Five JCJC sophomores named Tullos Scholars

Written By: Teresa McCreery
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Date Submitted: 2018-04-04 15:27:12

ELLISVILLE –Five Jones County Junior College sophomores were selected for the highest honor bestowed upon students, being named Tullos Scholars. These students, James Garner of Mize, Erica Murphy of Hattiesburg, Henry Clay Taylor and Jonathan Taylor of Diamondhead and Nancy Williams of Toomsuba have distinguished themselves through their scholarship and service to others, including their academic achievements, involvement in college activities, community service and leadership positions, according to the Director, Charles Pickering Honors Institute and Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society Advisor, Julie Atwood.
“Recognized by both faculty and administrators of Jones for their outstanding achievement, each of these students is highly regarded for their activities both inside the classroom and in the community. It is truly a privilege to work with this group, and I look forward to seeing what the future will hold for each,” said Atwood.
All five Jones students are members of the international honor society, Phi Theta Kappa and were nominated by faculty to apply for the Tullos Scholarship at the end of their freshmen year. Requirements for the scholarship include being a full-time freshman, submitting a résumé with two-faculty recommendation letters, having outstanding academic achievements, being engaged in college activities, leadership positions and participating in community service. Each student was honored at a special dinner recently, where they received medallions and $1,000 scholarships in recognition of being named after the scholarship donors, Gene and Nada Tullos. Smith County native, James Garner said he feels especially honored to receive this distinction because he has special ties to the donors.
“My grandfather and uncle were very close to Mr. Tullos, who is also from Smith County. They always spoke very highly of him and his character. Hearing these things throughout my life, and then being selected for this scholarship inspires me to be like him with respect to his intelligence, drive and achievements in life,” said Garner who is a chemical engineering major with plans to become an orthodontist.
Gene Tullos came to Jones on a basketball scholarship which he said, gave him a jumpstart and a great foundation to begin Law School. Endowing scholarships through the Tullos Scholarship Program was his way of returning the “favor” to the college for his excellent experience at JCJC. Award recipient and Lady Bobcat Softball player, Nancy Williams said she can relate to Tullos.
“It is such an honor to know that I am able to follow in the footsteps of such an influential person and to continue his legacy. You always want to aim to be the best in anything you do so this shows that all my hard work is paying off. It feels good to be rewarded in such a generous and honorable way,” said Williams who is majoring in industrial engineering.
Receiving the Tullos Scholars scholarship relieved some of Erica Murphy’s financial burdens. The non-traditional student earned her computer networking two-year degree from Jones last May and is currently pursuing a degree in computer programming.
“It was so unexpected to hear I had been chosen to receive this scholarship because I thought my opportunities for scholarships had long passed. This is a great honor that I am deeply grateful to receive. I had to take out student loans this year to make ends meet. This award reassures me I am doing the right thing and I am on the right path in my life,” said Murphy.
Twins, Henry Clay and Jonathan Taylor are both Bobcat Soccer players and members of the Charles Pickering Honors Institute. They are also majoring in finance with aspirations of focusing on the role advanced technology plays in the world of investments and securities. The Stone County High School graduates agree this scholarship demonstrates the type of support JCJC offers its students.
Henry Clay Taylor explained, “When I first came to Jones, I strove to be an excellent student and extremely involved in the community. I would like to thank my parents, David Taylor of Winfield, Alabama and Renata Kora of Tirana, Albania, along with the administrators, teachers, coaches and community leaders around me that allowed me to excel in the classroom and serve others around me.”
Being a Tullos Scholar, Jonathan Taylor said, financially empowers his future because of its prestige and it opens up opportunities that might not otherwise be available.
“I want to thank Gene Tullos’ family for endowing this scholarship. His legacy of committing to excellence and our community will forever live on in me. I consider this scholarship a debt to society to be paid every day with my words and more importantly, my actions.”
Gene Tullos was a 1962 JCJC alumnus, a Bobcat basketball player, he was elected as Mr. JCJC in 1962 by his peers and he has served on the JCJC Foundation, Inc. Board from 2008 until 2016 when he passed away.  Tullos was also named JCJC Honor Alumnus in 1999 and was inducted into the JCJC Sports Hall of Fame in 2008 and into the Mississippi JUCO Sports Hall of Fame in 2009. 


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