Women’s Council Welcomes Susan Duncan as New Board Member

Former law school dean has been active in council's mentoring activities

Suzan Thames (left), chair of the Ole Miss Women’s Council for Philanthropy, welcomes Susan Duncan as the newest member of the scholarship program’s 35-member board. Duncan recently completed a six-year tenure as dean of the Ole Miss School of Law. Photo by Amy Howell/University Development

OXFORD, Miss. – The Ole Miss Women’s Council for Philanthropy has named Susan Duncan, former dean of the University of Mississippi School of Law, as the newest member of the council’s board.

The first woman to serve as the law school’s permanent dean, Duncan returned to the classroom this summer as a member of its faculty.

“Throughout her career, Susan has exhibited a consistent passion and high regard for the fundamental tenets that define our organization,” said Suzan Thames, the OMWC chair. “With her history of leadership at Ole Miss and other universities, her diverse philanthropic resume and her commitment to ensuring students succeed in their academic and leadership development, Susan will be a valuable asset to the Women’s Council’s mission.

“She graciously served as a mentor to OMWC scholars in recent years. Susan invited an OMWC scholar to co-author a law review article that they recently presented together at a conference hosted by the University of Houston and Georgetown University law schools.”

During her six years as dean, Duncan increased the number of donors by more than 100% and raised more than $15 million. The school also recorded an increase in the quantity and quality of students entering the program, and it climbed in national law school rankings.

She helped substantially increase resources dedicated to helping students pass the bar exam, which helped boost the employment numbers of law school graduates.

“I am thrilled to join the Ole Miss Women’s Council,” Duncan said. “Its mission to mentor and provide training to prepare our next generation of civil servant leaders fits perfectly with my core values and experiences. 

“Working with a scholar on a law review article allowed me a glimpse into the great work the council performs. I am very excited to get to know the other council members and become more involved with our amazing scholars.”

Since its inception in 2000, the OMWC has built an endowment totaling nearly $20 million and awarded 185 scholarships to students. The program is recognized as one of the most innovative and generous scholarships offered at Ole Miss.

Thirty-seven students are receiving the $40,000 scholarships, paid at $10,000 per year for four years.

The OMWC scholarships which are given to young male and female leaders desiring a philanthropic lifepath and who have proven themselves successful academically provide a variety of resources. Students have access to full-time scholar support staff, career and life mentoring, leadership development, guidance for a philanthropic approach to life and opportunities to travel, study abroad and attend cultural events.

To learn more about supporting the Ole Miss Women’s Council, contact Suzanne Helveston, OMWC program director, at shelveston@olemiss.edu or 662-915-2956, or online at https://omwc.olemiss.edu.