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Briana Tully, Ariana Rice and Steven Carrell, all of Tupelo, have been given the opportunity to complete their degree at East Central University thanks in part to the Nikki Stonecipher Memorial Scholarship.

The scholarship fund was created in 2005 to provide deserving students a full scholarship for at least one year and possibly four to ECU.

Tully was the first recipient of the scholarship in the fall of 2007 and is currently a junior majoring in mass communication.

Carrell is majoring in criminal justice and Rice is a nursing major. Both are freshman and were recently awarded the Nikki Stonecipher Memorial Scholarship.

Nikki, the granddaughter of Harland and Shirley Stonecipher, founders of Pre-Paid Legal, perished along with her parents in a plane crash in 2005. Preference for the scholarship recipients is given to graduates of Tupelo High School, from which Nikki's parents graduated.

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