Prestigious Scholarship Honors Husband's Memory
Margaret Wilson lost her beloved husband, P.O., in December 2006. But she has honored his memory and ensured that his devotion to education will continue improving young lives by establishing one of the most prestigious scholarships offered at Jacksonville State University.
The P.O. and Margaret Wilson Achievement Scholarship provides the full cost of tuition, room, books, meals, fees and study abroad— a current value of approximately $60,000— over the selected students' four years. Recipients are also eligible for funds for self-designed research projects and summer educational experiences, as well as funding for JSU-approved research projects related to their academic or vocational interests. One "Wilson Scholar" will be selected every four years beginning in 2008 based on academic achievement, aptitude, leadership and community service.
"We have always hoped that our actions will inspire others and reinforce the belief that going to school matters," Margaret says. "The scholarship fits well into our way of thinking. We have often tried to make choices in our lives that strengthen and give back to society."
After serving during World War II, P.O. taught math and statistics at the University of Alabama at night while operating an auto dealership during the day. He also served as a trustee of Judson College for 23 years. Margaret worked as an accountant for her husband's dealership and has two sons, Chuck and Tommy Vinson. Tommy is a JSU graduate. Today Margaret is blessed with four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Margaret transferred stock to the JSU Foundation to establish the scholarship. "I wanted to do something in this community to benefit children who might not be able to attend college otherwise," she explains. "My husband had a very successful life and was a pillar of our church and community, and this is a tribute to him."