It can sound cliche to talk about the power of scholarships because it is a message we hear so often. But, when visiting with the students who benefit, the undeniable power these gifts have to transform lives is anything but.

Lizzie Kight and Kasen Barnfield are examples of students benefitting from a scholarship that was specifically designed for graduates of their high school. The students say without the assistance, their academic experiences would not only be different but perhaps not even possible.

About The Holigans

Harold and Hermena (Parks) Holigan love their hometown of Puxico, Missouri, so much so that they established the Holigan Family Scholarship so Puxico High School graduates can reach and achieve their higher education goals.

Harold and Hermena grew up in Puxico and graduated from Puxico High School in 1959. After graduating, Harold attended Southeast Missouri State College for two years in pre-engineering and general studies before transferring to the University of Missouri-Columbia to complete a degree in electrical engineering. Hermena earned a Bachelor of Science in vocational home economics in 1963 from Southeast.

After a very successful career with AT&T, Harold started his own business, Just A Math Problem (JAMP) Enterprises, LLC, in 1982 in Dallas, Texas. Harold often references "Just a Math Problem" as his philosophy in approaching opportunities, addressing challenges and making decisions. JAMP focuses on the residential real estate market, including operations in manufactured housing, homebuilding, land development, land banking, property management and technology. The company has developed more than 100,000 residential lots, constructed more than 8,000 homes and built more than 60 manufactured home communities across the United States, including in Texas, Utah, Missouri, Florida, New Mexico, Michigan and Tennessee. Harold and Hermena are both members of the Southeast Missouri University Foundation President's Council. They have three children, Michael and Sarah Holigan, both of Dallas, Texas, and Rebecca Smeltzer of Nashville, Tennessee.

The Holigan Family Scholarship was established through the Southeast Missouri University Foundation and the Three Rivers Endowment Trust and will be awarded to students who are graduates of Puxico High School with a 2.75 grade point average and are pursuing an undergraduate degree at Southeast or Three Rivers College. Additionally, the scholarship will support junior and senior high school students enrolled in dual credit courses at Southeast or Three Rivers.

The Holigan Family Scholarship is awarded to graduates of Puxico High School who are pursuing an undergraduate degree at Southeast's main or regional campuses in Sikeston or Kennett, a Southeast delivery site or via Southeast Online. Recipients may either be traditional students entering their freshman year at Southeast or transfer students from Three Rivers College who previously received the Holigan Scholarship.

The award covers any unmet need after institutional scholarships and grants are applied to cover students' tuition, fees, books and supplies. Students must be enrolled full time and maintain a 3.0 grade point average in college to maintain the scholarship. The scholarship may be renewed for at least two years.

Since established in 2018, the Holigan Family Scholarship has paid for the education of 84 graduates of Puxico High School.

Scholarships by the Numbers

  • $20M

    Southeast awards $20 million in scholarships annually to students based on criteria such as their GPA, test scores, and geographic location.

  • $2M

    $2 million are awarded in endowed scholarships annually. These are scholarships provided by generous donors.

  • 84

    The Holigans have funded the education of 84 students at Southeast.

Your Gift Makes a Difference!

You choose where your passion is, and we’ll help you make a difference for Southeast students in that area. Whether you’re supporting students through endowed scholarships, donating to the Redhawk Food Pantry, providing funds to Kent Library to enhance student research, supporting students with experiential learning opportunities, or giving to the University Fund to support the immediate area of greatest need, you make a difference in the lives of our students. Thank you!

Receiving this scholarship helps me tremendously on the financial side of things. With the Holigan scholarship I can balance school and a part-time job without struggling to pay the tuition for my education. This will be my third year using this scholarship, and I am grateful for the generosity that Harold and Hermana Holigan have shown me and other Puxico alumni.

Bailey Zych, Southeast Student

"I am currently entering my third year at Southeast Missouri State University with a double major in Animal Science and Biomedical Science, and minors in Chemistry and Biology. Thanks to your support I have completed 90 hours of college credits during my dual credits in high school and my four semesters post high school. After I complete my undergraduate degree I plan to attend graduate school and earn my Doctorate in Veterinary medicine. Once I earn my DVM, I intend to return to Southeast Missouri and practice large animal medicine . When you told us about this scholarship, you said you wanted to breathe life back into our community by offering us an education, which is another reason why I want to return home and bring large animal medicine with me. "

Hannah Jones

Hannah Jones smiles while standing between brick walls.

This scholarship means that I can attend college and come out of college debt free. If it were not for the scholarship, I would not be attending college. I also would never be able to do my dream job of becoming a CRNA. This scholarship also means that my family does not have to be put in a financial strain.

Lydia Holden, Southeast Student

The generosity to give. The will to do.

Support Southeast

When it comes to supporting our fellow Redhawks, we do whatever it takes. Help advance the causes and mission of Southeast Missouri State University by supporting it with a gift.