USM Gets $1 Million To Fund Scholarships

A foundation is pledging $1 million to endow scholarships at the University of Southern Mississippi for students who reside in Forrest, Lamar, Jones, Marion, Covington, Jefferson Davis and Perry counties.

The first scholarships from the Asbury Foundation of Hattiesburg Inc. endowment are expected to become available for the fall 2003 semester.

"We are honored to receive the support of the Asbury Foundation,'' USM President Shelby Thames said Tuesday. "Asbury's commitment to the well-being of citizens of Mississippi and of this area is evidenced in the many worthy causes it supports.

"This scholarship endowment will provide educational opportunities to countless students in this area of the state.''

The Asbury Foundation supports a variety of non-profit programs that provide or strengthen education and health, or offer other initiatives to improve the quality of life south Mississippi.

"This scholarship endowment is in keeping with our foundation's mission of improving the physical, mental and spiritual health of the individuals in the area we serve,'' said foundation president Bill Ray. "By helping to educate our citizens, we are also investing in the future of our community.''

The endowment will be established with an initial grant of $250,000 this year, followed by $250,000 for the next three years.