STARKVILLE, Miss. — A deceased couple’s estate has gifted Mississippi State University $7.2 million to endow scholarships for veterinary students.

MSU announced the gift from the estate of the late Charles and Viola Bardsley Wednesday. It nearly doubles the veterinary college’s overall endowment.

Melissa Montgomery of MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine says students will apply for money each year based on academics and area of study. Montgomery says MSU expects to award about $280,000 in scholarships yearly.

“Dr. and Mrs. Bardsley loved small animals, namely dogs, and they recognized that supporting veterinary students through scholarships, they could impact animals and the people charged with caring for animals,” Montgomery wrote in an email.

Charles Bardsley developed pesticides, earning two patents while working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agritec Co. in Texas and Mallinckrodt Chemical Co. in St. Louis. He also taught at Clemson University. A native of Rhode Island, Bardsley came to MSU in 1950, earning a master’s degree in agronomy and then a doctorate in agronomy and soils.

Bardsley was also a trumpet player who wrote and arranged music, including for MSU’s band.

Viola Bardsley, an Illinois native, was senior chemist at Mallinckrodt Chemical and taught college chemistry.

Charles Bardsley died in 2003, while Viola Bardsley died in 2015.