Mississippi College

$500,000 Given to MC through Todd Estate

July 18, 2007

Hollis and Julia Todd were true pioneers in the creation of the Department of Communication at Mississippi College. The Todds served as distinguished faculty leaders in the MC program for a combined sixty years before retiring in the early 1980s, but stayed connected with the college.

On Tuesday, a $500,000 donation from the estate of the late Clinton couple, both MC graduates, will create scholarships for communication students on the Clinton campus. The first four scholarships will be awarded in Fall 2008.

"This is a very generous legacy that will benefit students for decades to come," President Lee Royce said of the gift, the largest in the history of the Department of Communication. Hollis Todd, who launched the department on the third floor of the college library, and his wife, Julia McAmis Todd, a communication instructor, each devoted 30 year to their alma mater as MC professors. The campus radio station, WHJT, Star 93.5, is named in their honor at the 4,000-student Christian university.

Retired Delta State professor Andrew Jones, who represents the Todd estate, presented their gift to Royce in the president's office in Nelson Hall. "This is a fulfillment of their dream to begin with," Jones said. Jones, too, is a graduate of Mississippi College. Department of Communication Chair Cliff Fortenberry, who was on hand for the official announcement of the gift, is a former communications student who studied under the Todds. He described the couple as mentors, role models, and parents during his undergraduate days at MC.

The Hollis and Julia Todd Scholarship is designed for students in communication, drama, radio and television, and speech. Students would be eligible to receive the half-tuition scholarships for all four years as undergraduates, Jones said.

Today, there are about 150 communication students at MC. The chairman of the communication department and financial aid director will help select the new scholarship recipients. The department prepares students for such fields as business, law, public relations, the ministry, government and education. For more information, contact the Department of Communication at Mississippi College at 601-925-3229.

PHOTO CAPTION left to right): Andrew Jones, representing the Todd estate, presents a check for $500,000 to Mississippi College. Accepting the check are Dr. Cliff Fortenberry, chair of the Communication Department, and Dr. Lee Royce, president of the college.

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