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Law School Scholarship Reflects Gratitude
Dean of the UM School of Law Frederick G. Slabach, from left, celebrates a new law scholarship for nontraditional students with Tommy and Nancy Cadle of Booneville, Mississippi, and Brad and Sharon Morris of Oxford, Mississippi.

Oxford, Mississippi, attorney Brad Morris and his wife, Sharon, are honoring Booneville, Mississippi, lawyer Tommy Cadle with a named scholarship as a tribute to the counselor’s sage advice that inspired Morris to return to law school.

A gift of $50,000 established the Tommy Dexter Cadle Law School Scholarship at the University of Mississippi and will help nontraditional students pursue legal studies.

“I could not have been more surprised to learn that Brad and Sharon Morris had set up a scholarship in my name,” Cadle said. “I’m deeply honored and appreciative.”

“I’ve been practicing law now for 44 years, but back in 1972, I had been out of college for about five years. A dear friend of mine, (UM alumnus) Howard Davidson, encouraged me to return for a law degree, put me in his car and drove me to Oxford to get enrolled. It was one of the best days of my life.”

Attorney Brad Morris, left, embraces mentor Tommy Cadle, also an attorney, after announcing he is funding a scholarship in Cadle’s honor.

Cadle returned the favor by doing the same for Brad Morris 20 years ago when his career path was unclear.

“Tommy looked me square in the eyes and said, ‘Brad, you need to go back to law school and get that degree. You just need to do it. You won’t regret it,’” Morris recalled.

At the time, it had been almost five years since Morris had withdrawn from law school to focus on end-of-life care for his grandfather, who had adopted and raised him. He then spent four years as an entrepreneur, followed by a run for state senator.

Morris said he would like the scholarship also to be a tribute to the values passed on from his grandparents.

“My Paw-Paw was a preacher and he used to say we should try to give people their flowers while they are living.  Well, this endowment represents my flowers to honor my friend, Tommy Cadle, for the kindness he showed me by encouraging me to go back to law school, and by extension it honors Howard Davidson who did the same for him,” said Morris, who worked in Washington, D.C., after law school graduation and before opening a firm in Oxford.

“In addition, it is also a thank you to this university for allowing me that second chance at law school.”

Nancy and Tommy Cadle react to the news that a scholarship has been established to honor him at the University of Mississippi School of Law.

To take Cadle’s advice, Morris had to retake the law school entrance exam, reapply to law schools and get readmitted. Meanwhile, he was a consultant and worked as support staff at a law firm before returning to law school in fall 2005.

Frederick G. Slabach, dean of the School of Law, expressed gratitude for the scholarship endowment.

“Nontraditional students like Brad Morris are welcome additions to the Ole Miss School of Law because their time in the real world has expanded their worldview, giving them context they can share with their fellow students,” he said. “We are extremely grateful to Sharon and Brad Morris for this scholarship gift to honor Tommy Cadle and to support nontraditional students.”

“I knew Brad could make it. He was smart and energetic, resourceful and hard-working; he just needed a push,” said Cadle. “Now I hope this scholarship will be perpetual support for students who, for whatever reason, did not initially pursue law school or dropped out but are determined to complete their education.”

Gifts from individuals or businesses can be made to the scholarship endowment by mailing a check to the University of Mississippi Foundation, with the scholarship’s name written in the memo line, at 406 University Ave., Oxford, MS 38655; or online at Tommy Dexter Cadle Law School Scholarship Endowment.

To learn about ways to support the School of Law, contact Suzette Matthews, executive director of development, at or (601) 937-1497.

By Tina H. Hahn/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.