Elite Eight: Freshmen receive MSU Presidential Endowed Scholarships

MSU’s newest Presidential Scholars take a group photo with President Mark E. Keenum at The Mill at MSU in Starkville.
MSU President Mark E. Keenum (front row, second from left) visited with the university’s newest Presidential Scholars during a recent dinner at The Mill at MSU in Starkville. Pictured are (front row, l-r) Will Jamison, Keenum, Juliet Buckholdt (middle row, l-r) Jayden Smith, Clark Hensley, Olivia Russell (back row, l-r) Mia Robertson, Hutton Smith and Madison Dochety. (Photo by Megan Bean)

Contact: Sasha Steinberg

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State’s Judy and Bobby Shackouls Honors College is announcing its newest Presidential Endowed Scholarship recipients.

Eight freshmen representing Mississippi, Maryland and Tennessee being recognized with the university’s most prestigious undergraduate scholarships, which over four years cover the current cost of university tuition, fees, books, and room and board, as well as research and study-abroad expenses.

To qualify, applicants must have a minimum 30 ACT/1330 SAT score, as well as have graduated with a minimum core or overall 3.75 high school GPA (based on a 4.0 scale). Recipients are expected to maintain an overall 3.4 GPA while in their respective academic majors.

Presidential Scholars have opportunities to interact with members of the land-grant institution’s extensive research faculty and be part of the college’s Oxford University summer-study program in England, among other enhanced learning experiences.

Studio portrait of Don Shaffer
Donald M. Shaffer Jr. (Photo by Megan Bean)

MSU Presidential Scholars Mentor Donald M. Shaffer Jr. said the program recognizes academic achievement and presents recipients with “a challenge to make a lasting impact on MSU and the world beyond it.”

“We are a community of scholars who value the pursuit of knowledge, but what makes our scholarship program special is the emphasis we place on effecting positive social change through research and social engagement,” said Shaffer, associate professor of English and director of the African American Studies program. “We don’t just hope that our Presidential Scholars will change the world; we expect it.”

Over the years, a number of scholars have received additional recognitions as national Goldwater, Marshall, Mitchell, Rhodes, Truman and Udall scholars, and many have been selected for a variety of professional internships. For more, visit www.honors.msstate.edu/scholars.

The 2019-20 Presidential Scholars class includes (by hometown):

CLINTON—Clark Hensley, a computer science major and Clinton High School graduate receiving a Jim and Julia Rouse Presidential Endowed Scholarship.

COLUMBIA, Tennessee—Hutton D. Smith, a mechanical engineering major and Columbia Academy graduate receiving a Bobby and Barbara M. Martin Presidential Endowed Scholarship.

GERMANTOWN, Maryland—William F. “Will” Jamison, a mechanical engineering major and Poolesville Senior High School graduate receiving a Johnny and Bessie Lynn Crane Presidential Endowed Scholarship.

JACKSON—Jayden A. Smith, a biological sciences major and Murrah High School graduate receiving a Hal and Linda Parker Presidential Endowed Scholarship.

RIDGELAND—Juliet T.K. Buckholdt, an art major and Ridgeland High School graduate receiving a James D. and Kay B. Bryan Presidential Endowed Scholarship.

SOUTHAVEN—Olivia S. Russell, a biochemistry/pre-medicine major and Northpoint Christian School graduate receiving a Mark and Cindy Jordan Presidential Endowed Scholarship.

STARKVILLE—Mia C. Robertson, a political science major and Starkville High School graduate receiving a Malcolm and Olivia Portera Presidential Endowed Scholarship.

TULLAHOMA, Tennessee—Madison C. Dochety, a biomedical engineering major and Tullahoma High School graduate receiving a Dr. Brad Roderick Moore Memorial Presidential Endowed Scholarship.

Learn more about the Shackouls Honors College at www.honors.msstate.edu.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.