Stephens family uses matching gifts to establish MSU scholarship

Author: Addie Mayfield

Mississippi State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Greenville resident Walter Stephens, along with his wife Melissa and son Rob, has established a Loyalty Scholarship in the Mississippi State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Stephens graduated with a bachelor's degree in agribusiness from MSU in 2007 after earning an associate's degree in business administration from Mississippi Delta Community College in 2005. The Benoit native currently serves as city president for Regions Bank in Greenville, a role he has filled since 2014. Prior to joining Regions, Stephens worked as an admissions recruiter for the MSU Department of Agricultural Economics.

At MSU, the Walter and Melissa Stephens Loyalty Scholarship will provide annual support for entering freshmen and community college transfer students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Candidates for the award must have demonstrated leadership ability and recipients may be considered to receive the award for up to four years of study, with the required 3.0 grade-point average.

"Mississippi State is a great university and is full of wonderful people that are willing to help when asked," said Stephens. "Matching gifts are a valuable way to contribute to that legacy because they help make a large impact even with gifts of smaller amounts."

By utilizing matching gifts from the Regions Financial Corporation Foundation and the MSU Bulldog Club, the impact of the Stephens family's gift was nearly tripled. In addition to furthering contributions from alumni and friends, matching gifts also help to increase Mississippi State's ability to recruit talented students.

"We are grateful to the Stephens family for taking advantage of matching funds to grow this gift and create new opportunities in our college," said George Hopper, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. "When alumni give back to MSU, students see firsthand the impacts made by those who were once in their shoes."

For more information on how matching gifts can help establish scholarships in the MSU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, contact Will Staggers, the college's assistant director of development, at (662) 325-2837 or

Date: 2017-01-12

Agricultural Economics