Celebrating a legacy of social work was the focus of the Third Annual Betty Spencer Memorial Social Work Luncheon where The University of Southern Mississippi School of Social Work was presented a $5,000 gift to increase the total endowment of the Betty Spencer Memorial Scholarship which has a corpus of more than $20,000.
The check was given by Spencer’s daughter, Adrienne Spencer, along with Virginia Adolph, president-elect for the Gulf Coast Program Unit of the Mississippi Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). Representing Southern Miss as recipients of the gift were University President Rodney Bennett, Gulf Coast Vice President and Campus Executive Officer Frances Lucas, College of Health Dean Michael Forster and School of Social Work Director Tim Rehner.
“Scholarships, including the Betty Spencer Memorial Scholarship, represent a significant contribution to the education and future careers of our students,” said Rehner. “The actual dollars that a student receives are beneficial since they can be applied to tuition or books.”
“Additionally, scholarships represent the investment of the social work community and, most notably, social work figures, like Betty Spencer, in the life of a student. Mrs. Spencer’s family can be proud of the ongoing legacy she will continue to have as these scholarships support social work students in graduate school.”
The scholarship, designated to assist Southern Miss social work graduate students at the university’s Gulf Park campus in Long Beach, specifies that applicants are to have an interest in family and child practice. When applying for the scholarship, students must submit a 300-word essay on whom or what motivated them to consider social work as a career and how that decision influences the area of practice to which he or she aspires.
The luncheon also featured the recognition of Dr. Raymond M. Scurfield, professor emeritus of social work at Southern Miss Gulf Coast, as the 2013 NASW Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. According to the NASW, Scurfield was selected for his extraordinary contributions to the social work profession and society in his 45-year career. His research and career spans posttraumatic stress disorder as a clinician, innovative therapy and program developer, educator, and researcher publishing on topics such as the Vietnam War and other war-related trauma, post-disaster interventions, race-related trauma, and exposure and experientially-based therapy.
For more information on the School of Social Work, visit www.usm.edu/social-work.