In the business world, Entergy Mississippi’s generous support of the University of Mississippi School of Law is called a win-win.
Entergy Mississippi is providing the Law School with gifts totaling $125,000 to establish and contribute to scholarship endowments honoring Sen. Thad Cochran and Robert Grenfell. Additionally, the corporation is supporting a new partnership with the school’s nationally ranked Business Law Institute.
As a result, new educational opportunities will be created for students. In turn, law students will gain the skills they need to become the next generation of leaders at corporations like Entergy.
Haley Fisackerly, president and CEO of Entergy Mississippi says it’s particularly appropriate that $100,000 of these Entergy funds are going to support the Thad Cochran Tribute Scholarship at the School of Law.
“During his 45 years of service to the state of Mississippi, Sen. Cochran was a champion for safe, reliable, affordable energy and supported innumerable policies that have helped Mississippi businesses grow and hire more Mississippians,” Fisackerly said.
“Throughout his lifetime, he represented the best of Mississippi’s values, setting a great example of what it means to be a public servant and leader. This is a way for Entergy to show our appreciation for all that Sen. Cochran has done for our state, nation, company, employees and industry.”
The Cochran endowment provides law scholarships, an international law fellowship, a military promise program, preservation of Cochran’s collection in the University Libraries’ Modern Political Archives and resources to the law dean’s strategic initiatives.
“The generous contributions from Entergy to honor Sen. Cochran will change the lives of so many students who wish to pursue legal careers and help current and future generations understand American history,” said Law Dean Susan Duncan.
Entergy is supporting an additional opportunity for law students with its $25,000 gift to establish the Robert C. Grenfell Scholarship in Law Endowment, which was created to honor one of the corporation’s longtime employees.
“Bob Grenfell had an outstanding 31-year career with Entergy and was vice president of regulatory affairs for 17 of those years,” Fisackerly said. “He received his law degree from Ole Miss and has a deep affinity for the university. When he retired, we thought there was no better way to honor him and his legacy than with a scholarship endowment in his name.”
A native of Jackson, Mississippi, Grenfell enrolled in Ole Miss Law School after earning a bachelor’s degree in history from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. He practiced law for 10 years and worked part-time as the city prosecutor in Jackson before joining Entergy.
“It was an honor to work for Entergy, especially with its focus on community service. The company has such a commitment to the communities it serves and the state of Mississippi,” said Grenfell, who retired as Entergy’s vice president of regulatory affairs in February 2019.
“Ole Miss Law gave me the people skills, communication skills, confidence and foundation that prepared me for the corporate world and the ability to be well-rounded to fit in any career I pursued.”
Entergy is also joining other businesses in supporting the UM Business Law Institute’s new Business Law Fellowship, which is taking the top-ranked program to a new level.
Launched this summer, the Business Law Fellowship Program gave 10 first-year UM law students a rare opportunity to work in general-counsel offices and other departments of some of the nation’s leading companies.
“The fellowship speaks to the future thinking and progressive nature of the Ole Miss Law School in that not many law schools in the country have adopted this program,” said Conner Whitten, a UM law student who worked at Entergy for six weeks this summer.
The inaugural year launched with partnerships with Entergy Mississippi, FedEx, C Spire, Sanderson Farms, Ingalls Shipbuilding, Yates Construction, Pfizer and other companies.
Placements like Whitten’s introduced students to the day-to-day operations and responsibilities of a general counsel for a major corporation and allowed them to develop an understanding of business law concepts and skills through hands-on experience.
“It was extremely beneficial and such a unique experience that gave me the opportunity to apply in the real-world what I had learned in my corporations course,” Whitten said.
Entergy sees the partnership as beneficial to all those involved, including the communities in Mississippi.
“We think this is a terrific opportunity for us as well as the students,” Fisackerly said. “We look to hire the best and brightest talent for our workforce. Having such a relationship with the UM Law School gives us the opportunity to help develop future leaders and expose them to our company.”
“Hopefully, some of them may go on to join us here at Entergy. If not, then we want them to know that they can stay in the Magnolia State and have a successful and rewarding career.”
To support the Cochran Endowment or the Robert C. Grenfell Scholarship Endowment, individuals and organizations can mail a check to the University of Mississippi Foundation, with the endowment’s name in the memo line, to 406 University Ave., Oxford, MS 38655; or visit https://www.umfoundation.com/SenatorCochran.
To learn more about the UM School of Law Business Fellowship Program visit https://law.olemiss.edu/academics-programs/business-law-institute/.
By Mary Stanton Knight