It is only fitting that Virginia Claire Turman be awarded the Mississippi University for Women Alumni Association Legacy Scholarship. She comes from a line of W graduates, as well as nurses.
Her mother, Victoria Fikes Turman, and her sister, Elizabeth Chapman Coleman, both graduated from The W. They both said it was the best time of their lives.
“MUW holds a very treasured place in my heart. No one can quite understand the sense of confidence and accomplishment that being a part of MUW instills within you unless they’ve been there,” said Victoria Fikes Turman.
Virginia Claire Turman’s great-grandmother was in one of the first nursing programs in the state. Her grandmother and two aunts also were nurses.
Virginia Claire Turman entered The W the fall of 2007. “I fell in love with the people, the campus and my new home away from home.”
In 2009, she had to leave due to medical problems that kept her away from class. She continued to pursue her pre-nursing education at other institutions. Since February 2012, Turman has been living in Columbus and working at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle in the psychiatric unit.
“My goal has always been to come back to The W and finally finish my nursing degree,” she said.
That dream recently came true with the news that she was the recipient of the Alumni Association’s Legacy Scholarship.
“We are thrilled to award the Legacy Scholarship to Virginia Claire Turman, whose mother and sister are both MUW graduates. She embodies The W spirit which is celebrated by this very special scholarship,” said Cheryl “Sherrie” Jackson Cooper of Ocean Springs, president of the MUW Alumni Association.
The MUW Alumni Association has supported The W continuously since it was founded by the first graduating class in 1889. In 2009, 120 years later, the Alumni Association established the Legacy Scholarship to help make The W experience possible for future generations of MUW legacies, according to Cooper. Each year, this one-time award of $2,500 is presented to a deserving student who is a legacy, defined as the child, grandchild, sibling, niece or nephew, daughter-in-law or son-in-law, great grandchild, great-niece or great-nephew, or cousin of an alumnus.
Recipients complete an extensive application process, and in addition to the application form, are asked to provide a resume, a letter of application indicating why the student has chosen to attend The W, and letters of recommendation, including one from a sponsoring alumnus. Applications are reviewed by a selection committee and evaluated based on academic achievements, extracurricular activities, volunteer and philanthropic activities, work activities and reasons for choosing to attend MUW.
Virginia Claire Turman said, “When I realized my passion for nursing, I knew The W would be the best place to earn my education.”