News from the Richard C. Adkerson School of Accountancy

An Unexpected Gift

Dean of Students Thomas Bourgeois presents Reagan Scott with the Dean of Students’ Award of Excellence.

Reagan Scott “never in a million years” would have planned on donating a kidney.  Yet that’s exactly what the Mississippi State accounting student did last year when she learned of another student’s need of a lifesaving kidney transplant.

In the fall of 2019, Scott saw a mother’s plea online to find a matching kidney donor for her son, Keith Fell, Jr., a Louisiana State University student from Pensacola, FL.  She felt compassion for someone her own age going through a health crisis and took a Mayo Clinic survey attached to the social media post.  She soon got a reply that she was a potential match, and a blood test subsequently confirmed it.

“I talked to my parents, and at first they were very hesitant because it was all new to us,” Scott says, noting they were supportive of whatever decision she made.

She proceeded through a rigorous process of physical and psychological tests to confirm her eligibility to donate.  The screening process was thorough and covered all the reasons someone might choose not to donate, including health risks and the possibility of needing the kidney themselves in the future.  In the end, the reasons to donate outweighed the reasons not to, and Scott was inspired by other donors and recipients she met while testing.

“I decided I didn’t want to hoard my organs,” she shares.  “I didn’t want to have the attitude that, ‘I might need this kidney later, so I’m going to let you die because of the smaller chance I might need it in the future.’”

The successful surgery took place at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL, during Christmas break.  Scott’s recovery entailed some discomfort for only about a week, and she was amazed at how quickly she felt back to normal.  In fact, she was able to start an internship January 6.

When MSU Dean of Students Thomas Bourgeois learned of Scott’s generosity, he selected her to receive the Dean of Students’ Award of Excellence, bestowed on those who exemplify exceptional standards of character.  It is only the tenth time the honor has been presented in its 14 year existence.

Upon presenting Scott with the award, Bourgeois said, “You provide hope and joy in a world that desperately needs people like you.  My hope for all MSU students is for them to go out into the world and make a difference.  You knocked it out of the park.”

Scott graduated summa cum laude in May 2019 and is now enrolled in the Master of Professional Accountancy program.  She also is a graduate assistant for ASAC.  And she continues to keep in contact with Fell and his family.

“It was so out of the blue for me to do this,” she says of her donation, but she notes her perspective has changed.  “Instead of assuming someone else will help, it’s good to be the person who offers help.”