OXFORD, Miss. — To honor her father’s lifelong dedication to the University of Mississippi, a commitment that has spanned four generations, Ann H. Gresham of Indianola has given $100,000 to establish the George P. Hopkins Engineering Scholarship Endowment.
Scholarship recipients will be full-time freshmen who are pursuing a degree in engineering. Students from Sunflower County, where Indianola is located, and Harrison County, where Hopkins’ hometown of Gulfport is located, will be given first preference.
“The School of Engineering is profoundly grateful for this gift from Ann Gresham,” said Kai Fong Lee, dean of the engineering school. “The amount of scholarship we can offer a student is an important factor in the student’s decision of which university to attend. We have been blessed with the generosity of many donors and the Hopkins Scholarship will enhance the school’s competitiveness in attracting outstanding students to the University of Mississippi.”
Gresham said she hopes the scholarship helps send deserving students through the UM School of Engineering, a program that has played a large role in her family’s life. After her father earned his degree in civil engineering in 1917, his son George P. Hopkins Jr., a 1950 graduate, and great grandson George P. Hopkins IV, a 2008 graduate, also earned engineering degrees. Another of Hopkins’ great grandsons, Michael Gresham, is currently enrolled in the School of Engineering.
“We are big Rebel fans,” Gresham said, who also attended Ole Miss. “I mainly wanted this scholarship to be in memory of my father and to recognize his sons and grandsons who have pursued civil engineering. I just hope it will help smart, young engineers to go out into the world and be better citizens.”
Hopkins, who died in 1964, was an avid follower of Ole Miss athletics, and he enjoyed attending football and baseball games most. He was the founder of the Gulfport-based George P. Hopkins, Inc., a contracting and engineering company still in business and in the Hopkins family today.
Gresham’s gift is part of the university’s MomentUM campaign, a four-year initiative to raise $200 million. Funds raised through the campaign, which ends in December 2008, will support scholarships, graduate fellowships, faculty support, a basketball practice facility, residential colleges and a new law school on the Oxford campus. Also in the plans are a cancer center at the UM Medical Center and a new building to house the School of Pharmacy, both in Jackson.
For more information on making a gift to the University of Mississippi, visit http://www.umf.olemiss.edu/makeagift
By Lindsey Phillips