November 29, 2014  

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Legacy Endowment Exceeds $200,000 after 13th annual Alumni Golf Tournament

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Proceeds in the amount of $10,000 were raised at this year’s 13th annual Shell Finish Line/Southern Miss Alumni Association Golf Tournament, held Oct. 21 at the Hattiesburg Country Club, the official club of the Alumni Association. The funds will be used to support the one-time, $1,000 Robert D. Pierce II Legacy Scholarships at The University of Southern Mississippi.

Jerry DeFatta, executive director of the Alumni Association, announced that the funds generated from this year’s golf tournament helped the Pierce Legacy Scholarship Endowment surpass $200,000.

Established in 2003 and named in honor of former Alumni Association executive director Bob Pierce in 2008, the Robert D. Pierce II Legacy Scholarship helps perpetuate Southern Miss legacies by providing financial assistance to children and grandchildren of active Alumni Association members. Recipients are chosen by the Alumni Association’s Scholarship Committee based on the criteria of academic excellence, community service and high school involvement.

Candidates for the scholarship must be the children or grandchildren of an alumnus or alumna who is a Life Member of the Association or has been an active member of the organization for 10 or more consecutive years.

The members of the 2011 Class of Robert D. Pierce II Legacy Scholars include Michael Ross Bedenbaugh, Elizabeth Margaret Crenshaw, James Adam McPhail, Cody Cameron McSparrin, James Mason Seidenburg, Lindsay Nicole Smilek and Anna Beth Waldron.

*Michael Ross Bedenbaugh, a graduate of Presbyterian Christian High School, plans to major in polymer science. He was a member of the varsity football team where he was named team captain and placed on the second all-area team his senior year. In addition, he was a member of the Beta Club and is involved locally with Habitat for Humanity. He has also taken part in mission work, traveling to Texas to assist a community in repairing damaged homes. Ross is the grandson of Life Member Barbara Ann Conner.

*Elizabeth Margaret Crenshaw, a graduate of McGill-Toolen Catholic High School, plans to major in social work. She was on the Academic Honor Roll, involved with the National Honor Society and the Key Club, and was a member of the varsity golf team. An advocate for community service, Elizabeth worked with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and United Cerebral Palsy. In 2010, she received the Certificate of Appreciation Award from the city of Prichard, Ala. Elizabeth is the daughter of Alumni Association member Michael Crenshaw. 

*James Adam McPhail, a graduate of Oak Grove High School, plans to major in jazz studies. He was a member of the Beta Club and was named to the Honor Roll. Moreover, he was a member of the marching band and show choir. Adam worked with the Association for the Rights of Citizens with Developmental Disabilities and in April 2011, organized a concert to benefit the wheelchair-accessible playground in Hattiesburg’s Kamper Park. Adam is the grandson of Alumni Association Life Member James McPhail and the son of alumnus Brian McPhail.

*Cody Cameron McSparrin,a graduate of Clinton High School, plans to major in nursing. She was a member of the National Honor Society, named to the Honor Roll, is a recipient of the President’s Award, and was student body secretary. In addition, she was also a member of Attache’, the nine-time grand champion-winning show choir, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Passionate about children, Cody volunteered with organizations such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Big Brothers Big Sisters. She has worked at Morrison Heights Baptist Church and is the daughter of Alumni Association Life Members Michael and T.J. McSparrin.

*James Mason Seidenburg, a graduate ofWest Jones High School, plans to major in accounting. This scholar-athlete was named to the Honor Roll, Mississippi Association of Coaches All-State Tennis Team and the Mississippi Association of Coaches All-Star Soccer Team. Mason was involved in Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Beta Club, Bible Club and Key Club. A supporter of volunteerism, he collected items for the domestic abuse shelter, the Animal Rescue League and the Christian Food Mission, as well as participated in World Changers, a program that helped put new roofs on homes in Florida. Mason is the son of Alumni Association Life Members Doug and Rhonda Seidenburg.

*Lindsay Nicole Smilek, a graduate of Biloxi High School, plans to major in business administration. She was named to the Honor Roll and was involved with the National Business Honor Society and Student Council. She was also a member of the track team, a cheerleader for four years, and involved with Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Lindsay is active in her church youth group and participated in a medical mission trip to Belize to treat Kechi Indians. She also visited veterans at the local hospital and interned during city elections. Lindsay is the daughter of Alumni Association Life Member Christy Pickering.

*Anna Beth Waldron, a graduate of Oak Grove High School, plans to major in education. She was the president of the National Art Honor Society, ran cross-country and track, was a member of the newspaper staff, and was elected Most School Spirited. She is a member of Heritage United Methodist Church, where she participates in the youth band and assists with Vacation Bible School. Moreover, she is involved with the Angel Food Project and Edwards Street Vacation Bible School. Anna Beth is the daughter of Alumni Association member Eric Waldron.