As successful, first-generation college graduates from the University of Mississippi, Ed Flemmons and his two sisters represent their parents’ legacy.
Many of the opportunities they’ve enjoyed as a result of their Ole Miss degrees were possible due to the hard work and sacrifices made by their parents, Ed and Winnie Flemmons, who lived in Tunica and Cleveland, Mississippi.
While they came from humble circumstances, Ed and Winnie Flemmons earned a living and raised a family in the Mississippi Delta. They also gave their children a path to success by helping them attend college.
Now, the Flemmons family is expanding that legacy by helping future generations of students gain access to a UM degree. Ed Flemmons and his wife, Terri, recently made a $50,000 gift to the university to create the Flemmons Family Scholarship Endowment to assist deserving students pursuing an education in the School of Business Administration.
“We felt that if we ever had the means to do so, it would be great to help those students coming after us to have the extraordinary higher education opportunities that are available at the University of Mississippi,” Ed Flemmons said.
“And perhaps, the example of our gift will inspire others to support the university by giving to the Flemmons Family Scholarship, supporting another existing scholarship or even creating their own scholarship for Ole Miss students.”
Ken Cyree, dean of the School of Business Administration, said the gift from the Flemmons family provides transformative opportunities for future Ole Miss business students.
“It is inspiring and humbling to see alumni like the Flemmons give back to the Business School as recognition for the difference their education made in their lives,” Cyree said. “Through their generosity, they will impact lives for generations to come and allow other students to experience the life-changing impact of a business degree.
“We are honored to have their support and greatly appreciate their dedication.”
The decision to establish the scholarship serves as a way for Ed and Terri Flemmons to show their appreciation to their family and Ole Miss. The couple gives much of the credit for their financial resources to the success they’ve had since graduating from UM about 35 years ago.
Ed Flemmons earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the School of Business Administration in 1987, and Terri Flemmons earned a pharmacy degree in 1988. Both have lived and worked in Memphis, Tennessee, for most of their careers. Ed Flemmons has had a long career in the swimming pool industry while Terri Flemmons has worked as a pharmacist with both Baptist Memorial Hospital and Walgreens Pharmacy.
Ed Flemmons’ siblings also have deep connections to the university. His older sister, Becky Flemmons Herren, was a Taylor Medalist and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in accountancy from Ole Miss in 1976. She lives in Houston, Texas, and retired after 45 years as a CPA and controller of small companies.
His younger sister, Wendy Flemmons Sorgen, earned a master’s degree in speech therapy at UM in 1992. She now lives in Dallas, Texas, where she is retired.
Ed Flemmons and his sisters are grateful to their parents for helping them obtain a transformative education. Giving them this opportunity for a college degree did not come easy.
Their parents were members of large Delta families from “impoverished conditions,” Ed Flemmons said. Neither of his parents was able to attend college, but they were determined their children would.
“Both worked very hard and basically did everything possible to make a better life for themselves and their children,” he said. “My dad’s goal for his children was that they all obtain a college degree, which he saw as a leg up to success. Not only did his children attend college, but all three also went to Ole Miss.
“I believe creating this scholarship was a fitting way to honor our parents for their vision and desire to help us. Having attended Ole Miss and meeting my wife there, I hold the university in high regard as a special place that shaped my life in many ways.”
Individuals and organizations can contribute to the Flemmons Family Scholarship Endowment by mailing a check, with the fund noted in the memo line, to the University of Mississippi Foundation, 406 University Ave., Oxford, MS 38655, or give online at https://give.olemiss.edu.
To learn more about providing support to the UM 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