April 14, 2011 8:56:00 AM
STARKVILLE -- Linda Bell was anxious to organize efforts to honor her son''s memory.
The mother of Nick Bell, the late Mississippi State football player, Linda started the Nick Bell Mentoring Memorial Foundation at the beginning of the year to keep alive Nick''s passion for education and mentoring.
On Wednesday, Linda and her daughter, Monica, visited MSU and started a pair of scholarships through the school''s Alumni Association.
The Nick Bell Mentoring Memorial Loyalty Scholarship is a $1,000 one-time gift in which Linda and the Bulldog Club each contributed $500.
The Nick Bell Mentoring Memorial Annual Scholarship is a $500 gift and will be awarded each year to the prospective MSU student who exemplifies the character, hard work, and community-driven leadership Nick, who passed away Nov. 2 following a bout with cancer, possessed.
"Total strangers will not just benefit financially, but they''ll be able to do some things they didn''t do before and learn some things from a guy who was excelling in every area of his life," Linda said. "People need to know they can do that. He worked hard at everything he did."
Nick was a 20-year-old sophomore defensive end who made seven tackles, including two for a loss, last season before having his initial surgery to remove a mass from his brain Oct. 1. He played in all 12 games as a redshirt freshman in 2009, making 16 tackles.
The Alumni Association and Bell hope to award the scholarships in the next two weeks.
Linda also got the chance to see the memorial tree the athletic department planted in Nick''s honor in front of the Bryan Athletic Building.
MSU Alumni Association Stewardship Coordinator Jackie Hudson said the organization is going to push for donations toward the scholarship fund, which will continue each season through the gifts from the Nick Bell Memorial foundation but could raise from $500 depending on giving.
"She really wanted the person who got the scholarship to be very involved and go that extra mile to do things and get things done," Hudson said. "We really hope that through the cause the word will get out and people will want to contribute."
For more information on how to contribute to the annual scholarship fund, visit nickbellfoundation.org or call the MSU Alumni Association at 325-7000.