Letterman T-Club set to present inaugural scholarship in memory of Eric Mizell

Published 12:45 pm Friday, May 12, 2023

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For the first time, the Troy Letterman T-Club will be presenting its Eric D. Mizell Big E Endowed Scholarship this week.

The scholarship was endowed in honor of Mizell, who was the founder of the Letterman T-Club and a former Troy football player. Mizell, a Lucedale, Miss., native, started his college football career at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College before transferring to Troy. Following his football career – and graduation from Troy – he went on to serve as wealth manager at Henderson Wealth Management with Troy Bank and Trust.

Mizell made a point of giving back to his school and his community during his life. He was a lifetime member of the Troy University National Alumni Association, Co-founder of the Letterman T-Club, a member of the Alumni Board, member of the Warrior Council and an avid tailgater and Troy football supporter. He was a member of the Troy City Schools Education Foundation Board, a volunteer coach at Troy Parks and Recreation and helped found the recreation department’s flag football league. He also volunteered as secretary of the West College Street Historical Association.

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Unfortunately, Mizell passed away in 2016. Right away, Mizell’s family and the T-Club wanted to honor the former Trojan and found a perfect way to do so with the scholarship.

“When Eric transferred here to Troy I was already on the team,” T-Club member and Mizell’s teammate Julius Pittman said. “That’s how I first met him. He used to talk about how happy he was for Troy giving him that opportunity and how kids just need a chance to get started and then what they do with that chance is up to them. We should support these kids and give them opportunities and that’s where (the scholarship) came from.”

The T-Club had to get the scholarship funded before it could be endowed. Last year, the scholarship was endowed with Troy University and this year, the T-Club is finally able to award the inaugural Big E Scholarship. The T-Club has raised a total of $50,000 for the scholarship, thus far.

On May 11, Troy Bank and Trust – Mizell’s former employer – held its annual Customer Appreciation Golf Tournament and for the past five years lent a helping hand by hosting a silent auction in which yesterday more than $14,000 was raised for the scholarship.

“Eric was a really great guy and a likable person,” TB&T Executive Vice-President Bo Coppage said. “After his death, we wanted to do something for him. Julius and some other guys started this scholarship and we thought this would be a good time, with our golf tournament, to have a silent auction and raise funds for it.”

Coppage reiterated Pittman’s view on continuing to give kids an opportunity, which is what Mizell always wanted.

“It helps follow Eric’s philosophy and what he stood for,” Coppage said. “Which is giving people a chance. This will help an incoming freshman to be able to afford to go to college. We feel really good about that.”

Students that plan to attend Troy University, whose parents are members of the Letter winners T-Club and alumni chapter are eligible for the scholarship, along with students of Pike County area schools. Junior college students – that graduated from a Pike County area school – are also eligible. The scholarship is a $1,000 per year cash scholarship. The inaugural recipient will be awarded next week.