Brenda and Carl Grubb Endow from a Lifetime of Education at MDCC
A lot of folks have called the Mississippi Delta Community College campus home in Moorhead. They raised their families, planted their roots deep in the tiny hamlet’s soil and spent their careers teaching and coaching young minds and bodies in preparation for lifetime success. Carl and Brenda Grubb are one of those dedicated couples. After retiring from teaching and coaching at MDCC and touching countless lives, the Grubbs decided to continue impacting lives by endowing a scholarship in their name.
The dynamic duo taught psychology and science classes and Carl helped coach the school’s athletic endeavors across campus. Originally, the Grubbs began a scholarship in Carl’s name for students majoring in math or science but wanted to do more.
“We were honoring him and then when I retired a few years later we changed it to the Carl and Brenda Grubb Scholarship,” Brenda Grubb said.
Planning ahead, the Grubbs didn’t want to put the financial aspect of funding the scholarship on their children. They decided to fully endow the scholarship to help future students.
“We wanted to make sure the scholarship would live in perpetuity and not put a burden on our children to fund it,” she said.
Carl, a Friars Point native, first came to Sunflower Junior College in 1953 as a student athlete. He excelled in football and track for Coach Jimmy Randall as a 5-foot, 11-inch, 180 pound running back. He was named the team’s Most Valuable Player his freshman year. He would make All State Second Team his sophomore year and would finish his football career at Delta State University. He was inducted into the DSU Sports Hall of Fame in 1990. He still holds the record for the longest run from scrimmage for the Statesmen – 95 yards.
The Grubbs met due to some of their mutual friends set them up on blind date during Brenda’s sophomore year Christmas break. They would marry in 1961. Brenda graduated from DSU with a degree in Elementary Education and taught fourth grade for two years at Moorhead Elementary School.
“After that, Betty Harris and I opened the Humpty Dumpty Kindergarten in Moorhead. We taught under my license,” she said. “After two years of that, I was hired to teach psychology at MDJC. So, I’ve taught for 37 combined years.”
Brenda was also busy at home taking care of two children, Carondelet and Karl. Then two more were added when Carl’s nephews came to live with the family after the untimely death of Carl’s brother and sister-in-law.
“I was busy birthing and raising two children 21 months apart,” she said. “Carl would teach a full load of classes, the rest of his day and into the night was coaching. There were weekend football games and track meets for Carl. Someone needed to take care of all the young’uns while he was busy coaching.”
The duo would also go on to acquire Master’s Degrees at staggered times from Mississippi State University.
“Teaching on different levels is the core of what we’re about. I’ve taught Sunday School classes for years at Moorhead United Methodist Church,” she said. “Carl even taught vocational brick laying at night. He took the class so he could lay the brick at our home in Moorhead. After Carl completed the classes, Mr. Foley was having a hard time finding someone to teach the night class for brick laying, so he talked Carl into doing this. He taught the class for several more years.”
It all added up to them being fully planted and rooted in the Moorhead community and especially MDJC now MDCC. Carl was honored with being a member of the MDCC Sports Hall of Fame as both an athlete and coach. Brenda is also in the Sports Hall of Fame as a recipient of the Jimmy Bellipanni Service Award. She has also received the MDCC Alumni Association’s Trojan Spirit Award.
“I wanted to be an ‘official’ alumna, so I took various classes over the years,” she said. “We love the school and wanted to give back because it supported us all those years. We felt the best way of giving back was helping students with a financial need,” Brenda said. “Carl was a student on athletic scholarship and then Coach Randall called him and offered him a job. I started teaching there too.”
Back then, Sunflower Junior College and Sunflower County Agricultural High School worked hand in hand. Grubb was being groomed to become the head high school coach. The school also updated its name in 1960 to Mississippi Delta Junior College and in 1989 would become Mississippi Delta Community College.
“While Carl was teaching and coaching in the high school starting in 1961, he was also scouting for Mississippi Delta and was part of the college. After those first two years he worked full time for Mississippi Delta under Coach Randall as assistant football coach, baseball coaching and track. One time when Coach Jimmy (Bellipanni) had a heart attack, he did some basketball. He did whatever they needed him to do. At that time, we had three coaches for all of the sports.”
Brenda came on staff in 1969 and taught until 2002. Carl retired in 1997. Both of their children attended MDJC, son Karl had a basketball scholarship his freshman year and an academic scholarship his sophomore year. He would go onto MS State and now is a successful engineer. He and his son, Kyle, both helped create and design the YANKY72 Memorial in Itta Bena that has been a passion for Brenda and the entire Moorhead community.
“It warms my heart that both had a part in making the memorial a reality,” Brenda said.
The Grubb’s daughter, Carondelet, attended MDJC on an academic scholarship and would go onto MS State and eventually achieve her Veterinary Science degree. She has a flourishing veterinary practice in the Memphis area.
“We’ve even had numerous nephews and one niece attend here. Our daughter in law, Robin West Grubb, attended on a Delta Dancer scholarship and our granddaughter, Karlyn, attended on a cheerleader scholarship,” Brenda said.
Brenda taught psychology while Carl taught science. Their initial scholarship began in 1998 and the Grubbs fully endowed it this past spring.
“We’re not rich people and never have been but if we can find the money for an endowed scholarship, there’s hope for other people on very limited retired income to do something as well,” she said.
Brenda was also appointed to the Foundation Board this past year and is eager to help find others to contribute to the school.
“The students we have given to in the past would come up to us and thank us. They would be so grateful like we gave them a million dollars. Their gratitude was beyond the small amount of money,” she said.
Nursing students were required to take Anatomy and Physiology and pass in order to get into MDCC’s nursing school. Most of those students sat under Coach Grubb learning the basics before being taught to tend to patients.
“If they didn’t pass him, they didn’t get into the nursing program,” she said. “He was really the weeder for the nursing department.”
Contributing to and starting a scholarship is tax deductible and helpful to many.
“Any amount of a scholarship is so appreciated by the students,” she said. “Our scholarship is directed to those who don’t qualify for the Pell Grant but still need help. Thankfully, community college tuition and room and board is so much cheaper than senior colleges but still, it’s the amount of money that parents of self-supporting adult students struggle with.”
She also noted that many students work full time and part time and have a need.
“A lot of those in the nursing program apply for it,” she said. “Any amount of scholarship is truly appreciated.”
The classrooms were filled with teaching from the Grubbs but also in their honor, in 2016, the Board of Trustees decided to put their name on the MDCC softball field which had no name. It was christened the Carl and Brenda Grubb Women's Softball Field. They moved to Moorhead, raised a family and taught a generation of students and now are helping future generations of students to come – MDCC’s own Dynamic Duo, Carl and Brenda Grubb.
If you'd like to learn how to endow a scholarship or contribute to an existing one, please contact Jim Aycock, MDCC Foundation and Alumni, at 662.246.6274.