Scruggs couple establishes Ruby Simpson Shelton Scholarship

Jody and Pick Scruggs’ gift to the University of Mississippi will help students seeking degrees from departments within the College of Liberal Arts.

Pick and Jody Scruggs have established a scholarship endowment in memory of Jody’s mother, Ruby Simpson Shelton. Photo by Bill Dabney/UM Foundation
The 1966 UM graduates’ $50,000 gift established the Ruby Simpson Shelton Scholarship Endowment in memory of Jody Scruggs’ mother, who died from breast cancer in 1970.

The Scruggses first began providing scholarship assistance to students in Shelton’s name in 2011. While the scholarship is open to all students in the College of Liberal Arts programs, Scruggs said her mother would be pleased that many recipients have been students in the Department of Theatre and Film.

“The value of these scholarships to our students is immeasurable,” said Michael Barnett, chair and associate professor of theatre arts. “The nature of our programs is such that a great deal of learning takes place beyond the classroom, during the creation of stage productions and films.

“We are deeply grateful to the Scruggs family for their continuing support of theatre and film education at the University of Mississippi.”

Jody Scruggs, of Oxford, graduated with a liberal arts degree from Ole Miss, an accomplishment her mother, Ruby, dreamed of doing herself.

“My mother wasn’t able to attend college because of the Depression years, but she definitely passed on to me her love for her Mississippi family, which led to my choosing Ole Miss,” Scrussg said. “She was always very warm and outgoing, loved people and loved being with her family in Mississippi whenever possible after she moved to Dallas.”

Scholarship endowments such as the one in memory of Shelton will make the dream of college a reality for Ole Miss students.

“The more we are able to ease students’ financial burdens through scholarship support from donors like the Scruggs, the freer they are to take advantage of the wide range of enriching opportunities available both through our department and in the community,” Barnett said.

 The Ruby Simpson Shelton Memorial Scholarship Endowment is open to support from individuals and organizations. Gifts can be made by sending a check, with the fund’s name noted on the memo line, to the University of Mississippi Foundation, 406 University Ave., Oxford, MS 38655, or by giving online at

For more information about supporting the College of Liberal Arts, contact Ron Wilson, director of development, at or 662-915-1755.

By Mary Stanton Knight

Sign up to receive morning and evening headline emails HERE!

Follow on Facebook (If You Love Oxford and Ole Miss...), Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat (@hottytoddynews).


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.