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HGTV Renovation Stars bring part of their ‘Home Town’ to MC’s  Scholarship Banquet

HGTV Renovation Stars bring part of their ‘Home Town’ to MC’s Scholarship Banquet

Spring Scholarship banquet brings donors and recipients together

The 2023 Spring Scholarship Banquet at MC raised more than $330,000 this year to support student scholarships at the Christian University. 

Each year, the banquet has featured well-known individuals from politics and entertainment, including Reba McEntire, Drew Brees, Sen. Bob Dole, Steve Forbes, and Condoleezza Rice.

This year, television personalities Erin and Ben Napier, co-hosts of HGTV’s “Home-Town,” entertained the Scholarship Banquet audience. Erin credits one of Mississippi College’s most famous graduates for nurturing her artistic talent, which helped fuel six seasons of the popular television series. 

“Mississippi has such a rich arts heritage,” Erin said, “and MC gets to claim one of our state’s greatest modern painters, Wyatt Waters. I got to take his workshop in Clinton years ago, before ‘HomeTown,’ and have never forgotten those lessons he taught.”

Katrina Pace, executive director of the MC Foundation, said the ‘Hometown’ duo brings a sense of comfortable familiarity to their celebrity.

“The Napiers are examples of people who had opportunities to establish their careers at other places around the country, but stayed in Mississippi to make that happen,” Pace said. “They have shown a lot of love and care for their state.

“That’s an important message for our students, to see people who have remained here and thrived in such a big way with their careers.”

Maggie Wade shares the stage with Erin and Ben Napier during spring scholarship banquet

During their visit to MC, the Napiers gave a small presentation and hosted a question-and-answer session for students. Throughout their messages, they emphasized the importance of family. Even in the midst of their busy schedules, family comes first. The duo also spent time describing what role faith plays in their lives as parents, co-workers, and spouses. 

Proceeds from the MC Scholarship Banquet benefit scholarship recipients at the Christian University. Since its inception in 2008, the event has raised more than $4 million to assist students like Mason Kennedy, a junior biology: medical sciences major from Mendenhall who received the Salutatorian Scholarship, the Presidential Scholar with Distinction Scholarship, and the Eminent Scholars Grant.

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If it weren’t for the scholarships, I would not be at MC today...As someone who plans to go to medical school, I wanted to minimize debt throughout my time as an undergraduate. I competed for scholarships at universities throughout the state, and I’m thankful for the scholarship program at MC. Scholarships provide students the ability to pursue their dreams in a Christian environment. Because Mississippi College is a private institution, scholarships help make MC affordable for amazing students who otherwise might never consider coming here.
— Mason Kennedy
Junior Biology: Medical Sciences Major

Kennedy said the scholarship program at MC has contributed to his undergraduate experience.

“The scholarship program is a direct representation of what Mississippi College is. The program is what got me here, and the experience I’ve had at MC has kept me here. I have found the most nurturing and generous people at MC.

“The lack of student loans and debt has allowed me to freely get involved at MC and serve my fellow students, which I have thoroughly enjoyed.”

Attendees left the Scholarship Banquet with a warm heart for Erin Napier’s description of their beloved institution. She referred to MC as “a cozy campus.”

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