Chancellor Robert Khayat, from left, Steve Reynolds, CEO of BMH Corporation, Kelly Langford and Herman Sylvester, Womens's Council Scholars; Molly Meisenheimer, George Falls, and Patty Lewis

R ecognizing the need for talented young people in today’s high-quality and complex field of health care, Baptist Memorial Health Care Foundation of Memphis has become the first corporate sponsor of an Ole Miss Women’s Council Scholarship.
The foundation’s $125,000 endowment produces the Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp. Council Scholarship designated for students interested in pursuing a profession in health care and helps fund the Ole Miss Women’s Council for Philanthropy’s Leadership-Mentorship Program.
Ellen Rolfes, the university’s major gifts officer and principal architect of the Women’s Council, says the scholarship has expanded the identity of the program into corporate America.
“Entering the realm of corporate giving took the Women’s Council Scholarship Program to a different level,” Rolfes says. “It illustrates that the value of leadership-mentorship development has been embraced by the business community.”
Through the program, the scholarship recipients will have the opportunity to intern at Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi (BMH-NM) in Oxford and to work closely with mentors there throughout the year.
Kyle McCool, a biochemistry major from Cleveland, Miss., is the first recipient of the scholarship. Though he has been interested in the medical field since the tenth grade, McCool says his college choice was not concrete until he realized the opportunities the award would provide.
“At Ole Miss and the hospital, I will have the chance to explore my interests,” McCool says. “I think the program gives me an advantage, seeing what my field is really like. Normally, you take classes, but you don’t get to experience what you are studying.”
After completing his undergraduate degree, McCool says he plans to attend medical school to become either a radiologist or orthopedic surgeon.
The Baptist Memorial Health Care Foundation is the charitable arm of the non-profit Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp. The foundation gathers the funds and resources needed to provide enhanced patient care, education and clinical research.
“We felt it was important to make this donation because it will support some of our future leaders in their efforts to earn a high-quality education,” says Jim VanderSteeg, former CEO and administrator of BMH-NM. “The Ole Miss Women’s Council for Philanthropy presented us with such an exciting way to help students, and we felt we had to be part of it.”