TYPE OF FUND: Field of Interest
DATE ESTABLISHED: Initiated May 20, 2014
PURPOSE: To advance the education and/or development of creative or technical writing in students or young professionals in Tucker County or surrounding counties in West Virginia with special consideration given to those writings focusing on the promotion of the humanities, specifically addressing tolerance, social introspection and responsibility.
DISTRIBUTION: Upon the recommendation by the Grants Committee and approval by the full Board of Directors of TCF.
VARIANCE POWER: If, in the judgment of the TCF Board of Directors, the restrictions and conditions of the fund become unnecessary, incapable of fulfillment or inconsistent with the charitable needs of the community, the TCF Board of Directors maintains the right to modify the terms of this fund.
FUNDING: Memorial donations by friends and family.
BACKGROUND: Ellis came to us as with much anticipation; as the first grandchild in the Boury family, he was named after his father and grandfather, and became affectionately known as Ellis Michael. We smiled at his byline while writing for the Parsons Advocate, Ellis Boury III. He was finding his way and had found a home, our second home as a family, (which he had grown up coming to), in the mountains of West Virginia. If you knew Ellis, you might have seen in his bright blue eyes, a longing for a simple life, quiet and peaceful, being a part of what he wrote about the most, humanity; you might have also seen him dancing his way through the day.
From a young age it was apparent that he had come to the world with wisdom. At home, the poster above his desk was a picture of Albert Einstein with the following passage, “great spirits have always been met with violent opposition from mediocre minds.” This was how he ticked; we became quite aware that Ellis was a seeker of knowledge, a Renaissance man as his uncle affectionately referred to him. While others were outside playing, we would have to pry Ellis away from reading, constantly thinking, never at rest from the youngest age. It was as if he was on a mission. He devoured books, reading Lloyd Alexander, C.S. Lewis, and Tolkien at a young age. Academics came easy to him which became only a task by high school as he was interested in his own pursuit. While in the advanced track classes, he grew impatient, and began writing about unrest in society, lack of acceptance, tolerance, and social responsibility. Most prolific at 16 years old, he wrote a series of essays on the social condition and human responsibility as well as a footnoted collection of “Musings”, poems and prose ready for publication. At the end of a five page essay on “Friendship – Documented Deconstruction of Modern Human Social Structure”, at 16 he wrote,
“The author wishes it be known that beyond any pleasure in all the universe, beyond love of any material thing or notion, he doth desire but the company of good, loving companions, that they may laugh and love and live in peace on this beautiful earth forevermore.”
His main literary diversion was Feist as complex fantasy, as well as any literature on string and chaos theory including The Elegant Universe, and any work by Richard Dawkins which were stacked on his desk at the time of his passing.
Ellis started college at the University of Pittsburgh in the honors program as an entry engineering student. We remember the abhorrent look on Ellis’ face when his adviser so excitedly informed him that he would not have to take any English or writing courses due to his SAT scores. While science seemingly was his gift, his attempts to find the path led him quickly to liberal studies and the humanities. While in college, he worked in the Writing Lab as a mentor, and earned a scholarship which ultimately helped us seed this fund. He had found a good place, and while many students requested his help, he was restless with the academic pace. Ultimately, in trying to find his place, Ellis moved to Davis, WV in the summer of 2013. He had found his home, friends who were also finding their place, nestled safely in the mountains.
This had become Ellis’ life quest, very simply, to spread the love. We realize this now that many young writers with strong convictions such as Ellis may underestimate the power of their own thoughts as they come down to the paper. We hope that this fund will become a beacon for those who feel passionately about the human condition and our place in the universe as did our son; to share your work and flourish as you spread discourse about these simple daily acts that can change a seemingly over complex world.
While Ellis was still finding the true way to leave his print, we now know that he was doing just that. We will continue to think that as some stars burn slow and steady for many, many years, others burn hot and bright and are gone in a moment. Ellis was an intense star. We celebrated his life on his birthday September 26th, 2014; he would be 28 years old.
We would pass one simple thought to those of you seeking knowledge; that in your quest many other lives will be touched; never underestimate a warm embrace, a smile, and true, honest words. We are all human.