The most recent of many gifts from the Dr. and Mrs. R. Faser Triplett Foundation to the University of Mississippi provides $125,000 in operational support for the Ole Miss Women’s Council for Philanthropy.
The Triplett Foundation, named for the late Jackie and Faser Triplett of Jackson, Mississippi, is managed by their children: Chip Triplett of Ridgeland, Mississippi; Diane Holloway of Ridgeland and Nashville, Tennessee; Suzy Fuller of Greenwood, South Carolina; Liz Walker of Jackson; and Lou Ann Woidtke of Madison, Mississippi.
“I had the privilege of being good friends with Faser and Jackie Triplett and have personally known each of their children and their families. I can attest to the generous and loving nature that each of them expresses through their unique ways of giving back to the causes that are drawn to their hearts,” said OMWC chair Suzan B. Thames. “It is the Triplett siblings’ shared love of the university and their common desire to give back to it that brings them together to continue their parents’ legacy of loyal philanthropy and advocacy of Ole Miss.
“With this gift to support scholar programming, it furthers our work of training future philanthropic leaders through curated lecturers in leadership, communication skills, non-profit management and mentorship.”
The Triplett siblings agree that Women’s Council events, lectures and resources work together to create unique programming that is second to none in the nation.
“My siblings and I felt strongly that with this gift, we would be contributing to a part of Ole Miss that has an undeniable impact on students’ lives,” said Holloway, a 1985 UM graduate and member of the OMWC board of directors. “This program goes so far beyond financial aid. It wraps students in support and equips them with the tools to carve their own success in life. No matter from where these young men and women hail, they are a valued member of a community that wants to see them thrive.
“That approach is having singular impacts both for these individuals and for the world at large as the students make their way into it,” Holloway continued. “For us, it was an easy decision to support such a dynamic, warm-hearted and effective program.”
An innovative and groundbreaking UM program helmed by an accomplished cadre of female leaders and philanthropists, the OMWC provides scholarships for tuition and books for young men and women, as well as guidance and training in leadership skills, career development and personal growth throughout the students’ tenure at the university.
“We believe in the power of the OMWC to make positive change in young peoples’ lives, and I can’t think of a greater gift than that,” said Holloway, a former member of the UM Foundation board of directors. “It’s so moving to hear scholars speak to their time in the program. Each one has a story of how this community lifted them in their times of greatest challenge and celebrated them as they found their paths as young adults.
“Their experiences are diverse, but they share a common thread of finding fulfillment beyond what they dreamed for themselves.”
Amyaha Graham of Clarksdale, Mississippi, has been the recipient of the Women’s Council’s life-changing experience.
“Being a part of the Ole Miss Women’s Council has granted me with opportunities and lasting relationships. This is not merely a scholarship program; it is my family away from home. The mentorship and never-ending support have tremendously helped to transform me into the person I am today,” said Graham, a senior accountancy major.
Holloway said her involvement with the council and interaction with its scholars have impacted her own life.
“My brother and sisters have sat with me as tears rolled down my face in describing the heartwarming, transformative experiences that students in the program have had. And to now join together to support the very programs that foster this kind of impact is so meaningful to us,” she said. “I’m touched that they saw my passion and immediately jumped on board, and that as a family we are able to broaden our support for Ole Miss in this way.”
The Triplett Family Foundation’s gift to the Women’s Council falls on the heels of its $4 million gift to the Ole Miss Alumni Association’s Triplett Alumni Center building fund last fall.
In 2021, the family provided the seed money, $500,000, needed to establish the William Magee Institute for Student Wellbeing at the university. The institute serves as the umbrella organization over several wellness centers designed to encourage holistic well-being and transform lives through education, research and support related to alcohol and other drugs.
This is the second major gift the family directed to the university’s efforts in this area, and the support has been instrumental in the growth of powerful resources for students. In 2019, the foundation awarded the William Magee Center for AOD and Wellness Education $750,000 to support the hiring of a health-education specialist, fund the planning of a national symposium at Ole Miss and cover expenses associated with the startup.
In addition to supporting student wellness, the Triplett siblings directed a $1 million gift to the Campaign for Children’s of Mississippi at the UM Medical Center to support the expansion of Children’s Hospital. They also helped establish the R. Faser Triplett Sr. Chair of Allergy and Immunology in honor of their father.
Emelia O’Neill of Smithton, Illinois, said she’ll always be grateful for the opportunities and experiences she’s enjoyed as a Women’s Council scholar.
“Having the opportunity to be part of something as unique as the Ole Miss Women’s Council has been a huge blessing for me both personally and professionally. The resources and experiences that have been offered to me have changed my college experience considerably and provided me with a great support system here in Oxford,” said the senior banking and finance major.
“The outstanding mentorship program has been one of my favorite parts of the Ole Miss Women’s Council thus far, as well as forming relationships with fellow scholars through Red Plate Suppers and scholar trips,” she continued. “I am so grateful to be a part of something so special here at Ole Miss, and I know that this program and these people will stay with me long after I graduate.”
The OMWC currently serves 41 students like Graham and O’Neill. In its history, the council has provided financial assistance and mentorship to 175 scholars.
“I cannot overstate how tremendously valuable the Ole Miss Women’s Council’s work is to the scholars, to its members and to the university. The strategic mindset behind supporting the ‘whole student’ sets this program apart from any of its peers and reflects the values and excellence that make Ole Miss such a special place,” Holloway said.
“We hope others will be encouraged to learn more about how they can get involved as well.”
To make a gift to the Ole Miss Women’s Council, visit https://nowandever.olemiss.edu/schools-and-units/ole-miss-womens-council/ or contact Suzanne Helveston, program director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 662-915-2956.
By Bill Dabney/UM Foundation