The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science Foundation has received a donation that will make it possible for the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science to accept three new students into the class of 2017.
The more than $60,000 donation, the largest ever given by an individual to the Foundation, was given by Chad Edmonson and his family. Edmonson is a graduate of MSMS (Class of 1999), and lives in Hattiesburg. Additionally, another 88 donors raised $36,000, which will allow a fourth student to attend the school.
“MSMS is one of the best success stories for education and economic development in the state,” said Edmonson. “I am hopeful that the entire MSMS community can continue to come together to help support the school in what is a difficult funding environment.”
While MSMS is a public school, acceptance into MSMS is competitive. Like all public schools, MSMS has struggled in recent years with flat funding. Despite delaying essential infrastructure investments and using capital accounts to fund operations, enrollment declined from 265 students at the end of the 2011 school year to a low of 225 in order to maintain the quality of the education for the remaining students. These donations will allow MSMS to increase the incoming class size by four students by covering the incremental costs during their two years of attendance at the school.
“Our success in the classroom has led to an increasing number of extremely qualified students who want to attend MSMS that we are unable to accommodate due to a lack of funding,” said MSMS Executive Director Dr. Germain McConnell. “I look forward to seeing these four students develop successfully like so many MSMS alumni before them.”
For the students who will now be able to attend the school because of the generosity of Edmonson and the other donors, their excitement and sense of hope is palpable.
“This opportunity honestly makes me feel like I’m on top of the world,” said one student after discovering these donations meant he would be accepted into the school. “You don’t understand how good it feels to finally be told yes after being told no for so many years.”
“MSMS Alumni are very appreciative of the opportunity they had to attend MSMS and are dedicated to giving other Mississippi students the same opportunity,” said MSMS Foundation President Cindy Henderson. “The MSMS Foundation was thrilled to be able to add four students to the Class of 2017 through the generosity of our donors.”