Jackson State University’s College of Education and Human Development this week celebrated a new scholarship endowment established in honor of Ernestine Calhoun, a JSU graduate who devoted her career to educating youth.
JSU Interim Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs Thomas Calhoun and his sister, Paulette Calhoun-Covington, established the fund in honor of their mother, who died in 2012 at the age of 88.
Thomas Calhoun said his mother was an elementary school teacher in the Meridian public school system, and later became a children’s book editor for Abingdon Press.
“Our mother was very serious about education and instilled that in us. We could think of no better way to thank our mother than to endow a scholarship for $25,000, which will be matched by the university, making it a $50,000 endowment,” Calhoun said during Monday’s celebration.
The event was attended by faculty and staff in the College of Education, including Dean Daniel Watkins, Associate Dean Ingrad Smith and Rodney Washington, chair of the Department of Elementary and Early Childhood Education.
Calhoun-Covington, who is an employee of Tennessee State University, traveled to Jackson for the event.
Smith said the Calhouns were “planting seeds” for young people and looking out for their future.
“They’ll be able to get a college education and that means everything. There’s a saying that ‘teachers touch the future’ and that’s so true,” Smith said.
Ernestine Calhoun received her undergraduate degree from JSU. She received a master’s in Christian Education from Scarritt College.
Watkins said faculty and staff in his college would also contribute to the fund, which will provide scholarship assistance to education majors from Copiah County.
“Your mother’s name will forever live in the College of Education,” Watkins told the Calhouns.