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UM Law Donor Meets Scholarship Recipients

Photo courtesy of the University of Mississippi Law School
Photo courtesy of the University of Mississippi Law School

Grady Tollison (JD 1971) always dreamed of going to Law School. Through hard work and determination, Tollison made his dream a reality. As an alumnus, he is now helping current law students at the University of Mississippi School of Law achieve their goals of becoming attorneys by providing scholarship dollars to deserving students.

Tollison’s gift of $200,000 over three years helped fund five scholarships for first year law students. The senior partner at Tollison Law Firm, P.A. in Oxford recently had the chance to meet with the five recipients.

“They were really an impressive group of students,” said Tollison. “I was impressed with the diversity of the recipients and their interest in the law.”

The students were very quick to express their gratitude for Tollison.

“I am incredibly blessed to have received the Tollison Scholarship,” said Kelsey Nicholas, of Marion, IL. “It is truly an honor to have someone so generously invest in your future career from the very first day of law school, and it speaks volumes over just how much Mr. Tollison cares for Ole Miss School of Law.” Nicholas received her Bachelors degree in forestry with a concentration in wildlife management from Mississippi State University.

David Rucker, a graduate of the University of Mississippi from Germantown, TN, is another recipient of the scholarship.

“This scholarship is an unbelievable generosity on the part of Mr. Tollison, and I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity.”

Scholarships provide financial relief to many law students. Without this support, law school would not be possible for some.

“Mr. Tollison’s generosity allows me to pursue a legal education without having to worry about the burden of debt that so many students have to stress about,” said Addison Watson, a graduate of Missouri State University with a degree in criminology. “This scholarship affords me the opportunity to explore different career paths that won’t revolve around paying back students loans.”

Tollison visited with the scholarship recipients and gave them advice and moral support for their law school career.

“This scholarship is an indescribable honor,” said Nia Wilson, a graduate of Mississippi State University with a degree in communications from Jackson. “Law school is a challenging endeavor, but with the support and encouragement of Mr. Tollison, I’m motivated to face this challenge head on.”

Michael Williams, one of the scholarship recipients from Richland, MS, hopes that one day he will be able to help students just as Tollison helped him.

“The Tollison Scholarship was a blessing to me because it helped make my dream of being a lawyer financially feasible, and I hope one day I have the chance to give back to the University like Mr. Grady Tollison,” said Williams, a University of Mississippi graduate with a degree in accounting.

Tollison was recognized as the 1988-1989 Outstanding Alumnus of the University of Mississippi School of Law, and he is a previous Chairman of the prestigious Lamar Order. In 1978-79 and 1989-90, he taught as an adjunct professor at Ole Miss Law.

He is a member of the Lafayette County Bar (President, 1985), American Bar Association, Mississippi Bar Association (President, 1993), Mississippi Trial Lawyers Association (Parliamentarian in 1986-87, Secretary in 1987, and Treasurer in 1988-90), and the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (State Delegate from 1984-86 and Governor to the National Board in 1990).

Tollison is a charter member of the Mississippi Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates and a recipient of the Masters in Trial Award given by ABOTA.


Courtesy of the University of Mississippi Law School

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