Jody and Pick Scruggs’ gift to the University of Mississippi will help students seeking degrees within the College of Liberal Arts.
The 1966 UM graduates’ $50,000 gift established the Ruby Simpson Shelton Scholarship Endowment in memory of Jody Scruggs’ mother, who passed away from breast cancer in 1970.
The Scruggses first began providing scholarship assistance to students in Shelton’s name in 2011. While the scholarship is open to all students in the College of Liberal Arts programs, Scruggs said her mother would be pleased that many recipients have been theatre arts students.
“The value of these scholarships to our students is immeasurable,” said Michael Barnett, chair and associate professor of theatre arts. “The nature of our programs is such that a great deal of learning takes place beyond the classroom, during the creation of stage productions and films.
“We are deeply grateful to the Scruggs family for their continuing support of theatre and film education at the University of Mississippi.”
Jody Scruggs of Oxford, Mississippi, graduated with a liberal arts degree from Ole Miss, an accomplishment her mother Ruby dreamed of doing herself.
“My mother wasn’t able to attend college because of the Depression years, but she definitely passed on to me her love for her Mississippi family, which led to my choosing Ole Miss. She was always very warm and outgoing, loved people and loved being with her family in Mississippi whenever possible after she moved to Dallas, Texas,” Scruggs said.
Scholarship endowments like the one in memory of Shelton will make the dream of college a reality for UM students.
“The more we are able to ease students’ financial burdens through scholarship support from donors like the Scruggs, the freer they are to take advantage of the wide range of enriching opportunities available both through our department and in the community,” Barnett said.
By Mary Stanton Knight