Booneville High graduates create annual MSU scholarship honoring beloved classmate

Contact: Shun Pounds

STARKVILLE, Miss.—A group of 1995 Booneville High School graduates are honoring former classmate Jeffrey “Jeff” Rowan Clifton with a $1,000 gift to Mississippi State, establishing an annual scholarship in his name.

MSU Foundation logoThe Jeff Clifton Memorial Scholarship will be awarded on a year-to-year basis. Eligible candidates must be full-time entering first-year students or community college transfers enrolled at MSU and must have demonstrated leadership ability. Preference will be given to students from Prentiss County; however, if no candidate meets the preference, any other candidate meeting the remaining criteria will be considered. Students eligible for one year are eligible for consideration in any other year; however, they must again comply with the selection criteria.

Clifton, an MSU graduate and avid fan of the university, served for 16 years at Mid-America Apartment Communities, leading its IT support desk and human resources. He died on March 18.

Classmates said Clifton was known for his big heart, fun-loving office antics, willingness to give others “the shirt off his back,” and work ethic that “shined throughout his career.” The company named him Star Performer in 2016 and selected him for the Corporate Excellence Award for HR in 2020.

“In memory of our beloved classmate, Jeff Clifton, whose spirit and kind heart left an indelible mark on us all, we've created this scholarship to honor his legacy and perpetuate his passion for both education and the Mississippi State Bulldogs,” said Bonnie Wanner, a representative of the BHS graduates who established the scholarship.

For more information on giving to the Jeff Clifton Memorial Scholarship, visit

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