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Ignite Ole Miss: Remembering Pam Hamilton

Dear Friends and Family,

I remember seeing Pamela Hamilton for the first time as she arrived at the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College. She walked gracefully, had big glowing eyes, and expressed a deep peace. I never saw her frazzled. In difficult situations, she would smile, say “Whatever,” and walk on.

The Honors College was established in 1997; Pam arrived in 1998. These first two classes of students set the high standard with which the college became identified. These students became campus leaders, including serving as presidents of the Associated Student Body and of the Student Judicial Council. We had a Rhodes Scholar, a Marshall Scholar, three Truman Scholars and five Goldwater Scholars. A majority of the Taylor Medalists and Hall of Fame winners came from the Honors College. Pam herself became Editor-in-Chief of The DailyMississippian.

Pam had a profound sweetness that exuded goodwill and grace to all those around her. She would light up a room when she entered, yet never purposefully drew attention to herself. Always a team leader, she took pleasure in everyone’s success and consistently encouraged her classmates.

She deeply loved English literature and read extensively. She continued her studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She was religious and always faithful to her home church in Raleigh as well as her adopted one in Atlanta.

Pam’s life was short but beautifully lived. I encourage you to honor Pam by contributing to this memorial fund: ignite.olemiss.edu/PamsImpact. View the video to hear what her fellow classmate, J.R. Rigby, has to say about her spirit. Then, share with your friends and family on social media using #PamsImpact. This will help other students, just as Pam always helped others.


Elizabeth Anne Payne, Ph.D.

Founding Director of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College

Professor of History

Friend of Pam Hamilton

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