Scholarship Intended to Empower Women to Set Goals Higher and ‘Achieve Great Things’
Becky Jones West says her two passions are Ole Miss and opportunities for women. Her $100,000 scholarship endowment fund will open the doors to both.
A founding member of the Ole Miss Women’s Council, West has been a behind-the-scenes resource for the UM administration for many years—sharing her advice and expertise as a successful Memphis communications specialist.
She said she views her scholarship, for a young woman interested in politics, as a tool to build “the confidence to achieve great things.”
For many years, she says, women have set their goals too low. And she sees the next generation making a change.
“I believe that empowering women—through education, job training, the political process, and opportunities for growth—is the key to solving many of the problems we have in our society,” West told a Memphis interviewer.
“It’s amazing what women can do—not only in traditional roles as mothers and homemakers, but in putting all their other talents to use—when they are given encouragement and a helping hand.”
Dr. Robert Albritton, chair and
professor of political science, said, “The roles of women have rapidly expanded in political science in recent years. Scholarships like this help ensure that The University of Mississippi is doing its part to encourage women to join in the discipline and career opportunities that political science offers in the wide range of fields we engage.”
The founder and sole proprietor of WestRogers Strategic Communications, West has gained a reputation for her strategic abilities, putting them to work for a number of major corporations and public figures such as Tennessee Governor Don Sundquist, U.S. Representative Ed Bryant, Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Mike Mills, and sports figures like Bo Jackson and Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway.
“We’ve been really fortunate and blessed,” the 1978 UM student Hall of Fame member said about her firm. “A lot of my business comes from people I knew at Ole Miss—they know who I am and they know they can count on me.”
She said she sees the Women’s Council’s activities “expanding into a very meaningful role for Ole Miss.”
Dr. Gloria Kellum, UM vice chancellor for University relations, agrees.
“The council is a group of 25 women with Ole Miss connections that promotes philanthropy and sponsors programs to develop outstanding leadership qualities in students,” Kellum said. “It’s gratifying to see women like Becky West, who exhibit those leadership qualities and are a force in the business community, step up and provide resources to enable students to follow in their impressive footsteps.”