Ole Miss Women’s Council for Philanthropy

The University of Mississippi

An Award from OMWC for a Vibrant Legacy

April 11 events pay tribute to Jim and Donna Barksdale

Visionary champions for education Jim (BBA ’65) and Donna Barksdale of Jackson, Miss., have been jointly tapped for the fourth Legacy Award from the Ole Miss Women’s Council for Philanthropy (OMWC) and will be honored during April 11 events at the University of Mississippi.

The Legacy Award, presented by C Spire, recognizes the contributions of individuals who epitomize OMWC’s goals of philanthropy, leadership and mentorship. The Barksdales will address students at noon in the Overby Center. A $125-per-person event will follow that evening, with a 6:30 p.m. reception and 7:30 p.m. dinner at The Inn at Ole Miss; all proceeds will benefit OMWC mentoring programs and leadership training. Additional sponsors include FedEx, FNC, Butler Snow, Yates Construction and the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

Jim Barksdale, former president and CEO of Netscape, and Donna Kennedy Barksdale, founding member and past Chair of Leadership Jackson, continue to create and fund scholarships on both the Oxford and Medical Center campuses. Among many other philanthropic endeavors, they have established a successful mentoring program at Lanier High School in Jackson which helps provide jobs for students and prepares them for college and professional work.  Donna, a graduate of Mississippi College, has joined her husband in support of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College and the Barksdale Reading Institute.

Jim Barksdale heads the Barksdale Management Corp., a philanthropic investment company. Donna Barksdale serves as president of the Mississippi River Trading Company. The Barksdales are deeply involved in other state and national programs that benefit young people, such as serving on the board of America’s Promise Alliance, founded by Colin and Alma Powell.

The Legacy Award is a focus of the 14-year-old OMWC, an organization which 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 programming. Because of the mentoring and leadership training, OMWC scholars not only thrive academically but also become servant-leaders who understand the importance of giving back through service and resources. Past Legacy Award recipients have been Leigh Ann Tuohy, Olivia Manning, and Gov. William and Elise Winter.

OMWC’s endowments total $10.9 million, and each new scholarship is recognized in the Rose Garden adjacent to the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts.

To purchase an award banquet ticket, visit www.olemissalumni.com/events or call 662-915-2384. To learn more about OMWC scholarships, contact Sarah Hollis, associate director of University Development, at 662-915-1584, or visit www.umfoundation.com/omwc.