One way to build a successful career in the legal profession is to start by laying a firm foundation based on business knowledge.
This formula worked for Floyd Sulser Jr. during his higher education journey at the University of Mississippi in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Now, a half century later, he and his family believe this same educational path still works for today’s generation of Ole Miss students.
That’s why they created the Floyd Sulser Family Scholarship Endowment with a gift of $30,000 in 2019, and recently enhanced this scholarship with another gift of nearly $28,000. The endowment is designed to encourage and assist UM business majors who want to attend law school.
“Having a degree in business certainly helped me establish my law practice,” said Sulser of Ridgeland, Mississippi. “My bachelor’s degree in business administration provided me with an understanding of business transactions, accounting and economics, which has proven to be invaluable during the many decades I’ve practiced law.”
The Sulser Family Scholarship provides financial assistance to full-time students in the UM School of Business Administration who plan to enroll in law school. With the Sulser family’s most recent gift to the endowment, this support will be even more generous.
“Dad made this latest gift to the endowment because he prefers that each year, one scholar will receive a larger financial commitment instead of having smaller financial amounts go to several scholars,” said Lauren Sulser Benner of Jackson, Mississippi, who has two children enrolled at Ole Miss.
This scholarship encourages business majors to expand the career avenues available to them by continuing on to law school, said Ken Cyree, dean of the business school.
“Having a multidisciplinary educational background with business and law degrees not only ensures graduates stand out from other professionals getting started after college, it also expands their skill sets and enables them to have a potentially greater, more effective impact on their community,” Cyree said.
“We’re so grateful that Floyd and his family are making these thrilling opportunities available to a new generation of business students,” he said.
The Sulser Family Scholarship also was established to honor James “Jimmy” Davis, an Ole Miss alumnus who served the UM Patterson School of Accountancy for more than 44 years as a faculty member and dean. Now retired, Davis has been honored with the title of Peery Professor Emeritus of Accountancy.
“One of dad’s favorite professors was Dr. Jimmy Davis,” said Kristen Sulser Guinn, who earned a master’s degree in English from Ole Miss. “Dad wants this scholarship to honor Dr. Davis for his energy, dedication and mentorship.
“Dad loved his accounting classes with Dr. Davis, and he frequently shares stories about how his classes with Dr. Davis were fun, inspiring and always engaging.”
Sulser earned a bachelor’s degree in 1968 and his Juris Doctor in 1971. He is a founding member of the Bennett Lotterhos Sulser & Wilson law firm in Jackson. His legal career focused on the areas of business and environmental law, as well as creditors’ rights and bankruptcy litigation. He now serves Of Counsel for the law firm and is the board chair for GreenHeart Holdings in Jackson.
In addition, Sulser and Guinn have devoted their time to the UM Friends of the Library Board.
“Our dad and stepmom (Regina Sulser) have loved and supported Ole Miss for decades, and their appreciation and deep fondness for the University of Mississippi have been passed on to two more generations in our family,” Guinn said.
“The Floyd Sulser Family Scholarship Endowment reflects how our family feels about Ole Miss, but it especially reflects the love our father has for Ole Miss, provides him with a way to give back to the university and helps future generations of UM students,” she said.
The Floyd Sulser Family Scholarship Endowment is open to accept gifts from individuals and organizations. To contribute, send a check to the University of Mississippi Foundation, with the endowment’s name noted in the memo line, to 406 University Ave., Oxford, MS 38655 or online at https://give.olemiss.edu.
For more information about supporting the School of Business Administration, contact Angela Brown, senior director of development, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 662-915-3181.
By Jonathan Scott/UM Development