MSMS Gets Major Gift


The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science Foundation has received a donation that will make it possible for the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science to accept three new students into the class of 2017.

The more than $60,000 dollar donation, the largest ever given by an individual to the Foundation, was given by Chad Edmonson and his family. Edmonson is a graduate of MSMS (Class of 1999), and lives in Hattiesburg. Additionally, another 88 donors raised an additional $36,000, which will allow an additional fourth student to attend the school.

“MSMS is one of the best success stories for education and economic development in the state,” said Edmonson. “I am hopeful that the entire MSMS community can continue to come together to help support the school in what is a difficult funding environment.”

While MSMS is a public school, acceptance into MSMS is competitive. Like all public schools, MSMS has struggled in recent years with flat funding.  Despite delaying essential infrastructure investments and using capital accounts to fund operations, enrollment declined from 265 students at the end of the 2011 school year to a low of 225 in order to maintain the quality of the education for the remaining students.  These donations will allow MSMS to increase the incoming class size by four students by covering the incremental costs during their two years of attendance at the school.

““Our success in the classroom has led to an increasing number of extremely qualified students who want to attend MSMS that we are unable to accommodate due to a lack of funding,” said MSMS Executive Director Dr. Germain McConnell. “I look forward to seeing these four students develop successfully like so many MSMS alumni before them.”

For the students who will now be able to attend the school because of the generosity of Edmonson and the other donors, their excitement and sense of hope is palpable.

“This opportunity honestly makes me feel like I’m on top of the world,” said one student after discovering these donations meant he would be accepted into the school. “You don’t understand how good it feels to finally be told yes after being told no for so many years.”

“MSMS Alumni are very appreciative of the opportunity they had to attend MSMS and are dedicated to giving other Mississippi students the same opportunity,” said MSMS Foundation President Cindy Henderson. “The MSMS Foundation was thrilled to be able to add four students to the Class of 2017 through the generosity of our donors.”

MSMS is Mississippi’s only public, residential high school specifically designed to meet the needs of the state’s most academically gifted and talented. For the past three years, the school has been named among America’s best high schools bythe Daily Beast. In the publication’s last rankings, MSMS was named the top 57th high school in America and among the top 25 high schools in the Southeast. The class of 2015 alone was offered more than $22 million in scholarship offers from colleges and universities all over the state, nation, and world. The school is located in Columbus, Mississippi on the campus of the Mississippi University for Women, and serves high school juniors and seniors from all corners of the state. For more information about the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science, please visit

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