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Scholarship Recipient Reflects on Opportunities Created by Leadership Endowment
With the Student Activities Association, Emmaline Schild held several leadership positions, including being the homecoming director. Here, she rides in the Homecoming Parade with her friend Daneel Konnar, a public policy leadership major from Meridian, Mississippi.

Engaging with the community. Supporting others. Making a positive change in the world.

These few words say a lot about what Emmaline Schild has focused on during her four years at the University of Mississippi, thanks in part to a scholarship she received her junior year. Now, as she prepares to graduate, she’s ready to carry the skills she’s learned in these areas into the next chapter of her life.

“Throughout my college career, I have always found community involvement, leadership and service to be of the utmost importance to me,” said Schild, who majored in public policy leadership within the College of Liberal Arts.

“Of course, being able to have these experiences at all is due in part to the opportunities I’ve received as a Copeland Scholar. This scholarship has meant so much to me.”

Schild was awarded a Copeland Scholarship for Leadership and Public Policy from an endowment established at UM in 2018 by Dean Copeland of Atlanta, Georgia, with a gift of $100,000. A 1961 Ole Miss graduate and Rhodes Scholar, Copeland continues to provide financial support to the endowment, having added $50,000 to the scholarship earlier this year. The scholarship endowment is now valued at more than $320,000.

The scholarship is awarded to rising juniors who are public policy leadership majors and have demonstrated leadership and effective communication skills and participated in service activities.

Copeland said he has enjoyed having the opportunity to work with Schild and offer his guidance when she seeks his advice about careers and how to be a better leader and serve her community.

“It has been a pleasure for me to get to know Emmaline, whose record at Ole Miss demonstrates significant traits of leadership and involvement in organizations that provide service to others,” he said.

Schild shared her deep appreciation to Copeland for the generous support he has provided to her, adding that the Copeland Scholarship has served to assist her and her family through some difficult times in recent months.

“As I finish the last semester of my senior year, I am immensely grateful for the Copeland Scholarship,” Schild said. “It has relieved me and my family, financially, as we have dealt with hardships the past two years.”

Engaging, supporting and making a positive change are also words that help define the mission of the Girl Scouts — a program embraced by the Germantown, Tennessee, native in her youth. She was honored as a Gold Award Girl Scout for creating a program centered around promoting courage and civic engagement in elementary school girls.

Recently she learned even more about the Girl Scouts organization.

“This past summer, I had the amazing opportunity to intern for the Girl Scouts in Washington, D.C.,” she said.

While in the nation’s capital, Schild was also able to work with the State Department on the country’s first-ever National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality initiative.

“Having these incredible experiences helped prepare me for a career after I leave Ole Miss, a career which I hope will allow me to enhance the lives of others,” she said.

The Copeland Scholarship assisted Schild by helping give her some of the freedom from financial stress she needed to engage in all facets of college life, proving herself a leader throughout her time at Ole Miss.

She served as the homecoming director for the Student Activities Association and held other leadership positions in the SAA. She was also the coordinator for Student Involvement and for Leadership Development, the Leadership and Engagement Ambassador, a Big Event project leader and an ambassador for the Trent Lott Leadership Institute Student Advisory Board.

“Emmaline is a bright, sweet young woman who is always willing to assist others,” said Melissa Jones, associate director of the Trent Lott Leadership Institute.

“Most recently, I moderated a panel for Admitted Students Day and Emmaline was one of our panel members. She brings such care, energy and engagement to her work!”

Schild has also been involved in a variety of Greek organizations, including serving as a member of the College Panhellenic Ethics Board, chair of Kappa Delta Leadership Excellence and a member of the Kappa Delta Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee.

She has received several honors during her time at Ole Miss, such as the Corre Anding Stegall Leadership Award, which is Kappa Delta’s highest individual collegiate honor. The award recognizes women with high academic performance and leadership within the sorority’s chapters, as well as on their campuses and in their communities.

Most recently, she was recognized by Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities. Who’s Who Among Students at Ole Miss is a respected honors program that recognizes seniors who excel academically and demonstrate leadership and community service on and off campus.

The soon-to-be graduate will move to Washington, D.C., this summer after accepting a job offer from the Student Conservation Association, the largest nonprofit provider of hands-on environmental conservation programs for youth and adults.

“I’m looking forward to returning to Washington, where I hope to make a positive difference and leave wherever I go a little bit better,” Schild said.

Copeland said he is convinced she has a remarkable future ahead of her.

“I wish Emmaline the very best as she moves on to Washington, D.C., where she will be gaining additional experience with the Student Conservation Association, an inspirational organization that I’m sure will only serve to enhance her leadership and community service skills,” Copeland said.

The Copeland Scholarship Endowment for Leadership and Public Policy is open to support from businesses, organizations and individuals. Gifts can be made to the endowment by sending a check to the University of Mississippi Foundation, with the endowment’s name noted on the memo line, to 406 University Ave., Oxford, MS 38655, or by giving online at

For more information on how to support the Copeland Scholarship Endowment, contact Suzette Matthews, executive director for development, at or 662-915-1122.

By Jonathan Scott/UM Development


Online gifts for the 2024 calendar year should be made no later than noon on December 31, 2024.  Checks by mail will need to be postmarked by December 31 to be counted in the 2024 calendar year.