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Friends Establish Scholarship to Honor UM Women’s Council President

Mary Susan Clinton (fourth from right) visits with OMWC scholars at the council’s 2018 Christmas party at the home of Sam and Mary Haskell. Scholars are (from left) Colton Terrell, Samantha Simpson, Francena Sekul, Meagan Harkins, Alexis Rose, Alexandria Seals, Amelia DeWitt, Mikayla Johnson and John Marquez. Photo by Callyn Fahey/Ole Miss Women’s Council
Christmas came early for Mary Susan Gallien-Clinton, chair of the Ole Miss Women’s Council for Philanthropy. Friends of the Naples, Florida, resident surprised her with a scholarship endowment in her name. The donors asked to remain anonymous.

“While the revered scholarship may bear my name, this generous family has afforded tremendous opportunities and created a legacy that will live on through our scholars’ lives,” said Clinton, who majored in journalism at the University of Mississippi.

“These friends are dedicated philanthropists who unselfishly committed this gift to support the educational endeavors of OMWC scholars. It is heartwarming when we receive a gift from such selfless charitable donors, and this endowment humbles me.”

With a gift of $125,000, the donors established the Mary Susan Gallien-Clinton Council Scholarship Endowment, which will provide financial assistance to UM freshmen chosen on their academic abilities and leadership potential. Students who maintain a 3.0 GPA may receive the scholarship for a maximum of eight semesters.

“These scholarships will fuel the passion within these scholars to continually strive for success in their areas of strength, while at the same time exposing them to new experiences and opportunities both inside and outside of the classroom,” Clinton said. “The Ole Miss Women’s Council has designed innovative programming to give these scholars the very best preparation and advantages to help ensure success in their future careers and lives.”

Besides their academic pursuits, scholarship recipients are afforded opportunities to participate in a leadership development program and mentoring program. The program includes internship support, leadership workshops, networking and travel, both nationally and abroad.

“This scholarship endowment honors a woman who has worked tirelessly on behalf of Ole Miss students through her support of our beloved university and dedicated service on the Women’s Council,” said Mary Donnelly Haskell, the council’s immediate past chair. “This recognition of Mary Susan is so well deserved.”

Helmed by an accomplished cadre of female leaders and philanthropists, the OMWC adapts its programming to accommodate its scholars’ core interests, while continually challenging them to broaden their horizons.

“From first day of scholars’ experiences at Ole Miss, Women’s Council members participate in shaping these exceptional students with mentoring and programming that takes them through graduation and beyond,” Clinton said. “Our program fosters determination to establish a meaningful foundation to build upon for a lifetime.”

Besides scholarship support, the OMWC established the Global Leadership Circle to seek private support for scholarship recipients who want to study abroad or intern with national or international organizations.

Thanks to GLC support, OMWC scholar Parker Maloney, of Clinton, interned last summer with the fundraising office/strategic partnership division of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.

“I’m so grateful for the Ole Miss Women’s Council Scholarship program for funding not only my education, but also my internship,” said Maloney, a marketing and corporate relations major. “Few college students are fortunate enough to be rewarded that opportunity. I am certain it will make all the difference when I graduate.”

Clinton, a Savannah, Tennessee, native, began her career after Ole Miss as a stockbroker with Morgan Keegan in Memphis before founding Gallien Global Vision, an international wildlife documentary company, in 1992.

Trekking the African continent, her award-winning co-productions with Londolozi Game Reserve, Turner Broadcasting, Buena Vista/Disney and The Discovery Channel, have aired in more than 100 countries and received many awards, including an Academy of Cable Entertainment Award for Best International Documentary Special.

Clinton also founded the medical skin care line Renaitre, which sold its products in physicians’ offices internationally and on the QVC Shopping Network.

In 2002, she was named Gulfshore Life’s Woman of the Year and Community All Star in 2006.

Clinton’s civic participation includes service on the INSOUTH Bank board of directors; the National Domestic Violence Hotline (as former vice-chair, current board of directors and past executive board); OMWC Legacy Award Chair 2016; Gulfshore Life Magazine’s community advisory board; the Community School of Naples Angel Ball as past chair; the Boys and Girls Club of Collier County as a former board member; and the Greater Naples Area Delta Gamma Alumnae Chapter as former vice-president of membership.

Her additional service work includes participation on the Alpha Psi of Delta Gamma Capital House Campaign; DAR-Daughters of the American Revolution, Colonel Joseph Hardin Chapter; Alpha Psi of Delta Gamma, as membership co-adviser; Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples Capital Campaign board; Naples Children and Education Foundation; and Naples Winter Wine Festival founding trustee, serving two executive board terms.

She and her husband, J.D., have two sons, John Denver Clinton II, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the UM Patterson School of Accountancy in 2017 and 2018, respectively, and Russell Hurst Clinton, a junior economics major at Vanderbilt University.

In its 18th year, the OMWC has built a scholarship endowment totaling more than $13.1 million, one of the largest on campus. As of fall 2019, OMWC scholars will be awarded $40,000 each over four years, placing the OMWC scholarship among the second-largest on campus after the Stamps Scholarship. To date, the council has awarded 133 scholarships.

Read more about the Women’s Council at https://omwc.olemiss.edu/. For information on how to make a gift to support OMWC programming or a scholarship, contact Suzanne Helveston, development associate, at shelveston@olemiss.edu or 662-915-2956.

By Bill Dabney and Tina H. Hahn

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