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Chuck and Rita Scianna Make $1M Investment in College of Business and Economic Development Initiatives

Tue, 01/10/2023 - 08:29am | By: Van Arnold

The College of Business and Economic Development (CBED) at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) has received a $1 million investment from Chuck and Rita Scianna. The Sciannas are long-time champions of the University.

They have generously supported College-specific initiatives on several notable occasions, including an investment of $6 million during the Building Better Business campaign to fund a new home for the college on the Hattiesburg campus. Completed in 2015, the facility is aptly named Scianna Hall.

About a third of the funding will establish the Scianna Business Leadership Program to provide promising business students with learning experiences to cultivate leadership and professional skills. Students selected for the program will also receive a scholarship to assist with tuition and expenses.

Outside the classroom, the program will offer various supplemental experiences such as one-on-one mentoring and coaching, interactions with business professionals and off-site trips. The program’s experiential learning components will enhance their collegiate experience and positively affect their real-world readiness after graduation. The program will begin with a cohort of students in the fall of 2024.

Another portion will support the Scianna Student Managed Investment Fund, a live portfolio management program that develops financial analysis skills through rigorous equity research. Other initiatives include:

  • Investment management-related workshops and competitions
  • High-profile guest lecturers from the financial sector
  • Trips to metropolitan financial hubs

The remainder of the investment created lasting support for the College of Business and Economic Development. The Scianna CBED Excellence Endowment supports student, faculty and staff within the College, advances research, and enhances student experience.

A native of Bay Saint Louis, Miss., Chuck earned his bachelor’s degree from Southern Miss in 1975. He is the owner and president of Sim-Tex, LP in Waller, Texas, one of the leading suppliers of API-certified oil country tubular goods. "The Sciannas continue to invest in the future of business education at Southern Miss," said Dr. Bret Becton, dean of the College of Business and Economic Development. "We are grateful for their ongoing support, generosity and friendship. Their support will have a significant impact on the college for years to come."