A thank you note from a scholarship recipient inspired University of Mississippi alumni Phil and Emily Bailey to create a scholarship to support future teachers.
The Phillip J. and Emily G. Bailey Education Scholarship will support entering freshmen in the School of Education who intend to teach in Mississippi following graduation. Recipients may retain the $1,000 annual scholarship for up to eight semesters.
The Baileys wanted to offer the scholarship after a recipient of a previously established fund — the Rodney Chamblee Memorial Scholarship Endowment — wrote to the Oxford, Mississippi, couple to thank them for joining several fellow Ole Miss alumni in remembering a dear friend.
“It was rewarding to receive correspondence from the recipient expressing appreciation for this opportunity that enabled her to focus on her education without financial concerns,” Phil Bailey said.
Phil and Emily Bailey both earned degrees from the School of Education and originally planned to include scholarship endowment for education students in their estate plans. Encouraged by the note, they decided to go ahead and fund a $25,000 scholarship endowment outright, making the financial assistance available to students immediately.
“We feel it’s best to keep motivated, highly qualified educators in Mississippi,” Emily Bailey said. “They will teach the future leaders of our state who in turn will determine the success of our state.”
Students from Tennessee and Florida also are eligible for the scholarship.
“I was born in Nashville and have many Tennessee educators in my family,” said Phil Bailey. “My family later moved to Clearwater, Florida, where I grew up and graduated from high school. Emily was born and raised in Oxford. When we graduated from Ole Miss, we remained in Oxford.
David Rock, dean of the School of Education, said endowments like the Bailey Education Scholarship are crucial to keeping teachers in the state.
“We graduate nearly 300 new educators each year through our undergraduate teacher education programs,” Rock said. “This generous gift not only provides consistent funding for recipients but also celebrates students who wish to teach in Mississippi following completion of their programs.”
Phil Bailey, president of Phil Bailey & Associates insurance agency, graduated from the university in 1970 with a degree in secondary social studies education. Emily Bailey earned a bachelor’s degree in education in 1979 and a master’s degree in special education in 1980. She taught in the Oxford Public School District as special education resource teacher serving those students that were challenged academically.
The Phillip J. and Emily G. Bailey Scholarship Endowment is open to gifts from organizations and individuals by sending a check, with the fund noted in the memo line, to the University of Mississippi Foundation, 406 University Ave., Oxford, MS 38655 or visiting give.olemiss.edu.
To support the School of Education, contact Kelly Smith Marion, Associate Director of Development, at email@example.com or 662-915-2007.
By Mary Stanton Knight/UM Development