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Russell Planned Gift to Strengthen Political Science Faculty
Dr. John Winkle, professor emeritus of political science, is revered by former students. Among them is Gail Russell of Louisville, Ky., who has established a major planned gift to bolster faculty support in the UM Department of Political Science.

Kentucky native and UM alumna Gail Russell has committed a generous planned gift to the Political Science department within the UM College of Liberal Arts. It and its devoted faculty, Russell says, helped get her where she is today.

A native of Murray, Ky., Russell received her bachelor’s degree in political science from UM in 1976. She returned home and earned her Juris Doctor degree in 1979 from University of Kentucky College of Law. Now a partner with the Louisville, Ky., law firm Goldberg Simpson, her main areas of practice are Bankruptcy Law and Creditors’ Rights.

“Ole Miss provided me a tremendous educational opportunity, and I left campus prepared to compete at the next level,” said Russell. “I owe a debt to this university for giving me a wonderful foundation upon which to build a legal career.”

Russell’s gift will help the university recruit, retain and support faculty for the department – one of the most challenging tasks faced by administration. With proper resources, faculty members are able to excel in their research, thereby staying at the top of their field. Students benefit when faculty bring this expertise to the classroom, while soon-to-be graduates receive irreplaceable mentoring by leading scholars.

“The decision by Ms. Russell to establish an 1848 Society gift is one that will profoundly strengthen the Political Science department in the years to come,” said John Bruce, chair of political science. “We have been fortunate to have very good individuals on our faculty. Her gift will allow us to continue to support and develop such exceptional people in the future.

“When she was an undergraduate here, Ms. Russell had courses with Professor John W. Winkle III, and she credits those classes with setting the trajectory of her legal development,” he added. “Our goal is to have each of our students enjoy such an experience. Ms. Russell’s gift will help establish a financial base that will help us move toward that goal.”

In his 39-year as a UM professor, Winkle inspired countless students. He is a recipient of the Elsie M. Hood Outstanding Teacher Award, the Faculty Achievement Award, the Random Acts of Kindness Award and the Frist Student Service Award. In 1998, the IHL presented Winkle with the Harrison Governing Boards Award, given to one faculty member in the state system for contributions to higher education in Mississippi.

Russell is active in many organizations in the Louisville community. She is a member of the Fillies, the volunteer organization that offers event support for the Kentucky Derby Festival; Junior League of Louisville, Kentucky; Opera Guild and Second Presbyterian Church. She previously served on the Board of Directors of the Louisville Deaf Oral School, the Board of Directors of the Louisville Deaf Oral School Foundation, the Kentuckiana Girl Scout Development Advisory Board and as president of the Kiwanis Club of Louisville.

Individuals and organizations interested in providing a gift of any size to support faculty can send a check with the Barnard Initiative and academic area noted in the memo line to the University of Mississippi Foundation, 406 University Avenue, Oxford, Miss. 38655 or give online at For more information on giving to the Department of Political Science, contact Ron Wilson, (662) 915-1755 or To discuss planned giving and the UM 1848 Society, contact Sandra Guest, foundation vice president, at (662) 915-5208 or

Katie Morrison


Online gifts for the 2024 calendar year should be made no later than noon on December 31, 2024.  Checks by mail will need to be postmarked by December 31 to be counted in the 2024 calendar year.