GULFPORT, Miss. (September 29, 2021)—Hancock Whitney—the largest bank headquartered in Mississippi and one of America’s strongest, safest banks—has pledged $25,000 to establish the Hancock Whitney Bank Endowed Scholarship at Jackson State University, one of the largest public Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in the nation and the state’s fourth largest university.
Hancock Whitney and the Jackson State University Development Foundation announced the endowment in concert with National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week September 19-25, 2021. President Jimmy Carter established HBCU Week in 1980 to honor and recognize HBCUs, spotlight significant contributions of HBCU alumni, and celebrate the achievements of HBCUs and their students.
“Hancock Whitney was founded to help people achieve their dreams. Our associates come to work every day to help create opportunities for people and the communities we serve. Certainly, quality higher education helps pave the way to making dreams real and opens doors to opportunities for young people anxious to contribute to their world,” said Hancock Whitney President and CEO John M. Hairston. “We are honored and proud to partner with Jackson State University—an icon of educational opportunity in our home state—to create a scholarship that will help young women secure the educational foundations they need to succeed in a variety of quantitative fields.”
The bank’s principal $25,000 investment will be eligible for a dollar-for-dollar match, based on funds availability, through the university’s Title III matching funds program, with the potential to double the endowment to $50,000.
To qualify for the scholarship, candidates must be full-time undergraduate female students at Jackson State pursuing degrees in mathematics, finance, accounting, or economics, maintaining at least a 2.5 GPA, and demonstrating financial need. The scholarship will help recipients pay for tuition, books, supplies and other fees.
Gwen Caples, interim vice president for JSU’s Institutional Advancement and External Affairs, said, “Jackson State University greatly appreciates receiving the Hancock Whitney Bank Endowed Scholarship. As the endowment grows over time, it will create a legacy of learning, extend the impact of the bank’s generosity well beyond a lifetime, and provide scholarships for students for years to come.”
Starting in October 2021, Hancock Whitney will also take part in Jackson State’s virtual professional development series, pairing local leaders and Jackson State alumni at Hancock Whitney to share expertise on topics pertinent to personal and professional success.
Cultivating Today’s Talent for Tomorrow
HBCUs have been educating and empowering diverse students to lead in a broad variety of fields since the 1837 founding of the Institute for Colored Youth, the oldest predominantly African American institution of higher learning in the U.S., in Cheyney, Pennsylvania. Today, more than 100 HBCUs in 19 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands enroll nearly 300,000 students annually, with women making up much of those schools’ student populations.
The American Baptist Home Mission Society established Jackson State University as Natchez Seminary in 1877. The school later moved to Jackson, Mississippi, to become Jackson College, Jackson State College, and in 1979, Jackson State University, Mississippi’s only comprehensive urban research university. Today, Jackson State ranks among the nation’s top 10 HBCUs.
Sixty-nine percent of students at Jackson State are women, with 73 percent of those female students pursing degrees in math and 61 percent studying finance, accounting, or economics. Jackson State alumna and Hancock Whitney Director of Credit Risk Analytics Tiffany Temple was one of those women intent on earning a degree in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) field.
“It’s such a privilege to be an alumna of such a great HBCU that continues to produce exceptional talent and to be employed by a company that recognizes its responsibility to the broader community it serves,” said Temple. “Establishing the Hancock Whitney Bank Endowment Scholarship is the first milestone in what I hope will become a longstanding partnership. Beyond providing needed financial support to Jackson State University students, I believe this joint effort demonstrates Hancock Whitney’s commitment to ensuring we also contribute to growing and creating more potential for the talent in our state through professional development.”
Hancock Whitney’s scholarship gift will help foster opportunities for talented HBCU students to follow predecessors such as engineer and inventor Otis Boykin, thought leader Booker T. Washington, and civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., in profoundly shaping American life and culture.
“The legacy of Historically Black Colleges and Universities in America is rich and an integral part of how we have evolved and prospered as a nation,” added Hairston. “We are pleased to participate with Jackson State and other HBCUs in fostering the extraordinary talent that will guide and grow our future.”
About Jackson State University
Jackson State University, founded in 1877, is a historically black, high research activity university located in Jackson, the capital city of Mississippi. Jackson State’s nurturing academic environment challenges individuals to change lives through teaching, research and service. Officially designated as Mississippi’s Urban University, Jackson State continues to enhance the state, nation, and world through comprehensive economic development, healthcare, technological, and educational initiatives. The only public university in metropolitan Jackson, Jackson State is located near downtown, with five satellite locations throughout the area. For more information, visit www.jsums.edu or call 601-979-2121.
About Hancock Whitney
Since the late 1800s, Hancock Whitney has embodied core values of Honor & Integrity, Strength & Stability, and Commitment to Service, Teamwork, and Personal Responsibility. Hancock Whitney offices and financial centers in Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Texas offer comprehensive financial products and services, including traditional and online banking; commercial and small business banking; private banking; trust and investment services; healthcare banking; certain insurance services; and mortgage services. The company also operates a loan production office in Nashville, Tennessee. BauerFinancial, Inc., the nation’s leading independent bank rating and analysis firm, consistently recommends Hancock Whitney as one of America’s most financially sound banks. More information is available at www.hancockwhitney.com.