USM alumna establishes scholarship for Hattiesburg students

A new opportunity for Hattiesburg High School students to attend Southern Miss has been made possible through a generous donation by Southern Miss alumna Dr. Beverly Dale.

Photo courtesy of the University of Southern Mississippi

A new opportunity for Hattiesburg High School students to attend The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) has been made possible through a generous donation by Southern Miss alumna Dr. Beverly Dale.

Named in honor of Dr. Dale’s niece and nephew-in-law, the Julie and John Arender Hattiesburg High School Scholarship Endowment will allow an incoming freshman from Hattiesburg High School with a minimum high school GPA of 3.5 to receive approximately $28,000 in scholarship support – $7,000 each year for four consecutive years as long as a 3.0 GPA or above is maintained.

Current HHS seniors who have been accepted to USM for the fall 2021 semester are encouraged to apply for the scholarship, as well as others, by visiting The deadline to apply for scholarships for the 2021-22 academic year is Feb. 15, 2021.

The Golden Opportunities Scholarship and Competitive Programs Application System allows students to easily search, review requirements, apply and accept awards for available scholarship opportunities. Interested students can apply for all scholarships for which they are eligible using this online system administered by the USM Foundation.

Julie and John Arender both graduated from The University of Southern Mississippi in 2017. Julie earned her bachelor’s degree in foreign languages (licensure), and John earned his degree in journalism with an emphasis in public relations. During their time at Southern Miss, Julie was a member of Delta Delta Delta – Phi Epsilon and held various leadership positions, while John was the captain of the Ultimate Frisbee Club Team.

Upon graduation, Julie began to work for Hattiesburg High School, where she continues to teach Spanish. During the 2018-19 school year, she was selected as Teacher of the Year for the Hattiesburg Public School District. While at Southern Miss, John started his own videography and photography business and continues to grow his trade in Hattiesburg and beyond. He works closely with the Hattiesburg High School Athletic Department in developing and growing their media presence in the local community.

“We are truly thankful for the opportunity for one of our students to attend The University of Southern Mississippi through this scholarship,” said Dr. Victor Hubbard, Hattiesburg High School principal. “Dr. Dale’s generosity is humbling, and the impact of her generosity will reach far greater than a few students. It will be transformative in their lives, as well as their family and the greater community in which they will live and work upon graduation.”

Beverly Dale established the Julie and John Arender Hattiesburg High School Scholarship Endowment and through it, reflects her pride in her niece and nephew-in-law and their accomplishments. Her hope is to provide substantive scholarship support to students from Hattiesburg High School who show great academic promise.

Founded in 1959, the USM Foundation is a nonprofit organization committed to serving the University community by overseeing fundraising efforts to raise private support for scholarships and other academic needs at Southern Miss.

For more information on supporting The University of Southern Mississippi, call the USM Foundation at 601.266.5210 or visit


Written by University of Southern Mississippi

The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) is a comprehensive public research institution delivering transformative programs on campuses in Hattiesburg and Long Beach, at teaching and research sites in central and southern Mississippi, as well as online. Founded in 1910, USM is one of only 130 universities in the nation to earn the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education’s "R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity” designation, and its robust research enterprise includes experts in ocean science and engineering, polymer science and engineering, and sport venue safety and security, among others. USM is also one of only 40 institutions in the nation accredited in theatre, art and design, dance and music. As an economic driver, USM generates an annual economic impact of more than $600 million across the state. USM welcomes a diverse student body of approximately 15,000, representing 71 countries, all 50 states, and every county in Mississippi. USM students have collected four Truman Scholarships and 36 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships, while also leading Mississippi with 24 Goldwater Scholarships, an honor that recognizes the next generation of great research scientists. Home to the Golden Eagles, USM competes in 17 Division I sports sponsored by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). For more information, visit

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