University of Southern Mississippi Honors Benefactor With New Dorm
A new residence hall at the University of Southern Mississippi has been named for one of its most notable benefactors, Oseola McCarty.
McCarty, who earned her living by washing and ironing clothes, donated $150,000 to the university in 1995 to establish a scholarship fund. McCarty, who died in 1999, was honored with a dedication ceremony last month in front of the new residence hall, a $14.2 million, 383-bed building located on the northeast corner of the campus.
Stephanie Bullock, the first-ever McCarty scholar, remembered McCarty at the ceremony.
“Miss McCarty wanted to be a nurse and help educate others and impact lives,” Bullock says. “Even though she didn’t go to college, that’s exactly what she did.”
New York Times journalist Rick Bragg gave the keynote address at the dedication ceremony. Bragg, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1996 for a collection of stories that included one about McCarty, said the story about her was one of his favorites.
In 1995, McCarty’s gift announcement sparked widespread attention and touched the hearts of people everywhere. McCarty was presented the Presidential Citizens Medal by President Bill Clinton that year and traveled throughout the country during the next few years to receive honors. She also was the first recipient of the annual National Urban League’s Community Heroes Award.
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