Eutaw, Ala. Police Support League makes gift to Judson College Criminal Justice program
On Thursday, April 27, Eutaw, Ala., Mayor Pro Tempore Sheila Hann Smith made a gift to Judson College on behalf of the Tommy Summerville Police Support League in Eutaw.
Smith presented Judson College President David Potts and Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Christine Bussey with a check for $10,000 to fund scholarships for deserving students in Judson’s Criminal Justice program
Smith hopes the gift will be the beginning of an “ongoing relationship” between the Tommy Summerville Police Support League and Judson College. Smith founded the League in 2013 in memory of friend and colleague Thomas Taylor Summerville, Jr., who was Chief of Police in Eutaw when Smith first joined the city government as councilperson. Summerville died suddenly in 2010, and Smith and others established the nonprofit as a way to honor Summerville’s legacy in the Eutaw Police Department. “He dedicated his entire adult life to law enforcement. We wanted to make sure he was remembered,” said Smith, who serves as the League’s president. The non-profit League supports the work of the Eutaw Police Department.
Smith and the League recently began looking for opportunities to partner with other entities in the Alabama Black Belt. She met Billy McFarland, Eutaw resident and Judson College’s Special Assistant to the President for Business Development, who introduced Smith to the Criminal Justice program at Judson, and she was eager to partner with the College.
Criminal Justice is a growing major for both on-campus and online students at Judson. The College offers Bachelor of Science degrees in Criminal Justice to women via on-campus programs and to both men and women through online learning programs.
“Our College and Criminal Justice Department are truly blessed to have Mayor Smith as a partner, said Bussey. “Her generosity and enthusiasm, manifest in her stalwart support for both law enforcement and community building, will undoubtedly benefit our students, both current and prospective. We look forward to building what will be a rewarding and ongoing relationship.”
“I’m really excited about this opportunity for the [Police Support League]. I really believe in it.” Smith said, touting the importance of supporting programs in the Black Belt.
“We are very grateful. I know [the League’s gift] will be a wonderful benefit to our Criminal Justice program and its students,” Potts said. Potts expressed his hope that the scholarship funds will assist the College in attracting more students seeking degrees in Criminal Justice to the Black Belt. Referencing the College’s emphasis on service to God and to others–particularly in underserved areas, Potts said that Criminal Justice students who encounter rural Black Belt communities through course internships or volunteer work are able to “see more clearly the needs of people in rural areas” and “recognize the importance of returning to those places to serve after graduation or graduate school.”
For more information about Judson College’s Criminal Justice program, visit www.judson.edu or contact Christine Bussey at (334) 683-5245.
Photo: Eutaw Mayor Pro Tempore Sheila Hann Smith (center) presents $10,000 from the Tommy Summerville Police Support League to Judson College President David Potts and Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Christine Bussey. Funds will support scholarships for deserving Judson College students obtaining degrees in Criminal Justice. Photo by Mary Amelia Taylor.