Peddle Gift Supports Women’s Council Scholarships

Bequest to help change lives by providing opportunities to come to UM

Marjorie and Frank Peddle

Marjorie and Frank Peddle

OXFORD, Miss. – Marjorie Peddle’s daughters describe their mother as a woman of grace whose intense love for the University of Mississippi was matched by her interest in the success of young people.

Peddle, who died in November 2015, left the university $125,000 to create an endowment that will support scholarships awarded by the Ole Miss Women’s Council. Helmed by an accomplished cadre of female leaders and philanthropists, the OMWC provides scholarships for tuition and books for students, as well as guidance and training in leadership skills, career development and personal growth throughout their tenure at the university.

“I would think, knowing mom had such a big giving heart, that she would just feel blessed by giving to young men and women who will be leaders of the country someday and by knowing she had a part in that,” says Ginny Peddle Moss of Germantown, Tennessee.

“She was such a woman of principle and grace and has such a giving heart. Any time she had an opportunity to give in a way that would benefit others, she would do it.”

Marge Peddle was driven by her generous nature. Laura Peddle Sale, of Oxford, remembers her mother volunteering to fund a bell tower for the university’s Paris-Yates Chapel even before she knew the full scope of the project. Marge and her husband, the late Frank Peddle, contributed the funds for the Peddle Bell Tower, which features 36 bronze bells and a clock; its carillon provides a daily selection of songs at 5 p.m.

In 2013, Marge Peddle gave $150,000 so the University Museum could expand its 2,000-piece David M. Robinson Collection of Greek and Roman antiquities objects – the largest collection of antiquities held by a university museum in the South. And with an earlier gift, the couple encouraged the university to install a flagpole at Swayze Field.

“Mother grew up in Brooklyn going to New York Yankees games and she said, ‘We are going to have a flagpole!'” Sale recalls. “Now we have one.”

Sale says it’s fitting that her mother’s bequest supports Women’s Council scholarships because of the opportunities they will give the recipients – new beginnings similar to those received by Marge when Frank moved her to Oxford.

“There’s sort of a parallel there for these students receiving a scholarship in our mother’s name,” Sale said. “Daddy gave Mother the opportunity to come to Oxford and do something with her life other than what might have been.

“Mother would be honored to know that these young people have this opportunity to come to Ole Miss. It’s like a stepping stone for them. There’s no telling what they’ll do in their lives and what they’ll do for the university because of what somebody did for them. It’s remarkable what people can do if somebody motivates them and gives them an opportunity.”

OMWC Chair Mary Donnelly Haskell of Los Angeles and Oxford knows well the truth of Sale’s statement. An accomplished actress, recording artist and philanthropist, Haskell herself has experienced success because of the doors that were opened for her throughout her life.

“That’s the beauty of a program like the Women’s Council,” Haskell said. “Our students have this amazing opportunity to be shaped by strong, accomplished women who are successful because of the guidance they were given by their own mentors.

“It’s just an outstanding model and really an extension of Marge Peddle’s own philosophy. We are extremely grateful for her generous gift and we believe it will change countless lives going forward.”

While not an OMWC member, Marge Peddle was a mentor in her own right. She was an active member of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Oxford, an adviser to the Pi Beta Phi sorority at Ole Miss and very involved with the Daughters of the American Revolution.

“She was a great role model to young people in just the way she lived her life,” Moss said. “She always cared about seeing young men and women succeed. What more can you give to somebody than to help them grow and graduate and become leaders. That’s a really great thing to give.”

For more information on providing support to the Ole Miss Women’s Council, contact Angela Barlow, development officer, at 662-915-3181 or ambarlow@olemiss.edu.

Scholar Events

groupBethany Cooper, Corporate Recruitment and Talent Management Coordinator at FNC, Inc., met with several of the OMWC scholars for an informational Lunch and Learn session.  Students were able to hear firsthand from a recruiter, what can set themselves apart from the competition, when applying for jobs and internships. Bethany illustrated the perfect resume, discussed interview skills and how to prepare for interview questions, and also focused on the importance of effective networking. The main take away from her time with our OMWC scholars, was “to treat a job search, like a full time job!” Proper research, practice, and preparation can make all the difference.

The OMWC scholars welcomed University Police Department’s new Chief, Tim Potts, who came to Ole Miss from Purdue University as the Red Plate Supper speaker for October. Chief Potts noted that he sees his position as one to serve the students, and he prides himself on being available to them constantly. The scholars will wrap-up the fall semester with a holiday gathering at the Memory House in December.

Rose Society

primaryOne of the many reasons behind the success of the Ole Miss Women’s Council scholarship program is the annual fundraising component, the Rose Society.   The OMWC established the Rose Society in 2010 to play a crucial role in the scholarship program.  Each year, Rose Society members commit to contribute $1,000 which helps to provide the much-needed programmatic support for the student mentorship-leadership programs which make it unique.

“We established the Rose Society as not only a ‘fundraiser’ but a ‘friend-raiser,’” current OMWC Chair, Karen Moore said. The Rose Society provides the means for the OMWC to offer the mentoring program and leadership training, as well as monthly dinner meetings and other opportunities for the scholars to excel in school and beyond.

Like Moore, the Rose Society members and the OMWC members are all incredibly passionate about the program, and are continuously seeking new ways of improvement.

“Joining the Rose Society means becoming a part of an amazing group of people who love Ole Miss and who empower the scholars,” Moore said. “These programs are a unique and powerful way to produce caring and ethical leaders of the future.”

“When you accept the OMWC scholarship, you become a part of something bigger than yourself,” states OMWC senior scholar, Debra Whitley. “Had it not been for this program, I might have missed out on a lot of important opportunities during my college career.”

As the holidays approach, an annual membership to the Rose Society is an incredible gift to honor a special woman in your life, to join an organization promoting friendship, leadership and philanthropy. Members are invited to all OMWC events, including an annual signature event exclusively for Rose Society members. This year’s event, the Songwriters’ Soiree’, will be held on Friday, April 15, 2016 at the Lyric.  For more information on the Rose Society, please contact Nora Capwell at omwc@olemiss.edu

Women’s Council celebrates 15th Anniversary

With roses representing students, the Ole Miss Women’s Council for Philanthropy boasts a garden that is changing the world. Council members, now celebrating the 15th anniversary, first came together to create scholarships that would have a far greater effect on students’ lives than

providing financial assistance alone. The OMWC is producing exceptional citizens by giving students access to mentors, leadership training, life skills and travel opportunities

that prepare them for careers and, hopefully, a lifelong commitment to creating a more caring world.

Realizing the need to celebrate leaders who stand as role models for their scholars and countless others, the OMWC created the Legacy Award in 2010. This year’s recipient, Charles Overby (68, BA 14) of Franklin, Tenn., and formerly of Washing- ton, D.C., is a champion of the First Amendment and free press and former chair of the Freedom Forum, Newseum and Diversity Institute. His name graces the façade of the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics on the Oxford campus.

Singer-songwriter Rivers Rutherford and fellow artists entertain at a reception honoring Legacy Award sponsors and Rose Society members.

Singer-songwriter Rivers Rutherford and fellow artists entertain at a reception honoring Legacy Award sponsors and Rose Society members.

Best in Show

Karen Moore (BS 82) of Nashville, Tenn., president of Project Redesign and OMWC chair, says there is much to celebrate on the occasion of this anniversary.

“Thanks to the incredible investments from alumni, friends and council members, OMWC scholarships and programming are absolutely transforming students’ lives – and we intend for our work to impact many, many more individuals. To further illuminate our mission, we created the Legacy Award, which has become a coveted honor. It highlights servant leaders among us and focuses attention on our scholars.”

Becky West (BA 78) of Memphis, president of WestRogers Strategic Communications and a founding OMWC member, chaired the 2015 Legacy Award events, which included a mid-April reception and dinner at Brandt Memory House for Legacy Award dinner sponsors and Rose Society members, with entertainment by Nashville singer-songwriter Rivers Rutherford (BA 89) and fellow artists. The dinner was hosted the evening before the memorable awards event at Carrier House, when Overby, always the journalist, interviewed Chancellor Dan Jones (MD 75) about his challenges with the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning that ultimately led to the end of his tenure at Ole Miss.

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2015 Legacy Award honoree Charles Overby (left) and Chancellor Dan Jones

“As I looked across this sold-out crowd, I felt the positive impact the Ole Miss Women’s Council is having on the university,” West says. “The ‘interview’ between Charles Overby and Dan Jones is something I will never forget.”

Instead of letting his own accomplishments – which compose a compelling list, including a 1983 Pulitzer Prize for The Clarion-Ledger’s coverage of educational reform in Mississippi – headline the evening, Overby focused on Chancellor Jones’ contributions, with the crowd of around 420 exploding with supportive applause for Jones.

Growing Season

Jones also asked questions of Overby, requesting that he define “mentoring” as it is so integral to the OMWC’s work.

“To me it means somebody who takes an interest in you and who is willing to back you, to support you and push you,” Overby said. “I’ve always had an advocate. My biggest advocate in life was (USA Today founder) Al Neuharth … he pushed me. He would often tell me, ‘You did that job better than you know how, Charles.’”

OMWC scholars Jack Fitzpatrick (left), BreAnna Faust and Brea Rich with Bonnie Brown, a mentoring counselor at Ole Miss

OMWC scholars Jack Fitzpatrick (left), BreAnna Faust and Brea Rich with Bonnie Brown, a mentoring counselor at Ole Miss

The presenting sponsor for the event was C Spire, with event proceeds directed to programming for scholars. Build- ing resources is critical, West says, because as Ole Miss’ enroll- ment continues to soar, so do students’ needs for scholarships and mentorship.

“During the awards dinner, I thought of the vision, mission and core values of the university coupled with the mission of the Women’s Council. Phrases such as ‘lead and excel by engaging minds, transforming lives and serving others,’ ‘chal- lenges and inspires a diverse community’ and ‘philosophy of servant leadership’ quickly flooded my mind. However, it was the faces of our scholars that really captured my focus.

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Chancellor Dan Jones (left), OMWC board member Katie Hester, first lady Lydia Jones and OMWC chair Karen Moore

“The Women’s Council uniquely guides our scholars into their future careers and helps them develop life skills through leadership-mentorship programs. Funding an Ole Miss Women’s Council Scholarship is one of the best investments a person can make,” West says.

The scholarships, which have grown to be some of the larg- est and most prestigious on campus at about $32,000 each, are awarded to both young women and men based on academics, leadership and a desire to give back to society after in-depth interviews. After graduating and becoming established in their careers, scholars are encouraged to give back to the program.

Donors who fund scholarships can name them for themselves or for influential people in their lives. Each new scholar- ship is celebrated in a ceremony in the council’s Rose Garden, located outside the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts. The Rose Society is an annual giving program added in 2010 for individuals who feel passionate about supporting mentorship, leadership training and cultural-enrichment activities. All Rose Society membership dues go directly to programming, which includes two opportunities for each scholar to travel during his or her college career.

Sowing the Seeds

Debra Whitley of Natchez, an integrated marketing com- munications major, is grateful for such investments.

“Being an Ole Miss Women’s Council scholar has been both a rewarding and humbling experience. I have been intro- duced to so many people, places and things that I normally would not have encountered,” the senior says. “It is because of the council’s generosity that I am able to attend the University of Mississippi.

“More importantly, I have witnessed and been inspired by the fact that the Ole Miss Women’s Council keeps philan- thropy at the heart of everything that it does. In the last three years that I have been a scholar, I have been encouraged to adopt a philanthropic spirit. I have volunteered with a variety of community service projects, including sorting through recyclable items after Ole Miss football game days and making snacks for an after-school program. One other cause that is close to my heart is diabetes research. My grandfather, who lived with diabetes most of his life, passed away my sophomore year. Consequently, I hope to honor his memory and continue my philanthropic spirit by working with diabetes research efforts after graduation,” Whitley says.

Serving a two-year term as OMWC chair, Karen Moore first learned about the organization after her husband, Bruce (BBA 82), created a scholarship in her honor.

“Bruce surprised me for Christmas with an OMWC schol- arship – absolutely the best gift ever,” she says. “I was asked to join the council and met the most wonderful, professional, fun-loving group of women who deeply love Ole Miss and students. Their enthusiasm is infectious and inspiring. Since joining in 2007, I have worked on many committees and events side by side with women who can make things happen.

“Some of the most memorable moments with our scholars have been at graduation dinners,” Moore continues. “Students talk about how our programs have impacted their day-to-day college experiences. One said, ‘Without the Ole Miss Women’s Council mentoring program, I seriously doubt if I would have made it through my four years. Miss Bonnie (Brown, a mentor- ship counselor) guided and helped me through all of my hard times and difficult choices.’ Those are our ‘aha’ moments, when we see that these young people have utilized the resources we provide, and those experiences helped catapult them to success. The scholars are our legacy and must carry the torch for future generations. It is our hope that our scholars will be leaders who give back to the world, as they are being taught.”

Companion Planting

Gloria Kellum, vice chancellor emerita for University Rela- tions and a founding OMWC member, says one of the most important OMWC accomplishments has been developing a structure to encourage and facilitate alumni and friends genuinely reaching out to students and becoming involved in strengthening educational experiences outside the classroom.

Past Legacy Award honoree Olivia Manning (left), OMWC members Gloria Kellum and Mary Ann Frugé, and Archie Manning

Past Legacy Award honoree Olivia Manning (left), OMWC members Gloria Kellum and Mary Ann Frugé, and Archie Manning

“Many in the Ole Miss family would like to help students beyond providing financial assistance if given the opportu- nity,” Kellum says. “The council developed an effective model that hopefully will be replicated. I think the Women’s Council also has highlighted the important role of philanthropy in general. Philanthropy comes in different forms and at different levels, and we can all work to build support systems and make a difference in people’s lives.”

OMWC past chairs include Edith Kelly-Green (BBA 73), Rachel McPherson (BAEd 74), Jan Farrington (BAEd 65), Mary Sharp Rayner (BAEd 64), Kathryn “Katie” Hester (BA 65, JD 82) and Mary Ann Frugé (BA 66, MA 70). There are 34 active mem- bers and 17 alliance council members. Beyond being the archi- tect of a significant scholarship program, the council reflects the emerging financial power of women in philanthropic endeavors and their unique abilities as change agents.

Frugé of Oxford – former national officer for 12 years and president for six years of Chi Omega, the largest women’s fraternity with more than 240,000 members – looks ahead.

“With the strong foundation laid for the OMWC scholar- ships and programming, I foresee that in 15 or 25 years this program will expand exponentially,” she says. “As more people learn how the scholarships provide both financial assistance and extensive mentoring from Ole Miss staff, council members and other professionals – plus essential leadership training – I believe increased numbers will want to be part of our program. Scholarships certainly will grow, as people witness the continued impact of the OMWC.

“As a former chair, I can attest to the fact that council mem- bers make significant investments in scholars’ lives and give inordinate amounts of time to fundraising,” Frugé says. “I’ve witnessed members taking time from their personal lives to help scholars when needed and to attend their activities. Rela- tionships develop trust with our scholars. A recently graduated scholar contacted me to help her prepare for a phone interview for a job. I agreed and spent time practicing with her. From that phone interview, she was chosen for a face-to-face interview and landed the job. Believe me, this is only one example of how the program develops confidence in our scholars. Additionally, permanent friendships are forged as our scholars move forward in creating a more caring and ethical society.”

Gathering the Blossoms

The past and future will be spotlighted when the OMWC hosts its anniversary celebration Sept. 25, with Moore promis- ing a memorable evening.

“We will highlight our scholars, alumni scholars and the peo- ple who have supported our efforts through our 15-year tenure, as well as present highly recognized entertainment,” Moore says.

OMWC scholarship naming opportunities are available for a contribution of $125,000 from an individual, corporation or foundation and can be paid in a lump sum or annually over several years. Yearly membership in the Rose Society is $1,000. All sizes of contributions are welcome and used to further OMWC goals. For more information, contact Nora Capwell at ncapwell@olemiss.edu or 662-915-2384, or visit online: omwc.olemiss.edu. Scholarship application directions also are located on this website.

* This story was provided by the Alumni Review

An exciting summer interning for OMWC scholars

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Debra Whitley (bottom right) and her fellow Southwest interns

Debra Whitley, a senior Integrated Marketing and Communications major, was able to intern with Southwest Airlines this summer in Dallas, Texas. During her 3 months as an intern, Debra worked with the Southwest marketing team and helped create campaigns for their Rapid Rewards program! With the exciting and laidback environment at Southwest, Debra was able to enjoy a high-energy work place and cultivate important skills for her future in marketing. Not only was Debra able to travel over 14,000 miles during her internship, but she was also awarded the “Fun-Luving Attitude” award by her fellow interns!

What could be better for a Public Policy Leadership and Political Science major than to intern with a congressman? Luckily for Caleb Pracht, he got to do just that this summer! Caleb was able to intern Congressman Jim Cooper in Nashville, where he reported daily events to the congressman, sat in on meetings, and wrote policy memos. For Caleb, this internship has given him a lot of experience in politics, as well as further develop his writing skills. While Caleb wasn’t a huge fan of the rush hour traffic in Nashville, his favorite part was meeting with shipping industry lobbyists on a tugboat!

Public Policy Leadership major Bridges Lamar was fortunate to intern for the House Committee on homeland Security this summer! Under the leadership of Chairman Michael McCaul, Bridges had a number of tasks, ranging from compiling media on homeland security, attending committee hearings, and drafting press releases. As a student who loves to be challenged, Bridges found the Washington, DC office to be just the place for her! And with her new found interest in communications, Bridges is excited to see what her future holds for her, maybe even
back in Washington, DC!

BridgesInternship

Bridges Lamar and U.S. Representative Michael McCaul.

OMWC scholars kick-off the fall semester

Retreat

The Ole Miss Women’s Council kicked off the fall semester by holding its annual scholar retreat on Sunday, August 30, 2015, at The Depot. Mrs. Bonnie Brown, Mentor Coordinator for the scholarship program, unveiled a new feature for this year’s program. For the first time, the scholarship program will be centered around a “theme,” with this year as the Year of thankfulness, focusing on an attitude of gratitude.

The keynote speaker, Rose Flenorl, FedEx Manager of Social Responsibility is not only an Ole Miss alum, but also an OMWC member.  Her speech, “The Road that Lies Ahead” was centered on giving advice about preparing for college and beyond.  Flenorl emphasized the importance of networking, and gave students guidance about preparing for a successful career.

OMWC Chair, Karen Moore, gave her best wishes to all the scholars to have a great year and to enjoy the program and the opportunities they are presented.

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Red Plate Supper

The first OMWC Red Plate Supper was held on Thursday, September 10 with Dr. Morris Stocks, the Ole Miss Interim Chancellor.  Dr. Stocks shared his life and career path story with the scholars, as well as encouraged the students to be open to possibilities and work on becoming their very best selves.

The next Red Plate Supper is Tuesday, October 6th, featuring speaker Tim Potts, the new UPD chief.

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An amazing year comes to a close for the Women’s Council scholars

The OMWC scholars have had a busy spring semester of activities. The sophomore scholars participated in the PULSE leadership workshop developed by the Women’s Council and the Office of Student Affairs in January.

PULSE

The scholars enjoyed the Broadway production of The Lion King at the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis. It was the first Broadway show for some and it did not disappoint!

MemphisBeale

The junior and senior scholars traveled to Chicago during spring break. Students visited the Art Institute, Broadway show-The Blue Man Group, 360 Chicago, (John Hancock Building) Driehaus Museum, a Trolley Tour, ice skating in Millennium Park and the Untouchable Gangster Tour. A highlight of the trip was a tour of McDonald’s Hamburger University by Ole Miss alum, Dick Starmann who was Senior Corporate Officer of Worldwide Communication for McDonald’s for over 27 years. Senior scholar Tyler Jackson summed up the trip best, “I know I, myself, might not have ever been able to go on my own and appreciate all that the Women’s Council has done for us. Thank you for investing in our lives.”

Chicago

Scholars enjoyed participating and volunteering for the Color My College run. The race states, “You already bleed your school’s colors on the inside, now it’s time to wear them on the outside!” The course took the students through the campus in the most colorful way possible!

Color My College Picture

The Lenoir Dining Hall offered the scholars a unique Red Plate Supper opportunity. The students prepared their own dessert, baked Alaska.   It was a great bonding experience and a “sweet” way to wrap-up the semester.

Lenoir

Women’s Council honors graduating seniors

GradGroup2015The OMWC honored eight graduating seniors with a dinner at Butler Auditorium in the Triplett Alumni Center on Friday, April 10th. The 2015 graduates are: John Carey Fitzpatrick, Hannah Katherine Herrin, Raymond Tyler Jackson, Bobby Fowler Kelly, Mia Margaret Kloth, Jacob Dylan James Moorhead, Chloe Robin Sturges, and Ellen Augusta Williams.

A single red rose and a certificate of completion was presented to each senior scholar by OMWC Chair, Karen Moore. OMWC council member Ms. Mary Haskell presented the scholars with the OMWC stole which they will wear at graduation.

Grad2015KtJan

Ms. Katie Hester, OMWC Council Member and former OMWC Chair was the speaker for the evening. She shared her pride in the scholars and expressed thanks for the opportunity to bond with them during events and trips over the last four years. Hester mentioned the life-long friendships that have formed and the importance of the Ole Miss family and how those connections will continue to grow through the years. She called upon her long-time friend and fellow OMWC Member, Jan Farrington, to join her in a duet performance of “Side by Side” complete with choreography. The standing ovation was a testament to the excellent performance and the love these scholars have for them.

Each of our seniors is poised for success in their next-step endeavors and we are very proud of them.

Ole Miss Women’s Council to Honor Charles Overby with Legacy Award

Tickets available for dinner featuring award-winning chefs

university of mississippi ole miss charles overby legacy award women's council first amendment free press oxford chancellor philanthropist leader mentor

Charles Overby

OXFORD, Miss. – The Ole Miss Women’s Council for Philanthropy will honor Charles Overby, a champion of the First Amendment and the free press, with the 2015 Legacy Award this spring at the University of Mississippi.

Overby will receive the Legacy Award, presented by C Spire, at a dinner April 18 at Carrier House, home of Chancellor Dan and Lydia Jones on the Oxford campus.

“We are thrilled to honor Charles Overby with a tribute to the cities he has impacted through his professional, personal and philanthropic endeavors,” said Karen Moore, OMWC chair. “This event will be a sellout, so we are encouraging the Ole Miss family to get their tickets quickly.”

For 22 years, Overby was chief executive officer of the Freedom Forum, a nonpartisan foundation that educates people about the press and the First Amendment. His service as CEO of the Newseum spanned 1997 to 2011, during which time he supervised the building of the Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington. He also served as CEO of the Diversity Institute, a school created in 2001 to teach journalists and aspiring journalists while increasing diversity in newsrooms.

The dinner will be prepared by a culinary team based on locales important to Overby: Oxford; Nashville, Tennessee; and Washington, D.C. The trio of chefs will be led by John Currence, founder of the City Grocery Restaurant Group.

Currence opened his first restaurant, City Grocery, in 1992 in Oxford. Since that time, the City Grocery Restaurant Group has celebrated a number of openings, including Nacho Mama’s, Kalo’s, Ajax Diner, City Grocery’s catering company the Main Event, Bouré, Big Bad Breakfast and Snackbar.

Recipient of 2009 James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: South, Currence was honored as Restaurateur of the Year and Chef of the Year by the Mississippi Restaurant Association in 1998. In 2006, he received the Southern Foodways Alliance’s Guardian of Tradition Award and won the 2008 Great American Seafood Cookoff in New Orleans.

Executive Chef Tyler Brown, recently named one of Esquire magazine’s Four New Chefs to Watch, leads Nashville’s acclaimed Capitol Grille restaurant. A farm-to-table enthusiast, Brown strives to serve cultural sustainability by paying homage to cooking practices of the past. During Brown’s tenure, the Capitol Grille has earned the coveted Forbes Four Star and AAA Four Diamond designations, was voted one of America’s best restaurants by Gourmet magazine, appeared on the Food Network and was recognized at the James Beard House.

Scott Drewno serves as executive chef of The Source, the first Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group restaurant in the nation’s capital. Since opening, the restaurant has been honored with numerous accolades including three-star reviews from both The Washington Post and Washingtonian Magazine. The Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington awarded The Source “New Restaurant of the Year” in 2008 and “Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year” in 2011; Drewno received the coveted “Chef of the Year” prize in 2010. In 2012 and in 2013, Drewno was a semi-finalist for the “Best Chef Mid-Atlantic” James Beard Award.

The Legacy Award of the Ole Miss Women’s Council recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions as philanthropists, leaders and mentors and brought about definitive, positive changes in the University, state and nation.

“This is a huge honor, and I am grateful to the Women’s Council for its exceptional philanthropic work,” Overby said. “My idea of perfection is sitting down with friends and enjoying a good meal and good conversation. Being at the chancellor’s home with these incredible chefs will provide a memorable evening for all involved.”

Overby earned a bachelor’s degree from Ole Miss and has been presented honorary doctoral degrees from Mississippi University for Women and Millsaps College. He is a member of the Mississippi Press Association Hall of Fame and has been inducted in both the student and alumni halls of fame at UM.

The Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics was established at Ole Miss with a $5.4 million gift from the Freedom Forum to honor Overby’s extensive professional contributions. He continues his involvement with Ole Miss students as an adjunct instructor for the Meek School of Journalism and New Media.

The Ole Miss Women’s Council for Philanthropy recognizes that meaningful lives and careers in and beyond college rely on strong relationships and nurturing support. Mentorship, therefore, is the cornerstone of OMWC scholarships, and almost 100 students have blossomed under this program. OMWC’s endowments total nearly $11 million, and each new scholarship is recognized in the Rose Garden near the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts.

C Spire is the presenting sponsor for the 2015 Legacy Award. FedEx Corp. is the platinum sponsor, and gold sponsors are FNC Inc. and Kimberley Fritts. Sanderson Farms, Two Rivers Ford, RJ Young, the Freedom Forum and the Mississippi Press Association are silver sponsors.

Previous Legacy Award recipients include Netscape president-CEO and education visionaries, Jim and Donna Barksdale; “The Blind Side” mom and co-founder of the Making It Happen Foundation, Leigh Anne Tuohy; the heart and soul of America’s first family of football, Olivia Williams Manning, who has nurtured sons Cooper, Peyton and Eli Manning to be servant-leaders; and Mississippi’s “education governor,” champions for improved race relations and volunteers for Habitat for Humanity, William and Elise Winter.

Tickets are $150 per person and available online at http://olemissalumni.com/events. For more information, call 662-915-2384 or email omwc@olemiss.edu.

Scholar Spotlight Q & A

Debra Whitley

Debra Whitley

Debra Whitley is a junior from Natchez, Mississippi studying Integrated Marketing and Communications. Debra is in the Sally Barksdale Honors College. She has interned with the Ole Miss Athletics’ Marketing and Fan Experience and C Spire.

How would you describe the OMWC program to someone that might be interested in applying for an OMWC scholarship?

For many students, college is a time of numerous transitions. There are new people, new choices and new environments. The OMWC program helps scholars sort through all these changes. Through weekly meetings, monthly dinners and yearly trips, scholars are able to develop relationships with scholarship coordinators, mentors and other scholars. Furthermore, these events also serve as enjoyable and teachable moments for scholars. We are introduced to new places, ideas and people, which all contribute to our personal growth.

What benefits have you received from being an OMWC scholar?

When you accept the Ole Miss Women Council scholarship, you become a part of something bigger than yourself. You become a member of a support system that seems to give way more than it takes. On the very first day of school, I already had scholarship mentors who guided me to a plethora of resources as well as supported me in the choices I made. This scholarship also introduced me to my fellow

Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?

I have a strong interest in public relations and event planning so in the next decade, I hope to be living in Texas working in the marketing department of a large corporation. I am not sure of the exact position I want to obtain, however, I am certain that in whatever I do in my career, I want to be able to meet and engage new people daily.