Senator Wicker Speaks at WCU Scholarship Dinner

Hattiesburg, Miss., September 10, 2013 - United States Sen. Roger Wicker delivered the keynote address at the William Carey University "Building on a Firm Foundation" Scholarship Dinner held at Southern Oaks House and Gardens in Hattiesburg on Aug. 27. The annual dinner is held to raise money for scholarship endowment.  The evening included a VIP reception, dinner with musical entertainment and the address by Wicker. The musical entertainment was provided by the Carey strings group Trio Indigo and Miss Mississippi Chelsea Rick, who recently completed her first year of medical school at the William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Dr. Tommy King, president of WCU, welcomed dinner guests and presented a gift to Miss Mississippi from the university. The invocation was delivered by U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo and the Honorable Charles Pickering, a retired federal judge and current WCU trustee, introduced Wicker.

Wicker remarked on the state of Christian education and how William Carey University, founded in 1892, has been built and continues to build on a strong, Christ-centered foundation. The senator, appointed in December 2007 and subsequently elected to the Senate in 2008 and 2012, also addressed current issues facing both Mississippi and the country.

Randi Clark, a senior biology major at WCU and president of the Student Foundation, delivered a student testimonial. Clark expressed her appreciation for scholarship support and thanked the faithful donors who have made a college education possible for many WCU students.

The Senator Trent Lott and the Governor Phil Bryant Scholarships, created in honor of the two previous scholarship dinner speakers, were also presented at the dinner. Brooke Fessler, a freshman Tradition Campus student from Biloxi, was awarded the Lott Scholarship and Joey Holifield, a freshman Hattiesburg Campus student from Laurel, was awarded the Bryant Scholarship. A similar scholarship will be established in honor of Wicker.

The dinner raised nearly $380,000 for scholarships for WCU students, 90 percent of whom receive some type of financial aid. The total raised for student scholarships between the three dinners is more than one million dollars.

"We are very thankful for the support given to student scholarships at WCU by our generous alumni, community partners and friends," said Ryan Kelly, chief advancement officer for the Hattiesburg Campus. "The funds raised from the scholarship dinner will greatly impact the lives and educational successes of our students for years to come."

For more information on ways to contribute to William Carey University, call 601-318-6542 or visit

U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker greets students at the annual William Carey University Scholarship Dinner at Southern Oaks House and Gardens in Hattiesburg on Aug. 27. Nearly $380,000 was raised for scholarship endowment during the dinner.