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Mississippi Native Thrives with Scholarship

Hector Talavera

Hector Talavera is a recipient of the George W. and Mae H. Owens Scholarship.

Hector Talavera is a junior at Southern Miss from Picayune, Miss. With the help of the George W. and Mae H. Owens Scholarship, he is pursuing a degree in biological sciences with an environmental emphasis. After graduation, Hector would like to work for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks or the University's biology department to help with marine conservation on the Gulf Coast.

"As a native Mississippian, I plan to use my education to help advance the conservation of Mississippi's natural resources. That means the generosity shown by Mrs. Owens will have a greater impact beyond my life and education," Hector said. "This support means a lot to me and I hope to repay the kindness by using my skills and knowledge to make our Mississippi community even better in the future."

The George W. and Mae H. Owens Scholarship Endowment was established in 1986 by Mae H. Owens, a 1940 graduate of USM with a degree in English. Her husband, George, graduated the same year with a bachelor's degree in business, and was elected to the Mississippi House of Representatives from Itawamba County in 1936 and the Mississippi Senate from the 31st district (Calhoun, Chickasaw and Pontotoc counties) in 1951.

Through a planned gift in the form of a pooled income fund, Mae was able to further support Southern Miss after her lifetime and bolster the fund she created to honor her husband's 30 years of service in Mississippi.

"I wish I could tell Mrs. Owens how thankful I am for allowing me to have the best Southern Miss experience. Her contributions provide me with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I will always remember her willingness to help others. By working diligently in my career, I hope to follow in her footsteps, making it possible for future students to gain the same amazing education I am benefitting from."

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If you would like to explore different giving options such as a mutual fund, please contact Daniel Barton at 601.266.6428 or daniel.barton@usm.edu.

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to The University of Southern Mississippi Foundation a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

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