An 87-year-old Black woman, Osceola McCarty, donates her life’s savings to Mississippi University.
In one of the nation's heartwarming stories of 1995, an eighty-seven-year-old Mississippi woman named Osceola McCarty brought attention to the virtues of hard work, thrift, and charity by donating $150,000, much of her life's savings, to the University of Southern Mississippi. The monetary gift was the largest ever made by an Black American to a Mississippi university. McCarty was able to amass the large amount by saving the earnings from years of washing laundry by hand, all the while spending little on herself. "I want to give some child the opportunity I didn't have," she told Ebony. "I hope this money can help children, for years to come, make their dreams come true." Following the announcement of her gift, McCarty was invited to the University of Southern Mississippi, where she was made an honorary alumna, and to a Congressional Black Caucus dinner as the special guest of President Bill Clinton, who awarded her the Presidential Citizens Medal.