In an effort to increase funding for deserving students at Delta State, the S. H. and Dorothy W. Kyle Educational Trust has delivered a $50,000 matching gift grant to provide a major boost to students from Coahoma, Panola, Quitman and Tallahatchie counties.
The grant from the Kyle Trust will match contributions from other donors who elect to create annual or endowed scholarships benefiting students in the four designated counties. Gifts will also be matched to any existing scholarships specifically benefiting students in these counties.
The match will be on a dollar-to-dollar basis to the scholarship, thus promoting a spirit of philanthropy through individuals, corporations and other foundations who care about local students and who aspire to assist these students as they pursue a degree from Delta State.
The Kyle Educational Trust was established in 1964 in memory of S.H. and Dorothy W. Kyle. The Kyles were philanthropists in the Mississippi Delta who believed every man and woman should have the opportunity to pursue an education.
Amanda Borgognoni ‘82, a member of the Delta State University Foundation Board, is the granddaughter of the Kyles and is proud to see the family’s educational contributions continue. She also serves on the trust’s board of directors.
“This grant is an extension of the philanthropy my grandfather started,” Borgognoni said. “We want to continue his legacy and help people in the area receive the education they need to make their dreams a reality.”
The Kyles were a farming family from the Clarksdale area who wanted to support students by assisting them with their educational goals, believing that any student who dreams of a future deserves the opportunity to be successful in life.
The Kyle Educational Trust has successfully partnered with many students over the past three decades in making their educational dreams a reality. Thankfully, family members have long ties to Delta State.
Borgognoni’s husband, brother and mother also attended the institution.
“We’re excited because working with Delta State on the matching grant will allow us to tap into more resources,” said Borgognoni. “I love how Delta Sate is encouraging others to give and get involved. It’s allowing us to help other partners who know their gifts will be matched.”
Hal and Harvey Fiser of Clarksdale have been close with the Kyle family for years, and they quickly took advantage of the matching opportunity. The Fisers heard about the grant from Keith Fulcher, Delta State University Foundation Executive Director, and decided to endow a scholarship utilizing the match in honor of their son Ross.
Ross passed away nearly seven years ago after a battle with kidney cancer. The Fisers, who have also been previous donors to the Delta State University Foundation, felt that the matching grant was a perfect reason to establish the Ross W. Fiser Educational Trust in their son’s honor.
“We’ve been considering something like this for a while, and when we heard about the matching funds, my wife and I agreed this would be a great time to help promote educational growth in our area,” said Fiser.
“This is a way to honor our son, but hopefully it was also lead other people to take advantage of this matching opportunity,” he added. “My wife and I feel really good about this — and we hope it brings in more gifts of this nature.
“The Kyles were such marvelous citizens. They were community people that did a lot for the Delta — particularly Clarksdale and Coahoma County. We’re thrilled to be associated with them.”
Debbie Heslep, Dean of Enrollment Management, said the university would benefit greatly from the matching gift.
“The opportunity the Kyle family is providing for a matching gift of $50,000 is wonderful news to the students from these four counties,” said Heslep. “In essence, we will be able to serve twice as many students as we could before the match.
“The efforts of the Kyle family are particularly notable when looking at the median household income and the percent of the population living below the poverty line for the counties served by this scholarship, as compared to the state of Mississippi. The average median income for these four counties is $22,997 with 31.57 percent living below the poverty line. The Mississippi median household income is $36,919 with 22 percent living below the poverty line.”
The future looks very bright for students from Coahoma, Panola, Quitman and Tallahatchie counties. The matching grant will help increase the number of Kyle Scholarship recipients from the current number of 35.
Fulcher said this is another act by the Kyle Educational Trust that the university is extremely thankful for.
“We’d like for our alumni and donors to take advantage of this opportunity to support scholarships in Coahoma, Panola, Quitman and Tallahatchie counties and take advantage of the $50,000 match,” said Fulcher.
To take part in the Kyle Trust Scholarship Matching Gift, call the Delta State University Foundation at 662-846-4704 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and discuss your scholarship gift.
To learn about the impact the Kyle Trust is making on those receiving the scholarships, visit www.deltastategiving.org/seethedifferencethekylescholarshipmade.