Saturday, July 19, 2008

DSU announces the Martha Roberts Jenkins Endowed Scholarship

Special to The Yazoo Herald
Yazoo City, Mississippi
July 9, 2008

The Delta State University Foundation Inc. announces the endowment of a new scholarship honoring Mrs. Martha Roberts Jenkins, of Yazoo City. The scholarship is being endowed by her son, Dr. William L. “Bill” Jenkins Jr. of San Diego, California, a 1970 graduate of Delta State. The scholarship will benefit a graduate of the high school from which the seven Jenkins children graduated – Yazoo City High School.

Martha Elizabeth Roberts was born in Vardaman in 1921 and grew up in the heart of the Mississippi Delta in Tunica County. She interrupted her last year of high school in 1939 to marry William Lester “Pop” Jenkins.

The young couple moved to Yazoo City in 1945 where they reared their seven children.

Though Martha Jenkins never received a high school diploma, she believed in the value of education and taught her children to take advantage of the education opportunities offered to them. After her children were well-established in school and college, Mrs. Jenkins earned her GED. She went on to serve as a teacher’s assistant in the Yazoo City Public School System, where she shared her love of education with hundreds of students for nearly 25 years. Mrs. Jenkins’ belief in education and insistence that her children study hard and remain focused on their goals served her family well as her children found their places in society.

Ellen Ann Jenkins Kinard, the eldest child, received a registered nursing degree (RN) and worked as a surgical and recovery room nurse at Rush Foundation Hospital in Meridian. She passed away in 1987. She married Rayford Kinard of Lauderdale County. They were parents of two sons: Donnie and David.

Linda Lou Jenkins currently serves as church secretary and ministry assistant at Parkview Church of God in Yazoo City. She also serves as a certified secretarial trainer for the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board. For the past 51 years, Linda’s career path led her to the ministry in the church office. She attended courses at Mississippi College and lives in Yazoo City.

Norman Jenkins graduated from Mississippi State University. He had a successful and rewarding career with Allstate Insurance Company and is now semi-retired. He and his wife, the former Frankie Hilderbrand of Satartia, live in Tupelo. They are parents of two children: Doug Jenkins and Kim Newton of Flora, MS.

Marietta Jenkins Wilkinson and her husband, Ron Wilkinson, live in Yazoo City. Marietta followed her elder sister into the nursing profession. She received her registered nursing (RN) degree from the Gilfoy School of Nursing at the Mississippi Baptist Medical Center in Jackson and was one of the first people in the state to receive certified Hospice training. Marietta is the Director of Nursing Service at Martha Coker Convalescent Home in Yazoo City. They are parents of two sons: Jeff and Joey.

George Thomas “Tommy” Jenkins was beginning to enjoy the fruits of a sales career when he died in an automobile accident in 1971. He married the former Tiffie Moses of Yazoo City. They had two children: Todd and Paige.

Dr. Bill Jenkins received his Bachelor of Science in Education Degree from Delta State University in 1970. He then went on to receive a Master of Divinity from Southern Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1974. A little over ten years later, he attained a Doctor of Ministry degree from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia, in 1985. He conducted post doctoral studies at the University of Southern Mississippi. Bill and his wife, Anita, live in Spring Valley, California. His step-children are Deanna Kawasaki and Christopher Cabral.

The youngest of the Jenkins’ children, Louis, graduated from Mississippi State University with a degree in industrial technology. This allowed him to have a varied career with business ventures in the sales, roofing and construction industries. He and his wife, the former Kathy Worrell of Weir, live in Starkville. They are parents of two daughters: Kendy and Krystal.

“The Delta State University Foundation is pleased that Bill has decided to honor his mother by endowing a scholarship in her name,” said Keith Fulcher, executive director. “His generosity will ensure that students from Yazoo City will be afforded an opportunity to earn a college degree. Delta State is certainly proud of Bill’s academic and professional accomplishments.”

While researching and writing his doctoral dissertation on database administration in a church setting Dr. Jenkins found the tri-vocational path that he would follow as an ordained Methodist minister, a teacher and a developer of technology. Dr. Jenkins is pastor of Christ United Methodist Church in San Diego and has taught graduate business and technology courses at San Diego State, Webster and National Universities. The last of these vocations, technology, has allowed Dr. Jenkins to endow a scholarship bearing his mother’s name to honor her lifelong dedication to education.

Dr. Jenkins’ company, Vandor LLC, will launch a new, online “social networking” venture called FaithLife.NET this summer. FaithLife.NET will target philanthropic and faith-based markets, allowing these charitable entities to network. Dr. Jenkins has earmarked 12 percent of FaithLife.NET revenues to fund the scholarship.

“The Martha Roberts Jenkins Scholarship is the first scholarship established at Delta State for students from Yazoo City,” said Fulcher. “We hope that the Martha Roberts Jenkins Scholarship inspires others to consider establishing additional scholarships for students in other areas of the state.” The scholarship will help to defray the cost of tuition to Delta State University for a graduate of a public school system from the Mississippi Delta. Annual tuition, fees, room and board at Delta State University is approximately $8,500.

First preference will be given to graduates of Yazoo City Public School. Second preference will be given to Yazoo County Public School. Final preference will be given to a graduate of a public school system in the Mississippi Delta. One scholarship will be awarded each year. The first recipient will be chosen in 2008.

Mrs. Martha Jenkins, 86, continues to live in Yazoo City where she reared her children with her husband and taught for 25 years. “Pop” Jenkins died in 1989, just a month shy of what was the Jenkins’ 50th wedding anniversary.

For further information on the Martha Roberts Jenkins Scholarship or on establishing a scholarship please contact the Delta State University Foundation Offices at (662) 846-4704 or e-mail or send a gift to Box 3141, Cleveland, Mississippi 38733.

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