Anderson Awards Nursing Scholarships to MCC Students

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Back, from left: Dr. Joe Anderson, Chairman, Anderson Board of Directors; Christina Shaver; Sarah Ivy; Diane Johnson; William Brown; Celeste Loper; Andrea Dennis and Ray Humphreys, President/CEO, Anderson. Front, from left: Barbara Jones, MCC Vice President for Operations; Mary Anderson, Executive Director of Anderson Support and Development Foundation; Jan Farrington, Anderson Board of Directors; Pam Tvarkunas, Vice President, Nursing; and Dr. Betty Davis, MCC Dean of Nursing.


With the mantra of “one nurse can make all of the difference,” seven Meridian Community College Associate Degree Nursing Program students were recently named recipients of scholarships funded by Anderson Regional Medical Center.

 This marks the 23rd year the hospital has provided a financial helping hand to area nurses, said Jan Hollingsworth Farrington, Anderson Board of Directors. 

Selected were Andrea Dennis, Dr. William Jeff Anderson Scholarship; Jamie Garvin, Dr. William Anderson Jr. Scholarship; Celeste Loper, Dr. W.J. Anderson III Scholarship; William Brown, Dr. Jeff Hollingsworth Scholarship; Sarah Ivey, Rueben S. Johnson Jr. Scholarship; Diane Johnson, William Gunn, Esq. Scholarship; and Christina Shaver, Anderson Regional Medical Center Board of Directors Scholarship.

The students were selected on the basis of grade point average, ACT scores, extra curricular activities, instructors’ recommendations in clinical and interpersonal skills arena and an essay of “Why I Chose Nursing as a Profession.”

 “These men would have been proud (of your accomplishments),” said Mary Anderson, executive director of Anderson Support and Development Foundation.


Dr. Jeff Anderson founded Anderson Infirmary in 1928. At that time, the hospital was staffed by three physicians, a handful of nurses, and room to accommodate thirty patients. Dr. Anderson’s vision for the future, and his commitment to providing quality medical care for the residents in east central Mississippi and west central Alabama, are the foundation of what has now grown to be Anderson Regional Medical Center, a 400 bed medical center with over 160 physicians representing more than 38 specialties. The scholarship was created in 2004 to honor Dr. Anderson.

2011 Recipient – Andrea Dennis

Dennis, a resident of Cuba, Ala., said in her essay, “I have been touched by so many nurses in my life and I can’t wait for the day that I can touch someone’s life also.” A member of the Organization of Student Nurses, Dennis is entering her third semester this fall.


Dr. Anderson was the son of Dr. Jeff Anderson, the founder of the hospital. Dr. Anderson served as a general surgeon at Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center. Dr. Anderson passed away in 1987. The scholarship was created in 1988 to honor the many accomplishments of Dr. Anderson.

2011 Recipient – Jaime Garvin

Newton resident Garvin wrote, “From being there when new life is born into the world, to being with the person that is dying, a nurse can make all the difference through her caring.” She is a member of OSN and is entering her third semester of ADN Program.


Dr. Anderson was the son of Dr. William J. Anderson and the grandson of hospital founder Dr. Jeff Anderson. Dr. Anderson was a general surgeon from 1962 until his retirement in 1998. Dr. Anderson served as President and Chairman of the Board of Directors at Anderson Regional Medical Center until his death in October, 2002.   The scholarship was created in 2003 to honor Dr. Anderson’s visionary leadership.

2011 Recipient – Celeste Loper

Loper, a resident of Collinsville, wrote the following: “It is such a privilege to be not only a nurse, but a patient advocate. We are their voices. We help them decide what is best for them.” She is member of OSN and Phi Theta Kappa, the community college academic honor society and will be entering her fourth semester of ADN studies.


Mr. Gunn began his service to Anderson Regional Medical Center in 1965 as Secretary to the Board of Directors and General Counsel for the hospital. In 1967, he became a member of the Board of Directors and continued his faithful service until his death in August 2001. The scholarship was created in 2002 to honor Mr. Gunn’s service to the hospital.

2011 Recipient – Diane Johnson

Meridian recipient Johnson said, “One person can make a difference in another’s life just by being there for them when they need you. Just by listening. Just by caring. I want to make a difference in other people’s lives.” A member of OSN, PTK and Phi Beta Lambda, Johnson is entering her third semester of the ADN Program.


Dr. Hollingsworth was the grandson of Dr. Jeff Anderson. Dr. Hollingsworth was a cardiovascular surgeon in Jackson and was instrumental in getting the Cardiac Catheterization program started in Meridian. Dr. Hollingsworth passed away in 1986.   The scholarship was created in 1988 to honor Dr. Hollingsworth.

2011 Recipient – William Brown

Lauderdale resident Brown put it this way in his essay, “Nursing in particular holds a special place in my heart. As a nurse I will have a wonderful opportunity to help.” He is a member of both PTK and OSN and will enter his third semester of ADN Program in the fall.


Mr. Johnson began his forty –seven year service to Anderson Regional Medical Center in 1947. Mr. Johnson was President and Chairman of the Board for thirty-eight years. He was instrumental in the successful transformation of the hospital from a small infirmary to what became Anderson Regional Medical Center. Mr. Johnson also served as the Internal Management Consultant from 1976 until his death in 1994. The scholarship was created in 2007 to honor the many accomplishments of Mr. Johnson.

2011 Recipient – Sarah Ivey

Ivey, a resident of Quitman, wrote, “I have always loved caring for people and I knew I wanted to go into the medical field.” Entering her third semester in the ADN program, Ivey is a member of PTK.


2011 Recipient – Christina Shaver

Shaver, a resident of Chunky, said in her essay, “It was in 2008 and I was in labor with my first child… the nurses that were assigned to me were awesome. They made me feel safe and able to handle the delivery. Those nurses made a significant impact on my life. I wanted to care about people and make them safe.” She will begin her third semester of ADN studies in the fall.