Chris Young is celebrating the holiday season by giving back to his alma mater: The Middle Tennessee State University alum has established a scholarship, awarded annually, for recording industry students at the school, located in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Beginning in the fall of 2017, the Young-funded scholarship will be awarded yearly to a rising junior or senior in MTSU's Department of Recording Industry. It's a gift that Young hopes will help young artists learn important lessons, just as he did at MTSU.

“MTSU helped to give me a foundation for the music business," Young explains in a press release, "and I want this scholarship to help other students who are looking to take a similar path."

Young is a native of Murfreesboro, so he didn't have to travel far for college, or when it came time to make the leap to Nashville's thriving music scene. Located less than an hour from Music City, MTSU was a perfect launching ground for Young (and many other country artists like him) -- and he's kept in touch, too.

“Chris has remained a loyal and connected MTSU alum through the years,” says MTSU Vice President of University Advancement Joe Bales. “He’s returned to perform several times in MTSU’s Murphy Center as his music career ascended and remains generous with his time and talent, even donating some of his touring audio equipment and accessories a few years ago.”

Young's generous gift to MTSU isn't the only way he's giving back this holiday season either: Following the release of his first holiday album, It Must Be Christmas, the country singer is encouraging fans to bring a new, unwrapped toy or book to his concerts through the end of the year, with all proceeds going to Toys for Tots in each town.

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