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Hunt Scholarship Helps Future Teachers
Clara Hunt (left) enjoys a conversation with one of her 2019 scholarship recipients, Kayla Denton, and Wendell Weakley, UM Foundation president and CEO.

Kayla Denton, a University of Mississippi senior from Calhoun City, Mississippi, is completing the student-teacher requirement of her curriculum, helping educate fifth graders at Grenada Central Elementary School. A scholarship helps offset her education-related expenses.

“I’m so grateful to the Hunts for their generosity,” said Denton in reference to the Burl and Clara Hunt Teacher Education Scholarship that’s helping to make her dream of becoming a teacher more easily attainable.

Anna McLemore-Gray of Corinth, Mississippi, also received the Hunt scholarship this year. Gray attends UM’s Booneville, Mississippi, campus and is working toward her bachelor’s degree in elementary education.

Gray said the scholarship makes life a little easier while she’s student-teaching kindergarteners at Hills Chapel School in the Prentiss County School District.

“During the student-teaching phase of our degree process, we are not paid. Being a mother of three children who are my inspiration for going back to get my degree, this scholarship helps alleviate some of the financial stresses,” she said. “I am truly grateful for being chosen for this scholarship.”

Burl Hunt, professor emeritus of secondary education and educational media in the School of Education, passed away Dec. 19, 2014. He and wife Clara – materials access librarian emerita and assistant professor emerita in the J.D. Williams Library – created the Teacher Education Scholarship in 1992 to offer assistance to deserving junior and senior female students based on need, with priority given to nontraditional students.

Clara Hunt, who maintains their home in Oxford, Mississippi, recently requested that a portion of her estate be donated to the scholarship fund after her lifetime.

In addition to the many contributions they made as faculty members, the Hunts were faithful university benefactors. Burl Hunt said in a former newsletter article that he and his wife hoped to “continue touching the lives of future teachers” through their scholarships.

For more information on supporting the UM School of Education, contact Billy Crews, director of development, at 662-915-2836 or To make a gift online, visit

By Bill Dabney


Online gifts for the 2024 calendar year should be made no later than noon on December 31, 2024.  Checks by mail will need to be postmarked by December 31 to be counted in the 2024 calendar year.