March 18, 2019  

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Southern Miss Student Captures Prestigious Swayze Scholarship

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Southern Miss senior Bradley Floore was presented the 2016 Orrin W. Swayze Scholarship by the Mississippi Young Bankers Association. (Submitted photo)

All puns aside, University of Southern Mississippi student Bradley Floore described his reaction as “floored” upon learning that he had been selected as the winner of the prestigious 2016 Orrin W. Swayze Scholarship.

Floore, a senior from Gautier, Miss., was presented the award by the Mississippi Young Bankers section of the Mississippi Bankers Association during the MYB's annual conference held earlier this month at Marriott’s Grand Hotel in Point Clear, Ala. This marks the second straight year that a Southern Miss student has claimed the prize. Tanner Shaw took home the coveted scholarship last year.

The $5,000 scholarship is presented annually to the top Magnolia State university major in banking and finance who best represents the tradition of banking excellence exemplified by Swayze, a senior officer for Trustmark until his retirement in 1967.

“Fortunately, all of the finalists were asked to prepare a brief acceptance speech, which I had, or else I would have been speechless,” said Floore, who is pursuing a double major in accounting, and banking and finance. “It was just an incredible rush of emotion to know that the scholarship committee saw something in me that warranted awarding me this honor.”

Since 1979, the MYB annually has recognized five finalists for the Swayze Scholarship. Southern Miss claimed two of the five finalists this year – Floore and Ashley Clark, of Petal. All five finalists receive awards of $1,500 each as MYB Scholars with the Swayze Scholar receiving a total of $5,000. All finalists must be interviewed by the organization's scholarship committee and participate in sessions during the four-day conference.

“We are very proud of Bradley Floore and of our faculty in finance,” said Dr. Faye Gilbert, dean of the Southern Miss College of Business. “Dr. Wayne Kelly, chair of the department, is tireless in working with students who choose to excel in their careers and in life. Bradley has the character and drive, and the Mississippi Young Bankers members recognized that with this top honor.”

Floore, who owns a 3.98 GPA, is a Luckyday Scholar who was honored two years ago by the Mississippi Young Bankers with its Leadership Scholarship. Last year Floore received the Hamp King Award presented by the MSCPA Awards, Education, and Scholarships Committee. The award is given annually to the top accounting student in Mississippi.

Scholarship Committee Chairman Michael Gibson pointed out that 14 applications were submitted to the committee from Southern Miss, Mississippi State University, the University of Mississippi and Jackson State University.

“The Scholarship Committee reviews each application which includes transcripts, letters of recommendations, resumés, and details of extra-curricular activities,” said Gibson, senior vice president at Great Southern  Bank. “Dr. Kelly and the USM Department of Banking and Finance have sent excellent candidates to be considered for both the MYB Leadership Award and the Swayze Scholarship.”

Southern Miss student R. Parker Anderson was presented the MYB Leadership Award last September.

Following graduation in May, Floore plans to intern with Horne LLP in the firm’s banking audit group this summer. He also hopes to earn his CPA license by year’s end. His long-term goals include a career in the banking community as a commercial lender with ultimate promotion to senior management.

“Without the support and guidance that I have received at Southern Miss over the past few years, none of this would have been possible,” said Floore. “I am extremely blessed to have had so many mentors and supporters in my life that have pushed me to be better every day, and to show me how limitless the opportunities really are.”

Floore is married to Shanice Hicks, a 2015 Southern Miss graduate who is currently employed as Assistant General Manager at TownePlace Suites by Marriott in Hattiesburg.