MSU-Meridian scholarships awarded through Scotts’ planned gift

Contact:  Lisa Sollie

MERIDIAN, Miss.—Eight Mississippi State University-Meridian students are 2019-20 scholarship recipients through the Jerry and Ruth Scott Foundation.A woman and man hold a big check with a student

Established by the Scotts in 2016 and managed by Citizens National Bank’s Wealth Management Division in Meridian, the foundation is designed to benefit working adult students completing their degrees at MSU-Meridian who have maintained high academic achievement. Over $70,000 in scholarship assistance has been awarded since its inception.

Benefactors Jerry and Ruth Scott made their home in Meridian for more than 30 years and were active community members. Jerry Scott served as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist with Anderson Regional Health System. Ruth Scott, a native of Hinesville, Georgia, attended MSU-Meridian from 1989-1993. In addition to the late couple’s appreciation for education, they also shared a passion for art, music and travel.

“We are honored to offer scholarships on behalf of the Jerry and Ruth Scott Foundation for the third consecutive year, and we are proud to be a part of the Scott’s legacy,” said Teresa Thornhill, chief wealth management officer at Citizens National Bank.  

“Through the Scotts’ perpetual gift, students are not only receiving financial resources needed to achieve their educational dreams, but the continued growth of the endowment allows more recipients to be impacted each year,” she said.

The following recipients each are receiving $3,500 for the 2019-20 academic year.

LAWRENCE—Sara Mazzella, a junior elementary education major.

LISMAN, Alabama—April Bonner, a junior interdisciplinary studies major.

MERIDIAN—Betty Johnson, a fall Master of Arts in Teaching Community College graduate and Katie Beddingfield, a graduate student in counselor education.

NEWTON—Landry Godwin, a senior elementary education major.

PHILADELPHIA—Alyssa Wilkinson and Justin Bryan, junior elementary business administration majors.

PRESTON—Madison Boykin, a junior elementary education major.

“I am so grateful to be a recipient of the Jerry and Ruth Scott Scholarship,” said Alyssa Wilkinson, a business administration major from Philadelphia. “This scholarship is not only helping pay for my tuition but has provided gas money to drive to the Meridian campus three days a week. I hope other students in east Mississippi will learn of the Scotts’ generosity and support and that this will motivate students—as it has me—to strive to be the best they can be.”

The priority date for completing the General Scholarship Application for maximum consideration of competitive scholarships, including private scholarships like the Jerry and Scott Scholarship, is March 1 for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Candidates for the Scott scholarship must have a minimum 3.5 grade-point average from their two most recent semesters of coursework at MSU-Meridian, or another institution, and must be employed. Students who are recipients one year may be eligible for consideration in any other year, given they maintain selection criteria.

The scholarship description outlines that the planned gift upholds the late couple’s commitment to the betterment of their hometown through continued investments in the education of hard-working students.

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