Former NAB Head Eddie Fritts Honors Wife with Women’s Council Scholarship

OXFORD, Miss. – A woman recognized in the nation’s capital
for her tireless leadership supporting political,
educational and charitable fundraising is being honored
with a University of Mississippi scholarship endowment and
is joining the efforts of the Ole Miss Women’s Council for

The first Women’s Council Scholarship designated solely for
students majoring in public policy leadership in the
university’s Trent Lott Leadership Institute is created to
honor Martha Dale Fritts of Washington, D.C. Her husband,
Eddie Fritts – former president and chief executive officer
of the National Association of Broadcasters – and the
couple’s three children are establishing the endowment with
a $105,000 gift.

Martha Dale Fritts also is accepting a seat on the Ole Miss
Women’s Council, which has attracted more than $9 million
in private gifts for scholarships since its inception in
2000 and provides valuable mentorship and leadership
training for recipients.

“Martha Dale is really a teacher at heart, as she has been
mentoring all her adult life,” Eddie Fritts said. “She has
been the centerpiece of our family and deserves special
recognition. I am so grateful she is willing to share
additional time mentoring young people.”

The Fritts endowment is a welcome addition to the growing
list of Women’s Council scholarships, said Jan Farrington,
chair of the Women’s Council.

“This scholarship is a wonderful example not only of this
family’s generosity and support of Ole Miss but also of its
desire to honor a very special woman,” Farrington said. “In
addition to being honored by her family, the OMWC is happy
to welcome Martha Dale as our newest member. Her experience
in philanthropic endeavors will be invaluable to the
council, and we look forward to her active participation in
our program.”

Martha Dale Fritts served 12 years on the board of the Wolf
Trap Foundation, which oversees the nation’s only national
park for the performing arts, and she has been involved in
the Meridian House Foundation, which assists newly posted
diplomatic families in Washington. She helped host UM galas
in Washington that honored the now late U.S. Rep. Jamie
Whitten, as well as U.S. senators Thad Cochran and Trent
Lott, and attracted funds for UM initiatives. She is a
board member for both the University Foundation and the
Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts.

While her husband was in the top leadership post of the
NAB, she hosted spouses of board members, who represented
every geographical region of the country, and engaged them
in educational and cultural opportunities of the Washington
area. Additionally, Fritts has given of her time to the
Cancer Research Foundation and the Arlington Hospital

“The endowment of a scholarship in my name is a high honor,
as I am aware of the financial pressure on young students
these days,” Fritts said. “I look forward to mentoring
recipients on our numerous trips to our second home in
Oxford. Because of our involvement in the national
political process, we chose to designate public policy as
the major of recipients. Eddie and I plan to bring
recipients to Washington as our guests to see firsthand how
public policy is developed and implemented.”

Martha Dale and Eddie Fritts began their life journey
together as high school sweethearts in Union City, Tenn.
After graduation, she enrolled at the University of
Tennessee at Martin, while he enrolled at Ole Miss. While
at UT-Martin, she became a founding member of the campus
chapter of the Chi Omega sorority and serves as a national
trustee on the Chi Omega Advisory Board.

After college, the two married and moved to Indianola,
where they owned and operated radio stations in
Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana for more than two
decades. During this time, the Fritts family visited Ole
Miss frequently with their children, who all attended or
graduated from the university.

Their move to Washington came in 1982, when Eddie Fritts
led the NAB for 23 years. A member of the Ole Miss Alumni
Hall of Fame, he heads the political affairs firm he
founded and represents many of the nation’s most prominent
telecommunications firms.

The Fritts family includes three adult children: Kimberley
Fritts Turner of Washington, Jennifer Fritts Darcey of
McLean, Va., and Tim Fritts of Madison. Their grandchildren
are Margaret Turner, Katherine and Will Fritts, and Grace
and Lily Darcey.

The gift is part of the university’s MomentUM campaign, a
four-year initiative to raise $200 million. The campaign,
which ends in December 2008, already has raised more than
$180 million for scholarships, graduate fellowships,
faculty support, a basketball practice facility,
residential colleges and a new law school on the Oxford
campus. Also in the plans is a cancer center at the UM
Medical Center in Jackson.

For more information about the Ole Miss Women’s Council in
Philanthropy, visit