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Released June 29, 2005


Hattiesburg- Two Smith County 2005 high school graduates have been awarded $2,000 scholarships to attend The University of Southern Mississippi this fall.

Zachary Holifield, a graduate of Taylorsville High School, and Brooke Ann Robinson, a graduate of Mize High School, are among the first recipients to receive the James V. Robinson Jr. Simpson/Smith County Scholarship Program.

Smith County native James V. “Robbie” Robinson Jr., a retired University of Charleston, S.C., professor, established the scholarship program at The University of Southern Mississippi Foundation, a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) corporation that serves as a fiduciary of private funds donated to the university. In an effort to continue educational developments of high school students in Simpson and Smith counties, Robinson’s scholarships are awarded to seniors who have a desire to pursue a degree in the College of Education and Psychology at Southern Miss.

Born in a log cabin near Taylorsville to sharecropper parents, Robbie Robinson graduated in 1949 as salutatorian of Magee High School in Simpson County. He was the first in his family to finish high school and was financially challenged when he attended college.

“There were no student loans then,” said Robinson, who graduated from Southern Miss in 1954 and earned a doctorate of psychology from Ole Miss. “Once, I wouldn’t have wanted it known that I was the son of a sharecropper. Now I realize if I can do it, anyone can.”

Both Holifield and Brooke Robinson have enrolled in the College of Education and Psychology at The University of Southern Mississippi. To qualify for this scholarship, they graduated from a high school in Smith County with a 2.5 grade point average or above and wrote an essay about their goals in the area of education or psychology.

Graduates in Southern Miss’ College of Education and Psychology’s academic programs hold leadership roles in educational institutions, businesses, industries, governmental organizations, medical facilities and social agencies. The college focuses on behavior, the teaching/learning process, educational technology and information transfer through degree-granting programs and service in children and family studies; curriculum, instruction and special education; educational leadership and research; library and information sciences; technology education; psychology; educational field experiences and education service center.

Holifield is the son of Ronnie and Kaye Holifield of Taylorsville, and Robinson is the daughter of Kenny and Lou Ann Robinson of Mize.


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July 28, 2005 12:09 PM