MSU-Meridian scholarships awarded through Scotts’ planned gift

MERIDIAN, Miss.—Six Mississippi State University-Meridian students are 2021-22 scholarship recipients through the Jerry and Ruth Scott Foundation.Five students and two employees from Citizens National Bank with large check outside Riley Courtyard in downtown Meridian

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 $115,000 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.

The planned gift upholds their commitment to the betterment of their hometown through continued investments in the education of hard-working students.

“CNB is proud to be a part of the Scott’s legacy and have this opportunity to generate a substantial scholarship amount to give to these students on behalf of the Jerry and Ruth Scott Foundation,” 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 2021-22 academic year.

LISMAN, Alabama—April Bonner, a graduate student in the Master of Arts in Teaching Secondary Education program.

MERIDIAN—William Alan Bracken, a graduate student in the Master of Arts in Teaching Community College program; Catherine Hoffer, a graduate student in the Master of Elementary Education program; Ashley McLeod, a senior majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies; Vericka Naylor, a junior majoring in the Applied Science program, Trades Supervision concentration; and Nagelys Rojas Palacios, a senior majoring in the Applied Technology Healthcare Services program.

“I cannot express how thankful or how fortunate I feel to be awarded the Jerry and Ruth Scott Scholarship,” said McLeod. “As a full-time student with a full-time job, this scholarship helps me to focus more on my schoolwork and stress less about my financial situation. I am so thankful for the Scott’s investment in my education and their desire to help students like me. Their contribution and my current success at MSU-Meridian has encouraged me to continue to further my education so that I can use my knowledge to better equip me to become a productive member of our community.” 

The priority date for completing the General Scholarship Application for maximum consideration of competitive scholarships, including private scholarships like the Jerry and Ruth Scott Scholarship, is March 1 for the 2022-2023 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.

MSU-Meridian primarily serves east Mississippi and west Alabama. Learn more at

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