pictured left to right Harry Martin, past President of CDF from 1956 to 2000; David Rumbarger, President/CEO of CDF, Mike Clayborne, President of CREATE Foundation, Derek Markley, UM-Tupelo executive director, and Rick Gregory, UM assistant provost for regional campuses

New scholarship opportunity available for thousands of Tupelo area workers

UM-Tupelo and CDF collaborate to form scholarships for CDF member organizations.

Photo: TUPELO, Miss.— Officials from the University of Mississippi-and the Community Development Foundation gathered on Friday, August 23, at the CDF Center in Tupelo to sign a new agreement providing tuition assistance to any employee of a CDF membership organization. Present at the special signing event were: (L to R) Harry Martin, past President of CDF, 1956-2000; David Rumbarger, President/CEO of CDF; (standing) Mike Clayborne, President, CREATE Foundation; Derek Markley, UM-Tupelo executive director; and Rick Gregory, UM assistant provost for regional campuses.

TUPELO, Miss. – The University of Mississippi - Tupelo regional campus and the Tupelo Community Development Foundation (CDF) have formed a collaborative partnership to offer new scholarships to employees of CDF membership organizations.

On Friday, Aug. 23, the two organizations met at the CDF Center in downtown Tupelo to sign the scholarship into effect.

“The goal of this collaboration is to allow UM-Tupelo to play a larger role in the workforce development and education of the area by helping as many people as possible,” said Derek Markley, UM-Tupelo executive director.

The CDF has over 1200 membership organizations, each with numerous employees. Many of these organizations are small businesses that may not be able to offer the same tuition benefits that large corporations are able to offer employees. This scholarship will now allow small businesses to provide this same benefit. 

“Studies tell us that 50 percent of students today have some type of part-time job to try and help pay for books and tuition,” said David Rumbarger, CDF President and CEO. “This is a tremendous benefit, especially for our small businesses here in Tupelo and Lee County.”

The scholarship will provide $500 per semester, renewable for up to four semesters to eligible students enrolled in six or more credit hours. Students who are non-residents of the state of Mississippi will receive a scholarship to cover the cost of the UM out-of-state fee. Recipients will have up to four years to complete the program in any field of study they choose to pursue.

“We want to make opportunities and access to higher education available to place bound students, allowing them to receive a degree so they can then reinvest that education into the community,” said Rick Gregory, assistant provost for regional education.
Anyone interested in more information on this scholarship can contact the UM-Tupelo advisors at 662-844-5622 or visit www.olemiss.edu/tupelo.