First Quarter

Church, Family, Sports

His story begins in east Arkansas where Sunday at the First United Methodist Church in Clarendon was the kickoff of the Harding family’s week. His parents were well respected educators where his father was a coach and then principal of Clarendon High School; his mother a school counselor after years in the classroom. Coach and Mrs. Harding were strict disciplinarians, and young Rush never disappointed them. They instilled public service, humility, and hard work. That is why Rush had perfect attendance both at school and his Sunday school class. In fact, Rush has never missed a day of work for illness nor an entire week of vacation in more than 40 years. He has managed medical procedures and funerals by working around them so he can be back in the office before the markets close. Rush also attained the impressive Eagle Scout designation from the Boy Scouts of America, something only 4% of Scouts achieve. But that’s Rush-always doing what only a handful of people have ever done.

Rush loved all sports but there are fond memories of Little League baseball, and varsity football and basketball. His parents' work ethic is what shaped him though. While his parents, the late Rush “Buddy” Harding, Jr. and Martha Ann Harding, obtained their post-graduate degrees at what is now the University of Central Arkansas, Rush would live with them on campus in Conway, Ark., a town he would provide significant contributions both with his gregarious personality as an undergrad and leader on campus and finally as a real estate developer/investor.

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