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Paying It Forward: How One Women’s Council Scholar Decided to Give Back

Mary Ann Fruge' and Emily Monsour
Mary Ann Fruge’ and Emily Monsour

Each year the Ole Miss Women’s Council (OMWC) awards deserving incoming freshman students a monetary scholarship throughout their tenure at the University. What makes this program unique for the students selected in the very competitive process is that when they begin school they are emerged into a cohort to supply them with the tools for success.

Through this program, students are able to build a network with Ole Miss alum, attend various learning trips and receive mentorship throughout the program from council members and other professionals. While the scholarship is one of the most lucrative attractions to this program, the mentorship component is what truly produces the success. OMWC alumni scholar Alum, Emily Monsour, is the perfect example of how the investment that the council and the Rose Society makes with students can have life time impact.

Though the scholarship was very helpful during her tenure, the mentorship component truly made Emily’s collegiate experience unique. It is because of this that she decided to join the OMWC annual giving program, the Rose Society. The Rose Society plays a crucial role in OMWC’s Scholarship program because a lot of the programs that the council sponsors is funded by it. 100% of the Rose Society proceeds go to various OMWC programs such as the monthly Red Plate Suppers; the August scholar retreat; and the annual national trips. Not many charities give 100% of their donation to the particular cause.

Mary Ann Fruge’, Emily Monsour and Don Fruge’
Mary Ann Fruge’, Emily Monsour and Don Fruge’

“Since I graduated, I knew I would want to give back to the OMWC as soon as I was able. The mentorships and dinners and retreats all made such a difference to me, and I hope that my contribution will help make that same difference for someone else,” said Emily Monsour.

During her time at Ole Miss, Emily Monsour was awarded the University of Mississippi Foundation scholarship through from the Women’s Council. She received a Bachelor of Accountancy from the University and now currently lives in Jackson, MS where she works as a Senior Assurance Associate for HORNE, LLP. For Emily, her experience impacted her future in many ways.

As a student Emily was very involved in the Associated Student Body as well as the Honors College. Emily was motivated to succeed because of the support system built around her by the council. All of the women on the Council, as well as those serving on the staff, mentored her in some shape or form during her time at Ole Miss. Relationship building is very important and Monsour is still in contact with the OMWC mentor she had in college, Mary Ann Fruge.

“From the very first time I had lunch with Mary Ann, I knew she was something very special. What I didn’t know was how truly invested and dedicated she would be to my success as a student and leader at Ole Miss. We regularly met for coffee, lunch or dinner, but she was available to me at any time for anything. She listened to me and shared such valuable wisdom from her vast array of experiences. To this day, if I have a big decision to make or an accomplishment to celebrate, she and her equally gracious husband are some of the first people I look to share it with,” said Emily.

As her mentor, Mary Ann Fruge, was able to take on a supporting role, because she knew she was fully capable of making excellent choices without her. But what made it so fruit was the time she put in to encourage and love her as she weighed options on decisions.

“My relationship as Emily’s mentor began as most friendships do by learning about each other, what each of us likes to do, our families what I consider the superficial information that’s needed just to get to know each other. Within about a year and after having seen each other numerous times for meals and coffee, we talked about other things such as changing her major which was a huge decision and also her involvement with activities on campus and how they were affecting her. Most of all, I lent a listening ear and treated our conversations as confidential,” said Fruge.

Jeanne, Emily and Mitch Monsour
Jeanne, Emily and Mitch Monsour

Because of the impact the Women’s Council had on Emily, her parents, Jeanne and Mitch Monsour, also saw her grow as a young woman in college which motivated them to join the Rose Society as well. Like her parents and many others who join the Rose Society it is so attractive because it gives members the chance to meet highly motivated, appreciative, and deserving individuals who are attending Ole Miss strictly from the generosity of Ole Miss Women Council philanthropists and as member you are involved in shaping a young student by providing training to develop their leadership skills.

“For four years Emily was surrounded by other scholar recipients from all across Mississippi and the southeastern US that she certainly would not have met under normal circumstances. The OMWC gave Emily something much more valuable than financial support in her four years at Ole Miss and I knew then that someday I would give back to this outstanding,” said Jeanne Monsour.

For more information on the Ole Miss Women’s Council and the Rose Society, contact Nora Capwell at ncapwell@olemiss.edu or 662-915-2384, or visit online: www.omwc.olemiss.edu.

Ann-Marie Herod can be reached at Aherod@go.olemiss.edu.

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