How does a family honor a mom and wife for all the love, attention, and care she has given over the years? The Brevards of Tupelo, Mississippi, thought an excellent idea was to establish an Ole Miss Women’s Council for Philanthropy Scholarship.
With their $100,000 gift, the family recently created the Elizabeth B. Brevard Council Scholarship. Elizabeth “Beth” Brevard’s name will now be forever linked to the university where her husband, Henry Brevard, and son, David Brevard, are alumni. In addition, a plaque embossed with her name is to be placed alongside a rosebush planted in a special garden on the Oxford campus.
David Brevard, who is past president of the Alumni Association and a member of the Commitment
to Excellence Campaign steering committee, said when he and his father first discussed the Women’s Council scholarship program, they immediately thought of his mother.
“The scholarship program gave my father, sister, (Elise Smith of Ridgeland, Mississippi), and me the opportunity to do two things. First, the chance to support our university and provide additional scholarships. And at the same time, have the opportunity to honor…the greatest mother in the world,” said Brevard, who is president of B&B Concrete Company, a family business headquartered in Tupelo.
The Brevards chose a Women’s Council scholarship because they liked the idea that students receive leadership training and are assigned mentors from the Ole Miss community. “It adds a whole new dimension, a new perspective. I predict it will bear considerable fruit in the future,” said Henry Brevard.
“Bearing considerable fruit” is exactly what the council intended when it was formed last year. The group of 25 women with Ole Miss connections promotes philanthropy and sponsors programs to develop outstanding leadership qualities in students.
For Beth Brevard, having a scholarship named in her honor was quite a surprise.
“It made me feel very humble, and I questioned whether I was deserving,” she said. “On the other hand, I was really delighted they wished to do so.”
Beth Brevard may not have attended Ole Miss, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t one of its biggest fans. A native of Shannon, Mississippi, and the daughter of a UM alumnus, she hoped to attend Ole Miss but selected Mississippi University for Women instead.
“I planned to stay one year and transfer to Ole Miss, but World War II came along, and I just stayed for four years,” she said.
She met Henry Brevard when he was a sophomore at Ole Miss. The two married in 1946. Throughout the years, Beth Brevard has been deeply involved in her community. She taught Sunday school for 26 years, served as president of the Junior Auxiliary, and, for the last 19 years, has volunteered in a hospital emergency room. She also became an ardent UM fan, attending countless football and basketball games, helping Henry Brevard with his volunteer work for the University, and even being officially adopted into the Ole Miss family by the late Chancellor Porter L. Fortune, Jr.
Like his son, Henry Brevard, founder of B&B Concrete and an engineering graduate, also has continued his affiliation with Ole Miss, serving as chair of the University Foundation Board and the Engineering Advisory Board. He, too, is pleased with the scholarship.
“Beth has tremendous loyalty to the family,” he said. “There is inspiration from her standing next to us whatever our endeavors. We are grateful for that.”