A Gift For Higher Education
The Sumner Foundation is certainly a "Gift for the Wise" if you live in Kosciusko or Attala County. In 1977, at the young age of 91, Mrs. Sumner put into motion what college officials refer to as the most benevolent gift to education they have ever known.
The proceeds, a staggering $20 million from the sale of timber on 20,000 acres, most of which has been growing freely since Mr. Sumner's death, was placed in a trust with the interest to be used toward college education for people of Central Mississippi. Attala County, which includes the city of Kosciusko, is one of the five counties designated to receive these funds.
In addition to the interest of the $20 million, there is a management lease that will increase the education fund by $80,000 per year for the next 40 years.
As one of the largest privately funded foundations ever established in Mississippi for higher education, the trust gives assistance to undergraduate, graduate and continuing education students, at any of five institutions, which together offer a virtually unlimited range of curricula.
There are no requirements based on financial need. The only requirements are that you be a resident of Kosciusko-Attala County; (b) pass the entrance exam to enter college; (c) maintain a passing grade of "C" or above.
The opportunity Mrs. Sumner and her late husband have created for residents of Kosciusko-Attala County is unique. While many people are deprived of higher education due to escalating costs, Kosciuskoans are assured that most or, in many cases, all of the cost of a college education will be paid.
As one college financial aid officer said after the scholarship was announced, "Mrs. Sumner certainly deserved induction into the Philanthropists' Hall of Fame, if one exists".