OXFORD, Miss. – Fenton Kottkamp of Louisville, Kentucky, would have turned 23 next Tuesday (Sept. 29), but a tragic accident earlier this year took his life. Several well-known friends are promoting a scholarship in his name to expand his legacy at the University of Mississippi.
The crowdfunding initiative https://ignite.olemiss.edu/lovefenton launched Friday (Sept. 25) to build on a scholarship created in Fenton’s name by Annette and John Schnatter, president-CEO of Papa John’s Pizza, and Olivia and Archie Manning, Ole Miss alumni and the “First Family of Football.” Both John Schnatter and Archie Manning appear in a video for the IgniteOleMiss site, which has as its goal doubling the $29,000 in the endowment.
Ole Miss students, alumni and friends will be handing out #lovefenton stickers in the Grove before Saturday’s football game. The hashtag was inspired by the last line of Kottkamp’s obituary: “In honor of Fenton, please love one another.”
“Fenton would want everyone to love one another, and he would want all of us to go forward with our lives,” said Stephen Kottkamp of Louisville, Kentucky.
The popular student was poised to receive his diploma in May 2015 commencement exercises from UM’s Patterson School of Accountancy with his twin brother, Rush. The brothers had chosen Ole Miss because of its nationally recognized accountancy program and well-rounded college experience.
“My family and I have been deeply impacted by the tragic passing of Fenton Kottkamp, not only because of the fine young man that Fenton was, but also because of the relationship between the Kottkamp family and my family” said Schnatter, also of Louisville.
“Working with Ole Miss alumnus Archie Manning to create the Fenton Kottkamp Memorial Scholarship Endowment was a way for my family and other donors to honor Fenton’s memory and highlight for the Kottkamp family how much affection and respect we hold for their son.”
Manning added, “Our hearts continue to be with the Kottkamp family. … We hope others will join us in remembering this extraordinary young man by helping to build this scholarship endowment, so others can experience Ole Miss in Fenton’s name.”
Rush Kottkamp, now pursuing a master’s degree at UM, said, “Ole Miss gave us the best four years anyone could have wanted. Fenton loved everything about Ole Miss and Oxford. He loved every single sporting event. No matter what time the football game started, Fenton was in the Grove as early as possible.”
Gifts of all sizes can build the Fenton Kottkamp Memorial Scholarship to assist eligible students pursuing majors in the Patterson School and the School of Business Administration. The levels on the crowdfunding platform begin at $23 in honor of the late student’s upcoming birthday.
Parents Jane and Stephen Kottkamp, as well as brothers Rush and Harrison Kottkamp, have joined with the university to promote the scholarship initiative.
“We love Ole Miss for Ole Miss,” Stephen Kottkamp said. “Ole Miss became our happy place. As Rush said to Jane on the way home from Fenton’s visitation, ‘Fenton and I caught lightning in a bottle when we chose Ole Miss.’ Fenton and Rush hit their stride in the Ole Miss environment; they blossomed and excelled. Our family will strive to make Ole Miss our happy place again.”
For more information on the Fenton Kottkamp Memorial Scholarship, contact Maura Wakefield, development officer, at 662-915-2712 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Gifts to the scholarship endowment can also be made by sending a check with the fund noted in the memo line to the University of Mississippi Foundation, 406 University Ave., Oxford, MS 38655.