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Glenn's Gift Honors His Wife, Benefits Future Students

Mike and Donna Glenn (center) are congratulated by (from right) their daughter Katherine Glenn, a rising Ole Miss senior, Vicki Sneed and Mary Sharp Rayner, both of Oxford, after the announcement of the Donna H. Glenn Council Scholarship Endowment. UM photo by Bill Dabney
To commemorate their wedding anniversary, University of Mississippi alumnus Mike Glenn of Eads, Tennessee, surprised his wife, Donna, with a gift that will truly keep on giving.
With a $250,000 investment, Glenn established the Donna H. Glenn Council Scholarship Endowment to honor his wife while also providing financial assistance to Ole Miss students for generations to come.
The scholarship, which will be available to entering freshmen majoring in journalism – Donna Glenn’s field of study – was announced at a Rose Garden ceremony hosted by the Ole Miss Women’s Council for Philanthropy. As stated in the endowment agreement, scholarship recipients will be expected to participate in leadership development and mentoring sponsored by the OMWC and the university’s Lott Leadership Institute.
“The luckiest day of my life was when I met Donna at FedEx, but perhaps even more so was when she agreed to go out with me the first time,” said Glenn, a 1977 graduate of the UM School of Business Administration who retired in December as executive vice president of market development and corporate communications for FedEx Corp.
“I don’t think we made it through the evening without her understanding how passionate I am about this university. And I think as our relationship developed, she knew that it was going to be a big part of our lives.
“I would like to thank the Ole Miss Women’s Council for giving me an opportunity to honor my wife. It’s an appropriate year to have this scholarship in place because this year is our 30th anniversary. This is a great way to celebrate that.”
Donna Glenn knew her husband was planning to make a gift to the university but said “it was a very nice surprise” when she learned the scholarship would be in her name.
“It’s a wonderful honor, just based on the history of the Women’s Council and its mission to enhance students’ college experience through scholarships and mentoring,” she said. “And the fact that now my name is attached to that list of esteemed women … it’s indeed an honor.”
The Glenns said they look forward to becoming acquainted with the students who benefit from their scholarship in the years to come.
“I hope the scholarship will serve students in all aspects related to college life,” Donna Glenn said. “I hope it will help them be better prepared for life beyond the university as they take what they’ve gleaned from Ole Miss away with them wherever they may go.”
After graduating from the University of Memphis, Donna worked in corporate communications at FedEx, where she was a writer and television producer. There, she met Mike and became an “Ole Miss walk-on.”
Though she retired from FedEx when Hatley was born, Donna occasionally works pro bono as a freelance writer. She is also involved in several local organizations, including the Madonna Learning Center, a special needs school for children and adults with disabilities, and the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, where she is board chair.
When time permits, she enjoys making memories with her family at the beach, traveling to London and shopping for antiques. The Glenns have three children: Hatley, 27, Tucker, 25, a 2014 Ole Miss graduate, and Katherine, 21, a rising UM senior.
OMWC member Rose Jackson Flenorl introduced Mike Glenn, her FedEx mentor and friend, during this year’s program at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts.
“Through Donna’s days working at FedEx to her time now nurturing her family and her community, she has made a tremendous impact,” Flenorl said. “I can’t think of a better way to honor her than to give money to students in need to continue their education, especially at our great university.
“I am so thrilled that Mike chose to establish this scholarship in Donna’s name and to honor the future of students at Ole Miss.”
The Donna H. Glenn Council Scholarship Endowment is the most recent of many gifts the Glenns have made as supporters of the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation, School of Business Administration, Ole Miss Alumni Association, Pride of the South marching band and more.
“Their enduring service and commitment to the University of Mississippi have helped define the Ole Miss that stands before us today,” said Robin Buchannon, associate vice chancellor for university relations. “It is a commitment that will continue to impact our school for many generations to come.”
Speaking at the ceremony on behalf of Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter, Buchannon said, “We thank you and commend you for your generosity and your unwavering support for this university.”
The Donna H. Glenn Council Scholarship Endowment is open to gifts from individuals and organizations. To contribute, send checks with the endowment name noted in the memo line to the University of Mississippi Foundation, 406 University Ave., University, MS 38655; visit https://www.umfoundation.com/makeagift; or contact Barbara Daush at 662-915-2881 or barbara@umfoundation.com .

By Bill Dabney
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