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Murray State University alumni create scholarship for chemistry, physics and mathematics students


Murray State University alumni have created the James Frank and Patricia Ann Wilson Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics Scholarship Endowment.

James and Patricia both entered Murray State University in the fall of 1962, but they came from very different backgrounds. James was born in Murray and graduated from Murray High School. Patricia was born in the Bronx, was raised in Rye, N.Y. and graduated from Seabreeze High School in Daytona Beach, Fla. At the end of their sophomore year, they met when running for office of junior class representative.

Murray State University alumni James and Patricia Wilson created a new scholarship for chemistry, physics and mathematics students. (Photo Provided)

Both were members of Murray State Greek life. Patricia was a Sigma Sigma Sigma, and James was a Pi Kappa Alpha. Patricia served a term as the Pi Kappa Alpha Dream Girl, but, James said, “by that time I already knew she was my dream girl.”

The Wilsons married in 1966 at First United Methodist Church in Murray. James has served as a Tennessee attorney in private practice for over forty years, after receiving a bachelor’s degree in physics and mathematics and a minor in chemistry. Patricia is a retired elementary school teacher.

Murray State is a large part of the Wilson’s family history. Of their four children, two attended Murray State. James’ uncle, William Vernon James, was a member of the first four-year class to graduate from Murray State. Both of James’ parents, J. B. and Ruth Wilson, attended Murray State. James was taught and advised by Drs. Blackburn, Read and Carman.

James said, “After a lifetime of work, it’s time to make the gifts of a lifetime. I had a spectacular education at Murray State and would do it over again without question. My life was forever changed for the better as a result of my education and life long friendships established here decades ago.”

The Wilsons started their first scholarship in the early 1980s in James’ father’s name, the J. B. Wilson Pre-Pharmacy Scholarship. Over the years, they have contributed to scholarships in the names of Dr. Blackburn, Read and Carman “out of honor and respect for them,” said James.

Their most recent scholarship, the James Frank & Patricia Ann Wilson Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics Scholarship Endowment has already reached a balance of $200,000.

“The Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology is so grateful for this generous scholarship gift,” said Dr. Stephen Cobb, dean of the Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology. “The endowment will benefit our students in chemistry, physics and math for generations, and will help them realize their professional goals upon graduation. Mr. and Mrs. Wilson are great examples of loyal Racer alumni who are giving back so that others can be successful.”

To be applicable, students must be a full-time junior or senior at Murray State majoring in chemistry, physics or mathematics. Students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Preference shall be given to graduates of Murray High School.

Students will be able to apply for the scholarship in Fall 2017 and receive the benefits in Fall 2018.

Anyone wishing to donate to this scholarship or to any other fund at Murray State University can contact the Office or Development at 270-809-3001 or 1-877-282-0033. Online gifts can be made at murraystate.edu/giving.

From MSU Communications


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