Junction bricks, pavers bring Compass Scholarship support

L-R: Russell Young, Melinda Young, Rick Young and Jean Young

The Compass Scholars Walk at Mississippi State University gives members of the Bulldog family a chance to leave their permanent mark in The Junction while making a positive difference in the lives of students. By securing bricks and pavers to be placed on the newly paved walkway, located south of Davis Wade Stadium, alumni and friends can link their names with the university and collectively support Compass Scholarships.

Among nearly 5,000 donors who support the Compass Scholarship Program is the Young family of Eupora. Alumnus Fred Rickey “Rick” Young honors his family’s commitment to education with a Compass Scholars Walk black granite paver, committing $7,500 over five years to support the scholarship program. The Young family paver displays their names, class years and the message, “Hail State!” Over time, similar messages will flank those of the Youngs as the parade grounds around The Junction become filled with bricks and pavers.

Gifts for the Compass Scholarship Program through the Compass Scholars Walk will help MSU recruit solidly academic performing students and ensure as many applicants as possible receive assistance. The university seeks at least $500,000 yearly for the scholarship program through annual giving. Once achieved, MSU will match that amount, annually doubling the impact of donor gifts.

“The Compass Scholarship Program targets deserving students who have the ability and dedication necessary to transform our world, thus furthering MSU’s legacy of excellence while inspiring future generations of Bulldogs,” Young said. “With scholarships, financial obstacles are removed, enabling access to higher education for students who might otherwise be denied. Affording these students an education is important.”

The Young family knows firsthand the value of an MSU education.

“The four of us combined have proudly earned 10 degrees from MSU, which have enabled each of us to have rewarding careers and enjoy a satisfying quality of life,” Young said.

Young and his wife, Melinda Love Young, each hold three MSU degrees. He is president emeritus of East Mississippi Community College and she is a retired high school teacher with the Millsaps Career and Technology Center in the Starkville Oktibbeha School District. Their two children, Fred Russell Young and Jean Margaret Young, earned two degrees each from MSU.

Since inception, nearly 1,700 students, representing all eight academic colleges at Mississippi State, have received a scholarship through the Compass Scholarship Program.

“The scholarships awarded through this program assist the overall enrollment at Mississippi State,” said Georgia Carter, the university’s annual giving director.

Many constituents become part of Compass Scholars Walk to honor a family member, graduating senior or even a faculty member that made a positive difference in their lives. Compass Scholars Walk options include 8-by-4 inch bricks for $500 each and 8-by-8 inch bricks for $750 each. Additionally, 16-by-16 inch black granite pavers require pledges for the program of $1,500 or more annually for five years.

Installation of Compass Walk bricks and pavers takes place twice annually, and contributors receive a replica brick. Alumni and friends who wish to secure a place in the Compass Scholars Walk should visit msufoundation.com/compasswalk or contact Carter at 662.325.5975.

By Abby Ready Rushing, Photo by Beth Wynn