Gift Advances Student Success in Mississippi

Gift Advances Student Success in Mississippi

MSU Commencement

Mississippi State University is dedicated to empowering students through fostering academic and professional growth. Central to its mission is nurturing students to become leaders in their field of choice. Through state-of-the-art facilities, cutting edge research opportunities, and enhanced faculty support, students not only receive class education but will also be equipped with tools and knowledge to address the needs of Mississippi and beyond. 

The Robert M. Hearin Foundation shares this vision of excellence to advance student opportunities in Mississippi, thus contributing to the betterment of the state. Through these gifts awarded to Mississippi State University, the Hearin Foundation is facilitating pathways to student success. 

“We are grateful for these additional investments in our students by the Hearin Foundation. The immediate impact as well as the longer-term return are significant,” MSU President Mark E. Keenum said. “Mississippi State is focused on meeting needs and finding solutions, and each one of these grants does just that. Together, MSU and the Hearin Foundation are helping more students earn a degree, and thereby boosting their future as well as enhancing economic and community development in our state and beyond.” 

One of the gifts supports the nursing program at Mississippi State through scholarships. The mission of the program is providing healthcare leaders to address the evolving healthcare needs in the state of Mississippi.  

"This gift enables our students to focus on course requirements and advances success toward their goals of becoming master’s-prepared registered nurses,” explained Mary W. Stewart, dean and professor of the nursing program said. “Additionally, this program targets mature students who may also have a family. We appreciate the generous gift from the Hearin Foundation, which will go directly to scholarship students in need of financial assistance.” 

Another gift focuses on completion scholarships designed to assist students nearing graduation who face financial obstacles. Thomas Bourgeois, the dean of students and associate vice provost for student success, praised the impact the grant will have on students. 

"This very generous investment is an essential asset to the Mississippi State community, continually supporting students facing financial hardships and positively influencing their capacity to persevere. This fund has served as a completion grant, enabling numerous students to achieve graduation, a significant milestone they might not have reached otherwise," he said. 

The final gift will enhance the Promise Program, which assist Mississippi students whose existing aid programs did not fully meet their financial needs.  

Ra’Sheda Forbes, Vice President for Access, Opportunity, and Success underscored the importance of such support.  

"With over one-third of our student body identifying as Pell-eligible, we understand the importance of programs and services aimed at the completion of degrees for students. The Division of Access, Opportunity, and Success is excited to receive such a generous gift. This gift will put students one step closer to making their dream of a college degree a reality," she said. 

Beyond the campus, the impact of these gifts will reverberate throughout the state of Mississippi.  By investing in the success of its students, MSU is nurturing generations of leaders, innovators, and changemakers who will shape the future of their communities and beyond. From advancing healthcare outcomes to driving economic prosperity, these effects will leave an enduring mark on our society.