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Released July 12, 2002
Limbert establishes scholarship at MUW in honor of her mother
COLUMBUS, Miss. -- Mississippi University for Women’s new president, Dr. Claudia A. Limbert, has endowed a $10,000 scholarship at the university to honor her mother and to pass on a favor that benefited her years ago.
Limbert said that she wanted to endow the Ethel Tucker Lowe Scholarship at The W to honor her mother who was so encouraging to her. Although her mother did not graduate from high school, Limbert said her mother, who received LPN training during World War II and worked many long hours as a nurse, understood the value of education.
“Once I was an adult, I realized how bright and talented a woman she was and also realized that she hadn’t had a ghost of a chance because of her lack of higher education,” Limbert said. “She highly valued an education although she herself did not have one.
“She loved to read more than anything else. I always see her in my mind’s eye holding a book.”
Limbert also wanted to help others have the same opportunity to earn a college education that she had enjoyed. Both her undergraduate and graduate education was made possible because of donors who had established scholarships for “people like me.”
Originally from Missouri, Limbert married and had four children before beginning college. She received a bachelor’s degree in English, history and education from Bethel College in Kansas in 1978, and she received a master’s degree in creative writing in 1980 and a doctorate in English literature in 1988, both from Boston University.
“When I received my bachelor’s degree, I asked the faculty member who had mentored me how I could pay her back, and she said, ‘Claudia, you don’t pay people back. You pass it on.’ This is my way of passing that blessing on.”
The criteria for the Ethel Tucker Lowe Scholarship is that it be awarded to an adult learner who is a single parent with financial need. Limbert said that she requested this “because they tend not to fit typical scholarship criteria and because so often they have no one in their corner to help them.”
After completing her degrees, Limbert began her career as an English and women’s studies professor at Penn State Shenango in 1988. She was then selected to spend a year as an administrative fellow to the senior vice president at Penn State, University Park.
Following that experience, she was chosen as the director of academic affairs at Penn State University, DuBois. After then serving as acting campus executive officer for a short time, she was given the permanent position in 1998, a position she held until taking over the MUW presidency on July 1, 2002.
To help The W is another reason Limbert gave for starting this scholarship.
“Of equal importance to me is the fact that I cannot ethically ask a donor to help MUW if I myself do nothing to help it,” she said. “On many levels, I needed to do this.”
For more information about this scholarship or how to establish a scholarship at MUW, please contact the Office of Development at (662)329-7146.
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