowboy: A Young Man’s Journey through the American West, was used to establish a new scholarship to support first-generation college students at GVSU who are interested in American history. If you would like to make an additional donation to support that scholarship fund, you may do so at Thank you for your generosity!

To buy the book about Eugene’s time as a cowboy, please visit  


Forner, Virginia (Rotman) (2020) Granddaughter of Eugene TenBrink. Personal communication, 4 January.

O & A Electrical Cooperative (OAEC) (1965) “Former O & A President Dies” Along Our High Lines. June 4.

Phillips, Briette Bryant (2022) Development Director for Scholarship and Fellowship Giving, University Development, Grand Valley State University. Personal Communication, May 12.