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’s field of study), was recently announced at a Rose Garden Ceremony hosted by the Ole Miss Women’s Council for Philanthropy (OMWC). As stated in the endowment agreement, scholarship recipients will be expected to participate in leadership development and mentoring sponsored by the OMWC and the Lott Leadership Institute at Ole Miss.
“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 the 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 says “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,” Donna 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 will 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.” The Glenns have three children: Hatley, 27, Tucker, 25, a 2014 Ole Miss graduate, and Katherine, 21, a rising senior at Ole Miss.
Though she retired from FedEx when Hatley was born, Donna occasionally works pro bono as a free-lance 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.
OMWC member Rose Jackson Flenorl of Cordova, Tennessee, introduced Mike Glenn, her FedEx mentor and friend, during this year's program held at the Gertrude C. Ford Center, adjacent to the Ole Miss Women’s Council Rose Garden.
“Through Donna’s days working at FedEx to her time now nurturing her family and her community, she has made a tremendous impact. 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,” Flenorl said. “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 to the university 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. It is a commitment that will continue to impact our school for many generations to come,” said Robin Buchannon, associate vice chancellor for University Relations.
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 www.umfoundation.com/makeagift; or contact Barbara Daush at 662-915-2881 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Mike Glenn
Glenn retired in December 2016 as executive vice president of market development and corporate communications for FedEx Corp., where he was a member of the five-person executive committee, responsible for planning and executing the corporation’s strategic business activities.
Glenn also served as president and CEO of FedEx Corporate Services, responsible for all marketing, sales, customer service and retail operations functions for all FedEx Corp.’s operating companies including FedEx Office.
Before FedEx Corp. was formed in January 1998, Glenn was senior vice president over worldwide marketing, customer service and corporate communications. In that role, he was responsible for directing all marketing, customer service, employee communications and public relations activities for the world’s largest express transportation company.
Glenn joined FedEx in 1981 and, since 1991, has been the chief architect of the company’s marketing and brand strategy.
In addition to his bachelor’s degree from Ole Miss, the Memphis, Tennessee, native earned a master’s degree from the University of Memphis. Glenn serves on the board of directors for Level 3 Communications, Pentair, Inc., the Madonna Learning Center, and Youth Programs, Inc., the host organization for the FedEx St. Jude Classic, benefiting St Jude Research Hospital.
Glenn has provided alumni leadership as a member of the Ole Miss Alumni Association’s executive committee and the Ole Miss Athletic Committee. He was inducted into the University of Mississippi Alumni Hall Of Fame in 2008 and received the Alumni Service Award in 2016.
For more information about the Ole Miss Women's Council for Philanthropy, click here to visit their website.
By Bill Dabney