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Released January 10, 2003

LOYALTY TO SOUTHERN MISS, COAST INSPIRES DUNAWAY ENDOWMENTS
By Donna McGuyer

HATTIESBURG – Southern Miss football and the Mississippi Gulf Coast provide a winning combination for Dickie and Nancy Dunaway of Gulfport.

The couple's loyalty to The University of Southern Mississippi and their support of their community inspired them to establish two endowments recently through the Southern Miss Foundation.

Through planned giving, the Dunaways designated a $500,000 life insurance policy to be divided between two endowments: the Dickie Dunaway Athletic Football Scholarship and the Richard "Dickie" and Nancy Hodges Dunaway Gulf Coast Scholarship.

When fully funded, the athletic scholarship will be awarded to a football player who is a punter on the Southern Miss football team. The Gulf Coast scholarship will be available to a student from Harrison, Hancock or Jackson counties planning to attend one of the Southern Miss Gulf Coast campuses

"These endowments are our way of giving back to our community and to our university," said Dickie Dunaway, the founder of Dunaway Glass Inc. in Gulfport and the first Golden Eagle punter ever to receive a full scholarship at Southern Miss. "Southern Miss has been, and is, an important part of our lives. Nancy and I are happy we can contribute in this way."

Both Nancy and Dickie are Southern Miss graduates. Nancy earned a certificate in secretarial science from Southern Miss in 1974 and Dickie received a bachelor's degree in marketing in 1969. Nancy's son, Ryan Lawrence, entered Southern Miss this month, becoming the fourth generation in their family to attend the university.

"This generous gift allows our great university the opportunity to be a world-class institution and for this we are extremely grateful," said Dr. Shelby F. Thames, Southern Miss president. "Through these endowments, the Dunaways are providing lasting financial support for students and thereby they are ensuring the future of Southern Miss. "

Ben Samel, associate director of development planned giving for the Southern Miss Foundation, said life insurance policies are an excellent way to give because they are flexible and convenient. "A gift of life insurance is tailored to fit the individual donor and creates a guaranteed will that can be designated according to the donor's wishes," he said.

Providing the athletic scholarship holds special meaning for the couple. "If Dickie had not received a full scholarship, chances are he would not have been able to attend the university," Nancy said.

"I wanted to repay the university in some small way for allowing me the opportunity to further my education," said Dickie. "The punter scholarship is in recognition of the position I lettered in for three years."

"We appreciate the wonderful gift from the Dunaway family," Southern Miss Athletics Director Richard Giannini said. "Dickie was a big part of our football program. We are pleased that his future gift will assist young student athletes in competing in athletics and will provide them the opportunity to receive their academic degree."

As lifetime residents of the Gulf Coast, the Dunaways said they are thrilled by Southern Miss's coastal presence. Nancy, whose hometown is Biloxi, and Dickie, who hails from Gulfport, have deep roots in the tri-county community where they established their home and business.

"The scholarship for students from Harrison, Hancock, and Jackson counties is our gift back to this community," Nancy said, noting the family firmly supports Southern Miss's four-year program on the coast.

Although Dr. Jay Grimes, former dean of the Institute of Marine Sciences and professor of coastal sciences, is now serving as provost on the Hattiesburg campus, the couple said his work in the coast community prompted their interest in creating a scholarship for coast students. As marine enthusiasts, Nancy and Dickie said they appreciate the contribution Southern Miss is making in marine sciences, as well as in their community.

"The Dunaways' gift will help make the dream of higher education come true for a student of the Gulf Coast who will now be able to pursue that education at home," Southern MissGC Provost Tim Hudson said. "Their generosity and support of higher education along the Gulf Coast is inspirational, and we are deeply grateful."

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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM

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