Jack and Inez (Gibson) Barnett
The newest endowed scholarship at Paris Junior College was received from the estate of the late Jack and Inez (Gibson) Barnett.
“The heirs of Mr. and Mrs. Barnett, following the wishes of their parents, chose to create a generous endowment for a second year nursing student at the College,” said Derald Bulls, Director of Institutional Advancement and Alumni Affairs at PJC.
The Barnetts grew up in Lamar County. They lived long lives and were married for 72 years until Mr. Barnett’s death in 2004. Mr. Barnett was born in Walnut Ridge and Mrs. Barnett in the Pinhook Community. Family members shared his love for the land as he farmed for many years and retired from Gibson’s Discount Center when it was in the 400 block of Clarksville Street.
Mrs. Barnett, who passed away in 2013, was according to her family, a “go-getter,” who began her career as a nurse’s aide at St. Joseph’s Hospital in the 1950s. She found her niche and continued in the hospital’s licensed vocational nursing program. In a few years, she moved to work at the Sanitarium of Paris, later known as McCuistion Regional Medical Center, spending 35 years there, the majority as an obstetrical nurse.
Mr. Barnett lived to be 94 years of age and Mrs. Barnett lived to celebrate her 96th birthday.
The proceeds from Barnett’s home were directed by Mrs. Barnett to help others further their nursing career. To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must live in the PJC taxing district (Lamar County) and maintain at least a 3.0-grade point average (GPA).
This scholarship will be awarded by the nursing faculty at Paris Junior College. As an endowed scholarship, only the interest earned will be used to award a scholarship. It is estimated the Barnett endowment will generate a $1,500 scholarship each year, with the award to be divided between two semesters. The family encouraged others who worked alongside Mrs. Barnett to add to the endowment’s corpus.
“In this season of giving, we are blessed by the kindness of Mr. and Mrs. Barnett and their heirs, added Bulls. “Mrs. Barnett, assisted many families, physicians and co-workers bring new lives into our community. Because of her passion for her career, the legacy will be passed along to future nurses.”