A new campaign at the University of Mississippi aims to raise funds for a scholarship honoring a young alumnus who died unexpectedly in June.
Oscar R. Pope, a native of Terry, Mississippi, graduated from Ole Miss in 2010 with dual degrees in broadcast journalism and graphic design. At just 32 years old, Pope had already achieved tremendous success as a marketing professional in Atlanta, Georgia.
Most recently, Pope worked at Turner Broadcasting as the marketing coordinator for the NBA on TNT and NBA TV. His work on Inside the NBA, NBA Roadshow and developing NBA legend Charles Barkley’s “Guarantee Button” distinguished his career at the network.
The Oscar R. Pope Memorial Scholarship will benefit students majoring in integrated marketing communications (IMC) at the university’s School of Journalism and New Media.
“Oscar was a great friend and graduate of our school,” said Debora Wenger, the school’s interim dean. “Throughout his time here, he played a transformative role, whether it was in producing incredible creative content or making connections between so many people of such disparate backgrounds.
“You could always count on Oscar to be a light, whether it was here at the University of Mississippi or in his career at Turner Broadcasting.”
Wenger said the purpose of the Oscar Pope Memorial Scholarship is to provide a transformative experience to students, like Pope, who are passionate about marketing and communications.
In an alumni profile published more than a year ago, Pope said he approached his time at the university with purpose.
“I just treated college like an opportunity to experience all the things I wanted to experience, and I think all those things have come together to work for my greater good,” he said.
The Oscar Pope Memorial Scholarship is poised to give similar experiences to new generations of students.
IMC is one of the most popular majors at Ole Miss. The program’s students learn how to create and use messaging strategically within today’s rapidly changing social and digital media landscape, one in which Pope excelled.
“No matter how far he traveled, Oscar always kept the University of Mississippi and the School of Journalism and New Media in his heart,” Wenger said. “It didn’t matter whether he was making connections with alumni or meeting new friends whom he could bring into our family. Oscar made a real difference with his life.”
For more information or to contribute to the scholarship, visit https://ignite.olemiss.edu/oscarpope or contact Robert Patterson, development associate for the College of Liberal Arts, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (662) 915-6382.
By Angela Atkins/UM Development