The Mary Loraine Peets Buffett Scholarship
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Born in Crystal Springs, Mississippi, in 1921, Mary Loraine Peets Buffett was known simply as “Peets” to her family and friends. The mother of two daughters, Laurie and Lucy, and a son who is one of The University of Southern Mississippi’s most prominent alumni, Jimmy Buffett, she is remembered for her infectious love of books, people and family. Peets, who passed away in 2003 in Point Clear, Alabama, delighted in gorgeous sunsets, the scent of magnolias, visits from loved ones and writing poetry. She also knew the value of hard work and education.
A 1940 graduate of Gulf Park College for Women (now the Southern Miss Gulf Park campus) in Long Beach, Mississippi, her desire for learning never ceased. Following her retirement from employment in 1979, Peets fulfilled her lifelong dream of obtaining a university degree at the age of 64. Her values of love, education, and hard work were passed to her three children, and they live on today through the Mary Loraine Peets Buffett Endowed Scholarship at The University of Southern Mississippi.
About the Scholarship
Peets remembered her years at Gulf Park College with great fondness. When asked about her experience there she said, “Meeting girls from all over the country and reveling in challenging academics truly opened up my whole world.” Upon the establishment of the endowed scholarship in her name in 2003, just a few months before her death, Peets shared, “I am honored to be a part of giving another Mississippi girl this wonderful, life-enriching opportunity.”
The Mary Loraine Peets Buffett Endowed Scholarship is doing just that. The $5,000 scholarship, managed by the Southern Miss Alumni Association, is awarded to an incoming full-time female freshman from the state of Mississippi demonstrating financial need and a minimum high school grade point average of 3.0. Applications for these students entering the College of Arts and Letters must be accompanied by an essay or other work to demonstrate the student’s creativity and strong desire to succeed in their selected field of study.