For Smith, who graduated from the School of Architecture in 1995, this endeavor is more than just a philanthropic gesture; it’s a testament to the transformative power of education and opportunity.

“When I was a student at MSU, I received a second-year award from ArchitectureSouth, formerly Staub Robinson and Williams, which helped in my pursuit of becoming an architect,” Smith said.

She said she sees this endowed scholarship as a way to pay it forward and support the next generation of aspiring architects.

“I thought it was a great opportunity to recognize deserving students and encourage their pursuits of becoming architects,” she said. “By doing an endowment, ArchitectureSouth can continue to recognize and help students long after I am gone and continue to invest in the architectural profession.”

Candidates for the ArchitectureSouth Endowed Scholarship will be full-time entering freshmen pursuing a degree within the School of Architecture. They must have a minimum 3.0 high school GPA and demonstrate exceptional work ethic and leadership skills. In addition to the endowed scholarship, ArchitectureSouth has established an annual scholarship to award while the endowment matures.

Beyond the scholarship investment, ArchitectureSouth has been involved in a variety of projects on and off campus in an effort to increase its presence at MSU. The firm also participated in the co-op program last year, and Smith recently joined the advisory board for MSU’s School of Architecture, aiming to strengthen the bond between ArchitectureSouth and the university.

“Through my involvement on the advisory board and the establishment of the ArchitectureSouth endowment, I hope to have a lasting positive impact on the study and practice of architecture at MSU, Mississippi and beyond,” Smith said.

A native of Fulton, Smith always loved the arts and the process of building or making things. After earning her associate degree in art from Itawamba Community College, she wanted to continue her studies with a degree program that involved more math and engineering to complement her art education. Architecture seemed to be a perfect fit. MSU’s proximity to her home and its thriving architecture program made it a perfect fit as well.

“MSU and the School of Architecture gave me a chance to not only learn and grow but experience things that a young lady from a small town in Mississippi would not have been able to do otherwise,” she said. “I had an opportunity to travel in the United States and abroad, participate in the co-op program, the Carl Small Town Center and an exchange program.”

Smith credits the skills she acquired at MSU with helping her to prosper, not just in her profession, but in all areas of her life. She believes the same is true for many other Bulldog alumni and is amazed at the widespread impact of the work of her School of Architecture classmates.

“I would like to do a small part in helping that success continue,” she said.

With the establishment of the endowed scholarship, Linda Edwards Smith and ArchitectureSouth are not just building structures—they’re building dreams, ensuring that aspiring architects have the resources and support they need to shape the world around them for generations to come.

By Addie Mayfield, Photos Submitted