As the Ole Miss Women’s Council for Philanthropy (OMWC) marks 20 years of cultivating University of Mississippi students to become tomorrow’s leaders and philanthropists, this council welcomes a new chair and three members who will help ensure its mission continues to succeed.
Elizabeth “Liz” Johnson Randall of Oxford, Mississippi, serves as the new OMWC chair. Golda Sharpe of Memphis, Tennessee; Diane Triplett Holloway of Nashville, Tennessee; and Elizabeth “Liza” Frugé, also of Oxford, are the latest additions to the 36-member council, with Sharpe becoming the first former OMWC scholar to join the council.
The OMWC has gained a reputation for innovation, with mentoring, leadership training and cultural experiences enhancing the financial assistance of a scholarship. The council of female leaders and philanthropists now oversees an endowment of nearly $17 million with a staff dedicated to supporting its scholars.
The council awards scholarships to young women and men who already exhibit a desire to improve the lives of others. Currently, 37 students are on the $40,000 ($10,000 per year for four years) scholarships, and since it began, the council has provided support to 157 scholars.
With Randall as the chair, the OMWC is poised to be an even more effective organization, said Mary Susan Gallien Clinton of Naples, Florida, the outgoing chair.
“Liz is a well-read and hands-on successful businessperson who can lay out a framework that can help anyone who wants philanthropy engagement to be more thoughtful and open-minded, and who is willing to learn, adapt and make a difference. As a forward thinker, Liz will rigorously implement strategies toward keeping the OMWC scholar program relevant in today’s world,” Clinton said.
Randall, a fourth-generation Ole Miss graduate, has remained active with the university while building a thriving business, playing instrumental roles in a variety of nonprofits and raising five young children with her husband, Trace. She has been a member of the OMWC for seven years.
The founder and president of Randall Commercial Group, Randall devotes her time to several philanthropic efforts. She serves as a trustee for Algernon Sydney Sullivan Foundation and chairs the annual St. Jude Taste of Oxford and Palmer Home Tailgate.
Randall is past president of the university’s MBA Advisory Board and a previous member of the Business School Advisory Board and Real Estate Board. She volunteers as the executive-in-residence at the university’s Insight Park.
Randall is also a Delta Gamma advisor, trustee for the Clint and Ellen Ann Johnson Foundation, board member of Doors of Hope Transitional Ministry and a member of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.
Philanthropy, Randall said, leads to a more caring and ethical society – the overarching mission of the OMWC.
“We must encourage and celebrate philanthropic acts of all kinds. Our program instills in our scholars the importance and power of philanthropy and instructs them in the leadership skills necessary for them to impact the causes that pull at each of their hearts,” Randall said.
For Sharpe, being welcomed as a new member of the council is a bit of a homecoming.
“I’m thrilled to serve as an OMWC member to support the work of a scholarship program that has impacted me in unmeasurable ways,” said Sharpe, who was an OMWC scholar while earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics. She later earned a Master of Arts in curriculum and instruction in 2011.
“From my introduction to the program in the fall of 2005 until now, I’ve remained committed to the values and mission that this organization holds so dear – a spirit of giving through philanthropy, servant leadership and being of service to my community.”
As director of instructional support for Instruction Partners, a nonprofit that supports teaching and accelerates student learning, Sharpe is able to continue her career as a change agent, innovator and educational enthusiast.
Frugé, another new member, has supported education and philanthropy since she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Juris Doctor from Ole Miss. She was the Oxford School District Parent Teacher Organization’s president for Oxford Elementary, Della Davidson Elementary and the Oxford Middle School and has served on PTO boards at all Oxford schools.
She is a member of the Alpha Mu Chapter of Kappa Delta, where she served as chapter advisory board president for eight years and chapter advisor for two years.
“Women leaders, such as Liz Randall and the others on the Ole Miss Women’s Council, mentor, guide and provide a daily example of servant leadership while also showing the love and the family spirit that lives at the University of Mississippi,” Frugé said.
“The OMWC members show how giving to others multiplies the good in the world. It’s an honor to be counted among these great women leaders and the brightest scholars the university has to offer,” she said.
With her focus on philanthropic endeavors and her long history with UM, Holloway is suited to serve as a new council member. The Triplett Alumni Center on campus is named in honor of her parents, the late Dr. and Mrs. Faser Triplett of Jackson, Mississippi. After graduating from UM with a Bachelor of Science degree in interior design, Holloway owned Fridge’s Fine Gifts.
Holloway is on the boards of The Nature Conservancy of Mississippi and the Nashville Zoo. She is a member of the American Red Cross’ Tiffany Circle, while also supporting numerous organizations, including Cheekwood Botanical Gardens, the Hope House in the Ukraine and others. She and her husband, J.L., have hosted many fundraisers for the Mississippi Children’s Cancer Clinic and the Patron’s Party for the American Heart Association.
She and her siblings direct the work of the Dr. and Mrs. Rodney Faser Triplett Foundation, which supports the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson and the William Magee Center for Wellness Education on the Oxford campus.
“Whenever I see my father’s portrait in the Alumni Center, I’m reminded of the importance of giving generously to our University of Mississippi community so that it may thrive for generations to come,” Holloway said. “To be able to serve on the Ole Miss Women’s Council for Philanthropy and to be a part of its mission to support scholarships, build communities and foster leadership is an honor and humbling.”
For more information on establishing an OMWC scholarship and joining the Global Leadership Circle or the Rose Society, contact Suzanne Helveston at firstname.lastname@example.org or 662-915-2956 or visit https://omwc.olemiss.edu.
By Jonathan Scott