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School Sees Historic First

WESSON – A motivated student group and its sponsoring teacher successfully completed a fundraiser Wednesday to establish the school’s first scholarship for history students.

     There’s been no such scholarship at Copiah-Lincoln Community College, and history instructor Dr. Brett Shufelt was determined to see that change.

     He’d heard the warnings and been told it would probably take several years to raise the needed $5,000, but Shufelt and students with the school’s Centurion History Club have raised more than $6,000 toward a scholarship.

     “Our whole thing is to promote history,” Shufelt said.

     The Centurion History Club, which Shufelt helped create and sponsors, raised money through tickets for a drawing of a print donated by Shufelt’s father, the western artist Robert “Shoofly” Shufelt. The drawing was held Wednesday, and area resident Bobby Myers won the print.

     Co-Lin Foundation Executive Director David Campbell said the scholarship will be awarded in April for a student to receive during the 2013-14 school year.

     The scholarship’s requirements haven’t been discussed yet, but will probably be awarded to a rising sophomore history major.

     Campbell said the typical practice is to pay 5 percent of what’s in the scholarship fund, so he estimated the chosen student will receive about $300 dollars.

     The foundation gives out about $200,000 every year in scholarships, Campbell said.

     Though a history scholarship’s something Shufelt, an eight-year instructor at Co-Lin, has wanted to see, he gave much of the credit to the history club members for finally making it materialize.

     “This group, they wanted to do something long lasting,” Shufelt said.

     There are about 20 students currently in the club.

     Patton Crane, of Brookhaven, was recognized Wednesday for raising the most money by distributing approximately 108 tickets. He said he found people open to the fundraiser.

     “If you’re telling people this is for education purposes, that really resonates with people,” he said.

     Shufelt was recently honored as Co-Lin’s outstanding academic instructor.

     Crane, a sophomore history major, credits Shufelt as a significant influence and with fostering a love of history.

     “When I took Dr. Shufelt’s class, that love flourished,” he said.

     There were also other factors at work, though.

     Crane, pointing to his name “Patton,” which he shares with the famous Gen. George Patton, says he didn’t really have a choice in his major.

     “It was destiny,” he said.