UM scholarship to honor late alumnus

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A mother’s love for her late son has produced the first-everscholarship link between Brookhaven High School and the Universityof Mississippi.

The Jerry Rudman Memorial Scholarship will be presented for thefirst time at the high school’s annual awards day program in thefall of 2010 to an Ole Miss-bound student with a 3.0 grade pointaverage. The scholarship is general and may be utilized regardlessof a student’s field of study.

“He loved going to Ole Miss,” said Iris Rudman Smith, JerryRudman’s mother and former Brookhaven City Clerk, of her son. “Hewent all over the world with his job, and he’d call home and say,’Momma, Hotty Toddy!’ and I’d finish the cheer. I think he’d behonored now to help send kids to the school he really loved.”

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Jerry Rudman graduated from BHS in 1978 and earned a bachelor’sdegree in accounting from Ole Miss in 1982.

He agreed to a job with Texas Eastern Oil Co. in Houston beforegraduation, and later went to work for Johnson & Johnson for 10years. He later worked for GlaxoSmithKline, a London-basedpharmaceutical company, serving a vice president of the Center ofExcellence for Clinical Study-Cardiovascular and Metabolism.

Rudman died in March at his home in Solebury, Pa.

Smith said the idea to endow a scholarship in her son’s memorycame to her immediately. She said Rudman would have liked the waythe scholarship is set up – a general scholarship that will benefitstudents of any major – because he was a caring person.

“I wanted to make it as available as I could to someone who wasreally serious about getting an education,” Smith said.

BHS Principal Dr. Jay Smith said the high school’s first directpath to Ole Miss would serve as a great reward for students who putforth the effort to reach out for higher education.

“Any time our students are helped out financially, it’s ablessing for them, and this scholarship will reflect well on ourschool,” he said.

Sandra Guest, vice president of the University of MississippiFoundation, said the university is always thrilled to remember itsalumni with scholarships.

“(Smith) will have a student at Ole Miss perpetuate her son’sname,” she said.

Guest said the Jerry Rudman Memorial Scholarship is anever-lasting scholarship. It will be awarded each year with fundsearned from the interest on the endowment’s $25,000 base, whichwill grow over time.

For her founding of the scholarship, Smith was named a member ofthe university’s 1848 Society, which honors those who have madecontributions to the university.

Contributions to the Jerry Rudman Memorial Scholarship fund maybe made online at, by calling1-800-340-9542 or by mailing checks to the University ofMississippi Foundation at P.O. Box 249, University, MS 38677.