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Alumna Enhances New Ocean Engineering Program Through Scholarship Endowment

To meet the high demand for ocean engineering across the Gulf South, The University of Southern Mississippi announced in June 2016 the establishment of a new School of Ocean Science and Technology, as well as a new ocean engineering program. Soon after, Southern Miss alumna Judith Bostwick endorsed the state’s top university in marine science and education by establishing the ocean engineering program’s first scholarship endowment with a gift of $27,000.

Recognizing Southern Miss’ position as a national leader in marine science research along the Gulf of Mexico, Bostwick was excited by the opportunity to help the Bachelor of Science in ocean engineering degree program at its genesis. This new program will prepare Golden Eagles to meet the needs of the growing maritime technology workforce in South Mississippi by preparing students for work in defense and homeland security, ocean exploration, environmental monitoring, shipbuilding, port operations and more. The program is the only ocean engineering degree in the state of Mississippi and one of only 10 programs in the nation.

Bostwick graduated from Southern Miss in 1956 with a Bachelor of Science in elementary education. Although her background and degree are in arts and education, she was inspired by the possibilities this new program offers.

“Growing up on the Gulf Coast, the oceans and seas and their secrets have always fascinated me,” Bostwick said. “Attending Southern Miss only added more interest in distant places beyond those deep waters. Just as the University broadened my horizons in the mid-1950s, it is my fervent hope that this scholarship will encourage and do the same for others.”

The Judith Bostwick Ocean Science and Technology Scholarship Endowment will support a Mississippi resident majoring in ocean engineering with a minimum 3.0 GPA and financial need.

“It is incredibly important that we get full support from the community as we build the ocean engineering program,” said Dr. Monty Graham, director of the School of Ocean Science and Technology. “Having our first important gift to establish a scholarship certainly reinforces the tremendous supporters already behind us. For that, we are extremely grateful.”

As Southern Miss continues to advance its offerings to enhance the state’s maritime industry, philanthropy will play an important role in ensuring the University has the resources necessary to remain a leader in ocean science and technology. The generosity of donors like Judith Bostwick ensures the University’s programs will continue to grow, enriching the lives of Golden Eagles and the Gulf Coast community.