Businessman makes $500K gift to Northeast

Estate planning will help

college provide for the future.


Daily Journal Corinth Bureau

BOONEVILLE - A $500,000 planned gift from a Booneville businessman has pushed the Northeast Mississippi Community College's Development Foundation to within $350,000 of its goal of raising $2 million by the end of the year.

Ralph Hare, 75, and his granddaughter Deanna Petit made the presentation to Foundation director Patrick Eaton and Northeast President Charles Chance Tuesday.

When he was a student at Hills Chapel grammar school during the Depression, Hare said many students could not afford to go on to high school. "I am sure that there are kids out there now finishing high school who don't have money to go to Northeast," he said.

The gift consists of cash, real estate and other assets that will be used for the future advancement of the college, Eaton said.

"Mr. Hare and his family are to be commended for the generosity they have shown to Northeast," he said. "Mr. Hare has always been known as an extremely generous member of the community and I am very pleased that he feels Northeast is worthy of such a tremendous gift."

A Northeast alumna, Petit said she is glad her family will be able to help students as the college was able to help her.

"Hare's gift is significant and will affect many thousands of students in the future," Chance said.

Thomas Keenum, chairman of the college board of trustees and chairman of the Lead Gifts Committee, said, "Ralph has been a friend of mine for over 40 years and a client for over 30 years. His gift is an example of an individual providing for his family first and then using his assets to help the students of Northeast Mississippi Community College for years to come."

The Foundation fund-raising drive, dubbed Pledge for Excellence Campaign, began in May and is the first in school history. Proceeds will be used to pay for scholarships and campus development.

About $1 million were raised during a 10-month silent phase, Eaton said. Committee members are now reaching out to individuals and businesses in the five-county college district, he said. The long-term goal is to raise $4 million in the next four years, Eaton said.

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