HED:Tupelo woman gives NEMCC $1 million
By Jennifer Ginn
BOONEVILLE - Northeast Mississippi Community College has received its biggest donation ever from the estate of Audrey Brasfield Haney.
The Northeast foundation recently received slightly more than $1 million from the final settlement of Haney's estate, valued in court documents at $3.5 million.
Haney, a native of Selmer, Tenn., died Feb. 25, 1995, at the age of 88. She moved to Tupelo in 1936 and opened Brasfield Jewelers with husband H. K. Brasfield, who died in 1964.
In 1975, she married Frank Haney, who was a longtime member of Northeast's board of trustees. The Frank Haney Memorial Union is named for him.
James Williams, administrative assistant at Northeast, said Haney's bequeathal is the largest sum anyone has donated to the college.
"I think the largest prior to this was around $250,000," he said. "It's major. You're talking about something that can make a significant impact and difference in the future of the college."
Williams said the money was donated for unrestricted use, which means the college can spend the funds as it sees fit.
Although he said the foundation has been focusing primarily on scholarships and staff development, no plans have been formed for how the money will be used.
The bulk of Haney's estate was used to establish a trust fund, whose proceeds will support Northeast and several other charitable and nonprofit organizations.
Also receiving funding were organizations such as the Salvation Army, North Mississippi Medical Center Health Services Foundation, the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society.
Williams said the foundation is starting a campaign to make people aware they can leave money to Northeast in their wills. Haney's donation, he said, is a major step in that direction.
"We're ecstatic somebody would be so gracious as to remember us like that," Williams said. "It makes people sit up and take notice that we are a viable option. That's a very significant contribution, I don't care where you are."