A Registered 501(c)3 Public Charity

Bessie Mae Murray and Bonnie Ruth Smith Memorial Scholarship

Bonnie Ruth Smith

The Bessie Mae Murray and Bonnie Ruth Smith Memorial Scholarship, established in 2017, is a tribute to the memories of Bessie Murray and Bonnie Smith, two strong African-American women who were pillars of their communities. They were the matriarchs of their family’s, and have each left a tremendous legacy in their names.

A scholarship will be awarded annually to a student who demonstrates strong morals, a love for their fellow woman, positivity, and actively strives to better herself and her community.

Bessie and Bonnie were both lifelong nurtures and caregivers. It is our goal to continue to help advance our fellow sisters in bettering their lives, with the same mindset, ethics, and strength that these two women exhibited in their lifetime.

Bessie Mae Lowe was born and raised in Palestine, Texas on November 25, 2017 to Bethel and Zola Lowe; she was the second of seven children. She came from modest beginnings, being raised on a farm in a one bedroom home, with no electricity or running water. In 1933, in an era when it was difficult for African Americans to receive formal education, Bessie attended Pine Hill Elementary until the sixth grade. In 1938, she attended Henry High Scholl in Elkhart, Texas. She graduated valedictorian in 1943.

On June 19, 1947 Bessie married Isaiah Murray and moved to Houston, Texas. She had three son, and went on to become an entrepreneur for over 40 years. In 1960, she opened Murray’s Daycare Center, which she owned and operated until 2004. Bessie was a devout Christian, and strongly walked in faith until the day she transitioned to Heaven on August 4, 2017.

Bonnie Ruth Graham was born on November 17, 1919 to Rufus and Bertha Graham in Stafford, Texas; she was the eldest of seven children. As a child she was passionate about learning and helping others.

In 1935, Bonnie married Frank Smith, Jr and moved to Houston, Texas. Their union produced twelve children. She worked in her community and assisted her neighbors by offering words of encouragement and being available to lift a helping hand, when needed.

Bonnie enjoyed cooking, sewing, caregiving, serving God, and spending time with her family and friends. She devotedly raised her children under the word of God until the day He called her home on September 4, 2016.

In the name of these two great women, we want aide minority women in making their tomorrow better than their today. Education is a priceless tool than no person can take away; whether the education is a two-year institution, a four-year college, or a vocational school. “The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge.” – Bertrand Russell.

Fund Administrators

  • Ithaca McCollin


CharitySmith accepts donations in two ways:

By Mail:
The Bessie Mae Murray and Bonnie Ruth Smith Memorial Scholarship
Attn: Nireasha Murray
5100 Westheimer Rd, Suite 200
Houston, Texas 77056

Use credit card by clicking the link below.

The above Memorial Fund is established as a division of Charitysmith Nonprofit Foundation (EIN 87-0636433). All donations are tax- deductible in accordance with federal tax law. Receipts for tax purposes are sent via US Mail within two weeks of donation. Please consider asking if your employer participates in a gift-matching program. If so, your donation may be matched by your employer.

For questions regarding your donation or this memorial fund please contact CharitySmith.

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