Four outstanding high school seniors have been selected as 2013-2014 recipients of Copiah-Lincoln Community College’s prestigious Taylor Presidential Scholarships. Recipients include Sarah Claire Armstrong of Gallman, Taylor Ann Beasley of Wesson, Alisia Alexandra Williams of Brookhaven, and Ryan Thomas Williams of New Hebron.
The $6,000 scholarship, established by the late Fred and Jewett Taylor of Oxford, are presented annually to students planning to attend Copiah-Lincoln’s Wesson Campus, Natchez Campus or Simpson County Center.
“We are excited to award this prestigious scholarship to these four outstanding students,” said Copiah-Lincoln President Dr. Ronnie Nettles. “We know that their leadership skills will be an asset to our student body and look forward to them attending Copiah-Lincoln this fall.”
Sarah Claire Armstrong
Sarah Claire Armstrong is a senior at Copiah Academy. She serves as senior class president, Senior Beta president, Mu Alpha Theta president, annual editor, student council photographer, Crown Club of Crystal Springs publicity chairman, and varsity football and basketball stat girl. Armstrong is a member of the Student Council, Art Club, and varsity basketball team.
A Headmaster’s List student, Armstrong was chosen to attend the APEX Leadership Conference, Who’s Who Friendliest and Best Personality and received the Best Defensive Player Award.
Some of her community service activities include Trails and Trikes, Horses for Handicapped, Rockin Railroad Festival volunteer, Mississippi Toughest Kids, and Keep Copiah County Beautiful.
Taylor Ann Beasley
Taylor Beasley is a senior at Wesson Attendance Center where she serves as Senior Class President, Vice President of the National Honor Society, and Co-Captain of the Varsity Cheerleaders. Beasley is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Tennis Team. She is also the statistician of the Varsity Baseball Team.
An honor roll student, Beasley was selected to the Hall of Fame, Miss Wesson High School, and Class Favorite. She is an assistant dance teacher at Nena Smith School of Dance.
Her community service activities include volunteering with the Wesson Baptist Church Youth, National Honor Society, Cystic Fibrosis 5K Walk, and Pee-Wee Cheerleading.
Alisia A. Williams
Alisia Williams is a senior at Brookhaven High School where she serves as secretary of the National Honor Society and Senior Class treasurer. She is a Diamond Girl, Cheerleader and member of the Marching Band/Color Guard, Academic Team, Homecoming Production, Delta Gems, and Crown Club of Brookhaven.
An honor roll student, Williams was selected a Senior Maid, BHS Belle, and Brookhaven Lions Club Student of the Month.
Her community service work includes working with St. James Missionary Baptist Church, Boys and Girls Club of Brookhaven, O Foundation, and Dan Brown Annual Banquet.
Ryan Williams is s senior at Lawrence County High School where he ranks in the top five percent of his class. He is a member of the National Technical Honor Society, National Society for High School Scholars, Health Occupation Students of America, Mu Alpha Theta, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Beta Club, Student Council, and Prom Committee. Williams has been featured in the United States Achievement Academy Annual and the Young Poets Speak Out book. He won first place in the State HOSA Competition and advanced to the national competition.
Williams has performed volunteer work on church mission trips, Vacation Bible School, New Hebron Jr. High Booster Club, and First Priority.
Over 40 applicants submitted a typed letter of application, official high school or college transcripts, resume, and three letters of recommendation that were evaluated by a special scholarship committee. A select committee conducted interviews of several finalists.
Criteria used in the selection process included high school and/or college grade point average, ACT / SAT score, difficulty level of courses taken in high school, financial need, high school interscholastic activities, community service activities, honors, awards, recognitions, special talents or abilities, and a 750-word essay.
“The Taylor’s were so generous to Co-Lin, we are so appreciative to them for allowing us to offer these scholarships to deserving students,” said Nettles.
The Taylor Presidential Scholarships have been established by a $1 million endowment through the Copiah-Lincoln Community College Foundation by the late
Charles Fred Taylor and his wife, Jewett. Taylor was a 1926 graduate of Copiah-Lincoln Agricultural High School.
A native of Gallman, Taylor was an outstanding athlete in football, basketball, and baseball and was inducted into Copiah-Lincoln’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1989.
He attended Mississippi State University in 1927 and transferred to Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky, where he received a B.A. in economics in 1931. While there, he lettered in football and basketball. For three years following college graduation (1931-1934), he was a high school principal and football and basketball coach in Providence, Kentucky.
Taylor, a member of the Masonic Lodge, was inducted into the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum Hall of Fame in October 1984. He was the recipient of numerous agricultural, soil and water conservation awards over the years. He was selected Citizen of the Year for the Oxford-Lafayette Chamber of Commerce. In 1998, Taylor and his wife, Jewett, were inducted into Copiah-Lincoln’s Foundation Hall of Fame. Taylor was selected Copiah-Lincoln Community College’s Alumnus of the Year in 2000.
He was a life insurance general agent in Evansville and Kokomo, Indiana, from 1934-1958, at which time he retired to operate their 600-acre registered cattle farm in Oxford, which he and his wife, Jewett purchased in 1950. They restored an 1842 antebellum home, Sunset Hill, in 1958, where they resided until Mr. Taylor’s death.
Taylor’s other accomplishments include serving as commissioner for the Lafayette County Soil and Water Conservation for 19 years, Director of the State SWCD Commissioners for 12 years, past president of the Mississippi Cattleman’s Association, director of the Oxford-Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce, member of the state board of directors for the Mississippi Affiliate American Heart Association, a member of the Transylvania University alumni board, a member of the Board of Directors of First National Bank in Oxford, and a member of the Executive Board of the Mississippi Cattleman’s Association.
The Taylors have given three of the largest gifts the Copiah-Lincoln Foundation has ever received. These gifts have enabled the college to complete the Fred and Jewett Taylor Chapel in 1998, to enhance the technology at The Billy B. Thames Conference Center in 2000, and the establishment of the Taylor Presidential Scholarships in 2004.
Taylor was honored as one of Copiah-Lincoln’s distinguished alumni leaders in October 2003.
Taylor Scholarship recipients include seated from left, Sarah Claire Armstrong of Gallman, Taylor Beasley of Wesson; standing from left, Co-Lin Foundation Board Member Johnnie Carlisle, Ryan Williams of New Hebron, and Co-Lin President Dr. Ronnie Nettles. Not pictured is Alisia A. Williams of Brookhaven.