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79 Graduate Giving Back Through Annual Scholarship

In August 1998 , Curtis E. "Skip" McCollough and his wife Julie established the South Mississippi Forest Products Annual Scholarship in the College of Forest Resources. Skip McCollough is a 1979 forestry graduate. The McColloughs own and operate South Mississippi Forest Products in Hattiesburg, which they founded in 1990. He also is president of Southern Timber Resources of Louisiana Inc. The company buys timber and provides timber management assistance to private landowners throughout South Mississippi. The McColloughs decided to establish the scholarship at CFR to ensure that the education they received at MSU could be even better for tomorrow's students. The scholarship covers tuition and fee expenses for two students enrolled in any of the three departments within the college. "I feel that I attended the greatest College of Forest Resources in the country and to maintain its high standards and offer more and better opportunities for all will take efforts like this from all alumni and friends," McCollough said. "You can not undervalue the importance of giving something back to the college where we as alumni and friends have gained so much." The two say that they are proud and honored to give an annual scholarship as they "know and understand that a college education is not cheap." The McColloughs know this firsthand because daugher Stephanie currently is an MSU sophomore. McColloughs said his family has started a tradition of attending MSU and this makes them very proud. He met his wife while they were students at the university. "Skip and Julie's generosity is to be commended," said CFR Interim Dean Bob Karr. "Giving back to your college at this level at their age while running a private business and sending a daughter to college is very unusual. I hope it inspires others to do the same." McCollough said that for his family MSU not only is a tradition but also a way to a wonderful life. "Always on my mind are the days I spent at MSU. These memories are some of my fondest. The College of Forest Resources offered me the opportunity to earn my treasured degree and establish many friendships. Some days were long and difficult, but the lessons I learned have given me the knowledge to be where I am today," McCollough said.

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