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USM Foundation receives record breaking donations

The University of Southern Mississippi Foundation hit a record high in scholarship donations this year with the bar raised to $5.5 million in awards.
USM Foundation is an organization committed to serving the university’s community by overseeing fundraising efforts to raise private support for scholarships and other academic needs at Southern Miss.
Their mission is to build relationships with alumni and friends in order to secure private funds and other resources for both graduate and undergraduate students.
This year the foundation funded 2,430 private scholarships to students equaling $5.5 million. The foundation was able to establish 17 new scholarship endowments this year.
The foundation also provided nearly $11 million in total support to the university. With $5.5 million being awarded to students, the other half went to support the academic divisions, operations and maintenance of plants, libraries, faculty and staff support, and many other aspects of the university.
The Chief Communication Officer for the USM Foundation, Megan Burkes, provided insight on the mission of the organization.
“The USM Foundation is the fund-raising arm of the university, but we work with our alumni and friends to build relationships,” said Burkes. “We connect donors with the area of the university that means the most to them and where there is need at the university.”
The foundation’s main goal is to help students and the university stay on the top. Ann Smith, the 2022-2023 recipient of the Ann Parker Blackwell Child and Family Studies Scholarship Endowment, leaves her testimony and how it has encouraged her in her journey.
“Being a scholarship recipient is truly an extraordinary feeling,” Smith said. “I am a first-generation student and knowing that someone believes in my success at USM encourages me to continue my education.”
The continued efforts and goal driven employees at the USM Foundation are working to keep the scholarship system at its best. Their goal is to continue to keep breaking record heights.
The foundation offers these scholarships to students through the Golden Opportunities (GO) Scholarship and Programs Application System. This process is to be completed each year beginning Oct. 1 and finalized before the Feb. 15 priority deadline. This date is a priority deadline but students can still update and complete the General Application at any time between the awarding cycle to still be considered for additional scholarships. Offers can be made at any time during the year, but the majority of offers will be made by July 1.
For more information or to learn more about scholarships and how the foundation can help, visit their website at or contact them at 601.266.5210.

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