A group of donors has raised money to honor William H. “Billy” Stimpson and his late brothers, Benjamin “Ben” and Gordon “Dut,” through the creation of the Stimpson Brothers Leadership Scholarship in Business at the Mitchell College of Business at the University of South Alabama.
To date, more than 49 donors have raised more than $144,200 toward the endowed scholarship, which honors the brothers who owned Gulf Lumber Co.
The effort was spearheaded by Earle Long III, a longtime friend of the Stimpson family. Long, a local businessman, said he grew up in the hunting club started in the 1920s by the Stimpsons’ father, Fred Stimpson, and Fred Stimpson’s business partner, Jim Radcliff. Long’s grandfather, Earle Long, Sr., and his father, Earle Long, Jr., belonged to the club. Long and two of his sons are still active in the club, marking four generations of connection with the Stimpsons.
“It was like having a second family,” Long said. “We just had wonderful times, full of adventure, a little mischief, lots of laughter and fun, and certainly some of the very best hunting and fishing in the South. This wonderful and close camaraderie created some of the best memories any of us will ever have, and right in the middle of these treasured memories are Billy, Ben and Dut.”
Long said he found it was easy to rally other hunting friends around the scholarship. The group of donors has had a long association with the Stimpson family, primarily through hunting clubs. The stories of the hunting clubs include humorous tales of camaraderie, fellowship and a devotion to the land. The clubs have been frequented by politicians throughout the decades.
“It was a very easy thing to do because he is loved by all,” Long said of Billy Stimpson. “It really makes me feel good to know that Billy will now know how much we appreciate him and his family. I just wish Ben and Dut were here also.”
Sandy Stimpson, a son of Billy Stimpson, said that his father was touched with the gesture by long-time friends of his and his late brothers.
“My father has never been as touched by anything as he has by this scholarship in his honor and in the memory of my uncles,” Sandy Stimpson said. “What Earle Long and our hunting friends have done to honor my father and two uncles is one of the nicest honors ever bestowed on our family.”
Billy Stimpson is 88 years old. The late Ben Stimpson would have been 83, and Dut Stimpson would have been 78.
Sandy Stimpson remembers the brotherly bond between his father and his uncles fondly. Not only did the three run Gulf Lumber together as a team, they hunted and fished together on the weekends.
“Even though each was different, they had common goals,” Sandy Stimpson said.
The Stimpson Brothers scholarship is a full tuition and fees scholarship and will be awarded to a sophomore student who is an Alabamian. The student will be a full-time business major, with a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or above, who has demonstrated a strong leadership ethic. Service in the University’s ROTC program may be considered. The scholarship may be renewed in the student’s junior and senior years; however, the same selection process will be used.
Dr. Carl Moore, dean of the USA Mitchell College of Business, said, “We are very pleased and honored that the friends and family of the Stimpsons have chosen to honor them through the creation of the Stimpson Brothers Leadership Scholarship in the Mitchell College of Business. The scholarship will be a great benefit to a sophomore student in business who has demonstrated leadership ability and academic excellence. The Stimpson scholarship and other academic scholarships provide opportunities to attract an increasing number of outstanding students from our region to the Mitchell College of Business.”
Dr. Joseph F. Busta, vice president of development and alumni relations at USA, said the scholarship is a tribute to a family that has meant much to state wildlife efforts and the local community.
“This important endowment is a special tribute to three brothers who were loved and deeply respected by a large number of Mobile citizens and community leaders,” Busta said. “The Stimpson brothers positively influenced their lives and thus positively affected the quality of life in Mobile and throughout the state.”
The Stimpson Brothers Leadership Scholarship is part of Campaign USA, the University’s first comprehensive fund-raising campaign for USA programs, faculty, students and construction. Campaign USA was launched in March 2006 and, to date, has raised $79.2 million. Led by Jim Yance, the Campaign USA Leadership team is comprised of local civic, business and national leaders, many of whom are alumni.
Campaign USA will enrich all aspects of USA, from its academic colleges and schools to its hospitals, athletic programs, libraries and campuses. The money raised will be used to fund such items as undergraduate and graduate scholarships, professorships, classroom and laboratory equipment, and health care innovations. Funds will also be used for capital enhancements to USA’s athletic facilities and a campus bell tower.
For information on Campaign USA, visit www.campaignusaleadership.com or call (251) 460-7032. To make a gift to the Stimpson Brothers Leadership Scholarship, call Lauren Roebuck at (251) 414-8063 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The University of South Alabama
Since its founding in 1963, the University of South Alabama has been one of Alabama’s fastest growing universities, currently enrolling more than 14,000 students in a wide range of academic programs in Allied Health Professions, Arts and Sciences, Mitchell College of Business, Computer and Information Sciences, Continuing Education and Special Programs, Education, Engineering, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy. The University has awarded 63,740 degrees.
In addition to teaching and research, USA is one of the largest health care providers in the Mobile region, with its faculty physicians and two hospitals – USA Children’s & Women’s and USA Medical Center – involved in more than a quarter million patient encounters annually. USA is also home to the Mitchell Cancer Institute, the first academic cancer research institute in the upper Gulf Coast region.