When Nancy Harrelson Stumberg talks about Ole Miss, it is with incredible confidence, optimism and above all, gratitude and affection. The 1975 graduate demonstrates her understanding of the mission of the University of Mississippi Foundation and the vision established by Chancellor Khayat.
“Ole Miss is one of the most meaningful places in my life,” says Stumberg. “I decided long ago that I wanted to further the mission of the foundation, to show my gratitude for my education, and to support Chancellor Khayat in any way possible.”
Stumberg has established the Nancy Harrelson Stumberg Women’s Council Scholarship with a $100,000 gift in honor of her affection for Ole Miss and for her fellow Women’s Council members, Rose Jackson Flenorl, Kathryn Black, Patty Lewis, Rachel McPherson, Gloria Kellum, Becky Jones West and others.
“These women are all leaders in their various walks of life. They have inspired me through the years and frankly, if Gloria Kellum asked me to stand on my head, I would,” says Stumberg, speaking of the university’s vice chancellor for University Relations. “I want to help instill the lessons I learned from my friendships with these women in young people through this scholarship.”
Founded in early 2000, the Ole Miss Women’s Council for Philanthropy is an initiative that involves women more directly in philanthropic endeavors for the university. The council, which provides scholarships for deserving young men and women, has become a national model for philanthropy by establishing a caring and emotional connection with its mentoring program. An average of five to seven Women’s Council scholarships are awarded annually to students entering the freshman class. Sophomores who exhibit leadership potential also are eligible. Each scholarship awards $4,000 to $5,000 per year for four years.
Stumberg, a native of Puryear, Tenn., now lives in San Antonio, Texas, with her husband, Louis Herbert Stumberg Jr. and their three children, Sara, Catherine and Patrick. Herbert Stumberg, a Texas native, invented and patented a pressure-activated device that alerts firefighters to danger and saves lives. He sits on the board of Trinity University in San Antonio and yet supports his wife’s endeavors at Ole Miss. In addition to their commitment to academics, they also contribute to UM athletics.
Stumberg attended the University of Mississippi Law School in 1975-77, and was an active and vocal member of that student body.
“When I graduated from law school and went on my first job interview, I actually wore a bow in my hair. I don’t believe I got taken very seriously even though my academic record and activities were certainly of the caliber of my male law school friends.” she says.
Stumberg graduated first in her law class of 1977, and practiced real estate and banking law fulltime for 23 years. She received the Master in Law degree from Yale University, and was a member of the law faculty at St. Mary’s School of Law in San Antonio all while juggling her responsibilities as wife and mother.
“Nancy Stumberg is an incredible leader — a true role model for all women — and men — who practice philanthropy and who invest in higher education. We are grateful to her and Herbert for their faith in us and we will be good stewards of their investment,” says Chancellor Robert Khayat.