“Susan Loden lived life to the fullest, a driven lady…very smart,” said her husband, Aaron, when describing the longtime Itawamba Community College economics instructor, who died in 2005.
“She sang in church even when very sick,” Aaron continued. “She loved her children (Kayla and Clayton) and took excellent care of them. I adored her.”
And that love has evolved into the Susan E. Loden Memorial Endowed Scholarship at ICC, which will enable Itawamba County students who have financial need to continue their education for years to come.
Recipients must be full-time students who have and maintain a 2.5 grade point average. Potential success in college will also be considered.
An ICC alumnus and Fulton native, Susan earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Ole Miss. She was hired by her mentor, former dean Dr. Bill Edmonson, and began teaching in 1988. “She loved her work and was especially proud of her SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise) members,” Aaron said. As the SIFE sponsor, Susan organized educational activities and promotional projects to teach economic concepts to the community. She coached award-winning student teams for a number of years.
During her teaching career, Susan received several prestigious honors, including the President’s Meritorious Achievement Award twice, Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers honoree, ICC’s Lamplighter Conference for Excellence in Education representative, sponsor of the SIFE International Rookie of the Year Team and sponsor of the SIFE Regional Winner for multiple years. In 1998, ICC’s National Investment Challenge team ranked third nationally out of 200 or more colleges and universities.
One of her former students said, in 1996, “The words to describe such a lady as Susan Loden are endless, as she is the epitome of what we all should be. She is a truly sincere caring, inspiring and very intellectual instructor and person in all of life…Her class has been one of learning about the economic system and how it works, but above all, it has been a lesson about who we are, where we are going and the joys of life. She is a mentor in my life and I am glad I had the joy of meeting her through my studies.”
Susan was also active in her community as a member of the Itawamba County Development Council.
The Lodens owned and operated Fulton Skateland for more than 23 years. For a few months, Susan also served as a substitute teacher at Itawamba Agricultural High School. She was a very active member of Big Oak Baptist Church, where she was church pianist and a member of the Youth and Education committee.
Aaron said that by setting up the scholarship in Susan’s memory, his family “hopes to help students further education and achieve more in life. This is what she would have wanted. We don’t want people to forget what she stood for and all the good she did while on earth. We want to keep her memory alive and let everyone know what a great person she was.”
Susan once said, “I am a strong believer in the local junior college system. I know from experience that it has helped scores of people who otherwise would not have pursued a college education.”
And because Susan Loden’s career path found its way back to Itawamba Community College and her belief in the importance of two-year colleges, her family’s generosity will enable students for years to come to take the next step in their future.
Foundation scholarships are provided and funded for ICC students by individuals, businesses, industries or organizations. For more information on scholarship endowment or to contribute to the Susan E. Loden Memorial Endowed Scholarship, contact Michael Upton, director of advancement, (662) 862-8035 or email@example.com.
Publisher’s Note: Aaron and Susan Loden have been longtime friends of Jim and Linda Clark.