Ever since she was little, Hannah Brown’s curiosity has driven her to ask how things work, what drives processes and why things happen, so it’s no wonder Brown has wanted to be a doctor since she was in the second grade. Brown’s dream lives on at Mississippi University for Women, where she is a senior majoring in biology. Brown will receive a little help in taking the next step to achieving that dream after she recently was named the recipient of the Mississippi State College for Women Class of 1969 Scholarship.
“I was so humbled when I learned I was chosen for this great scholarship,” said Brown, who is from Greenwood. “It means a lot when someone thinks you are worthy of something as great as this.”
Dr. Jane Hudson, who was a freshman at MSCW in 1965, said her class decided about 20 years ago to create a scholarship.
Mary Felice Crowe, Paulette Bernheim Garton, Lynne Faulkner Nelson and Martha Bennett Power also were named to the committee for the MSCW Class of 1969 Scholarship Fund.
“The scholarship enhances the education of the coming generation and supports The W,” Hudson said. “The W is dear to all of our hearts, and we want to see it succeed in whatever it does. I think that is a calling, too, for a lot of people and the scholarship gives them an opportunity to give some money to a deserving student and to The W.”
Criteria for the scholarship established that the recipient had to have at least a 3.0 grade-point average in a 4.0 system, be a sophomore or above, be a student who exhibited leadership and have an intention to complete the degree at The W.
Hudson said the Class of 1969 – the first Golden Girl class to endow and fund the award of a scholarship - wanted to give back to people who were going to make an impact. To accomplish that goal, Hudson said the Class of 1969 set up an endowed account, which is accruing interest, and a restricted account, which in the first year collected enough money to pay the full scholarship for Salina Rai, the 2019 recipient. Hudson said approximately $8,000 is needed for the class to be able to provide a scholarship for the 2021-22 school year. Class members can donate to either account to support deserving students.
“I know everybody wants to continue giving the annual scholarship,” Hudson said. “I think our class can do it.”
Dr. Jiben Roy and Dr. Dionne Fortenberry saw Brown’s abilities as a student in their classrooms. They agree Brown is a deserving second recipient of the scholarship.
“Hannah is an outstanding student but more important she is a self-disciplined student,” Roy said. “As a biology major, Hannah’s performance in chemistry was extraordinary. I am sure she will be able to make a successful career in biology, chemistry or medical. I wish her all the best.”
Said Fortenberry, “In addition to being a good student, Hannah is also one of the sweetest, most respectful students I know. She is always pleasant and great to be around.”
Brown said her time at The W has helped her grow in so many ways. She said the staff at The W has helped her become a better student by teaching her self-discipline, dedication, perseverance, a good work ethic and an even greater love for biology.
“Most importantly, The W helped me grow on a more personal level,” said Brown, who is a council member of W Leadership, president of Interclub, vice president of the Lockheart Social Club and involved with the Student Alumni Association, the Baptist Student Union and The Wesley.
“They taught me the importance of kindness, community, having fun, building meaningful relationships and being confident in who God made me to be. One thing is for sure, thanks to the efforts of The W and its community, I will be leaving as a better version of myself compared to when I first started there in 2018.”
Brown said she will be forever grateful for the generosity and selfl essness of the Class of 1969. She said the scholarship will erase any financial burdens and allow her to concentrate on her studies.
She added the scholarship is a testament to how much the Class of 1969 cares deeply about the futures and well being of students at The W.
“Not only will the scholarship help me this year, but it will set me up to accomplish my lifelong dream of becoming a pediatrician,” said Brown, who plans to attend medical school to become a doctor of osteopathic medicine (D.O) with a specialty in general pediatrics.
“Now that my educational finances for next year are taken care of, I can save that money to help me get through medical school, which will make it a lot easier to achieve one of my life’s goal.”