Madison Shannon Palmer High School graduates who enroll at Delta State University now have 10 times as many reasons to thank educators Dr. Michael Cormack and his wife, Krystal Cormack.
The couple recently expanded their $1,000 Cormack Family Scholarship to a $10,000 Cormack Family Scholarship Endowment Fund. The increase allows their initial scholarship for a M. S. Palmer High School graduate who matriculates at DSU as a full-time or part-time undergraduate to be given out every year in perpetuity.
“Beyond giving to a single student, we decided to endow the scholarship over the next year to create an enduring legacy for Quitman County students, specifically M. S. Palmer High School graduates, to pursue higher education at DSU,” said Michael Cormack.
The reason for the tenfold generosity is the same as the initial gift, he explained: “to give back to Quitman County students I worked with as an elementary principal there. My first class of students I worked with as principal as fourth graders are now seniors.” They, along with students who follow them, should enroll at Delta State, Cormack continued, because of its academic excellence and scholarship opportunities.
The couple—he is chief of staff for Jackson Public Schools and she is bureau director of the educator licensure office at the Mississippi Department of Education in Jackson—can testify to both. They received a scholarship from the Delta Center for Culture and Learning as graduate students at DSU while teaching fourth grade for Teach For America.
“We know how beneficial education has been for us,” said Michael Cormack, who earned a master of education in elementary education from Delta State in 2007, “and we are incredibly passionate about seeing our former students succeed through higher education.”
Dr. Nerma Moore, director of development at Delta State, applauds this passion. “If at first you succeed, try 10 more times—that’s what the Cormacks did. Their initial $1,000 from late last year was the first gift they made to Delta State, and we were very appreciative of their generosity for future Quitman County enrollees. Now, with this even more magnanimous gesture, they cement a lasting legacy for Madison S. Palmer High School graduates by providing a stable source of financial support in perpetuity for them.”
Michael Cormack put it this way: “We know finding money for higher education can be challenging for students in Quitman County. We want to have the same doors open for them as did for us.”