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The Luckyday Foundation Announces Four-Year Monetary Gift for Southern Miss Scholars Program

Date     12-1-05
Contact Chinika Hood 601.266.5568


HATTIESBURG – The Luckyday Foundation will fund its Citizenship Scholars Program at the University of Southern Mississippi for the next four years.

The $4.58 million pledge was announced at a reception for Southern Miss Luckyday Scholars held recently at the home of President Shelby Thames.

The Luckyday Foundation was created by the late Frank Rogers Day. It awards high school seniors, who are exemplary students committed to community service, with $10,000 over four academic years, plus opportunities to apply for a $4,000 study-abroad scholarship.

Southern Miss President Shelby Thames said, “We at Southern Miss talk about freeing the power of the individual, and there is no question that this program is a testament to that. We applaud the Luckyday Foundation for their commitment to academic excellence.”

Southern Miss has 400 Luckyday Scholars. Each grant recipient is required to have a financial need, maintain a 3.0 grade point average, have engagements in community service or service learning, and be a Mississippi resident.

“The board of managers of the Luckyday Foundation believes well-prepared students can make a difference in our state and world,” said Larry Sparkman, director of the Southern Miss Luckyday Citizenship Scholars Program. “They are not a ‘bricks and mortar’ foundation but one that invests strictly in human capital to advance our community, state and world.”

Southern Miss senior Jessica Lamb of Brandon credits a Foundation-sponsored study-abroad trip to France for inspiring her to become a French major. She is among the first class of Luckyday Scholars who arrived in fall 2002 and serves as a mentor for her freshmen counterparts. Lamb said the Luckyday Foundation has enhanced her educational experience and personal growth and has paved the way for future career paths.

Luckyday Freshman and Hattiesburg native Melissa Cirino said she too is grateful for the Foundation’s compassion and its legacy.

“Being a Luckyday Scholar is life changing, I wouldn’t be at Southern Miss if it was not for the generosity of the Foundation,” said Cirino. “We hold our heads high to be called Luckyday Scholars. Wherever we go in life we will continue to take away the values we’ve learned, like being a leader who serves with confidence and humility.”

For more information on Southern Miss’ Luckyday Scholars program, please contact Chinika Hood at 601.266.5568 or visit the Web at

About The University of Southern Mississippi

The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at

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