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Mississippi College

MC Gift Enhances Scholarships for Copiah-Lincoln Graduates

December 12, 2007

Mississippi College is receiving a $50,000 gift from a Wesson couple to enhance student scholarships in the new year.

The gift from Dr. Terry Puckett and his wife, Janice, is designed to help Copiah-Lincoln Community College graduates continue their undergraduate studies at MC. The Pucketts are donating $25,000 this month and the remaining $25,000 in 2008.

The Thomas F. and Margaret Furr Lee Scholarship will go to a student transferring from Co-Lin with an associate degree and maintaining at least a 2.5 grade point average. The tuition scholarship will be awarded to the Co-Lin transfer during their junior and senior years at MC. The recipient also must have a minimum 2.5 academic average while attending the Christian university in Clinton.

Both donors are longtime educators in Mississippi and Arkansas. Terry Puckett is a retired Hinds Community College administrator who left Raymond-based HCC in 1992 to serve as president at Southern Arkansas College.

Janice Puckett, a 1966 Mississippi College graduate, is a retired Hinds County schools curriculum director who also served as a school psychologist with the Pine Bluff, Ark. public schools. Her mother, Margaret Furr Lee of Wesson, was a 1930 graduate of Copiah-Lincoln Junior College in Wesson and later received a bachelor's degree from the University of Southern Mississippi before teaching in Mississippi schools. She was in the first graduating class at Co-Lin. Her father, Thomas F. Lee, was a 1929 graduate of Mississippi College. The scholarship is named in memory of Janice Puckett's parents.

"This is certainly good for our students," said Copiah-Lincoln President Howell Garner. "They are already getting scholarships to MC. This will add to it."

Garner, who lives in Wesson, said the Pucketts have a great background in education, are both community-minded citizens and good friends. "This is wonderful news," he said Tuesday. "We hope to send a bunch of students your way with these new scholarships."

The first scholarship will be awarded during the Fall 2008. The scholarship recipient will be recommended by the Office of Enrollment Services with the final decision made by the Office of Financial Aid at MC.

Mississippi College enrolls 4,600 students. There are about five to ten students annually who transfer from Copiah-Lincoln Community College to MC, said Chad Phillips, executive director of enrollment services on the Clinton campus.

As 2007 comes to a close, other tax-deductible gifts to Mississippi College continue to flow in to the Office of Advancement in Nelson Hall. Some are giving to the Leland Speed Building Improvement Fund to upgrade the MC library. Others are making donations to support academic programs, from dyslexia therapy to business. The MC library is faced with the constant need to update its technology, from CDs to videos to DVDs. Costs for books and academic journals keep skyrocketing, too.

For more information on giving to MC, contact MC development officer Barbara Brown at 601-925-3968 or by e-mail at Brown16@mc.edu