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First-Gen Law Students to Benefit from New Scholarship
Celie (right) and Eddy Edwards established a scholarship for law students.

A deep passion for the legal profession led Celie and Eddy Edwards to establish a scholarship for students working toward a juris doctor degree at the University of Mississippi School of Law.

With a $50,000 gift, the Madison, Mississippi, couple established the Edwards Family Scholarship in Law Endowment. The $2,000 scholarship will be awarded to a full-time law student with first preference going to those who are the first in their family to enroll in law school.

Ole Miss law students participate in a mock trial.

“My father was a first-generation law student. He worked his way through Law School with jobs and the GI Bill,” said Eddy Edwards, senior partner in the law firm of Phelps Dunbar. “Many first-generation law students do not have the financial advantages and must borrow money to go to school, particularly professional schools. Helping those students is something he would have wanted to do.

“I see many clients with large school debts who struggle financially even with professional degrees. We hope the scholarship will help the recipients have fewer school loans.”

Eddy Edwards earned a BBA with an emphasis in banking and finance from Ole Miss in 1976 and a JD from the UM School of Law in 1978. He earned a Master of Laws in Taxation from New York University in 1980.

An active member of the UM Foundation board of directors, he has practiced business law for more than 45 years, with concentrations in taxation, finance and real estate. His practice in the field of taxation includes wills, trusts and estate planning as well as tax controversies and tax-exempt organizations, while his business practice includes commercial financing and real estate transactions.

The profession is pervasive in the Edwards’ lives: In addition to his father who became a small-town lawyer with a general practice after his graduation from Ole Miss Law School in 1953, Eddy and Celie met in the business school at Ole Miss. They married in 1976 and went through law school together.

Law Dean Frederick G. Slabach

Celie Edwards also earned her BBA from Ole Miss in 1976 and her JD from UM Law School in 1978. She received a Master of Laws in Corporate Law from NYU in 1980 and then taught at Mississippi College School of Law for 37 years. Her grandfather and great-grandfather both were lawyers and judges in Alabama.

Now, the couple’s son, Martin, is newly on faculty at the Ole Miss Law School, and his wife, Annie, is a lawyer, as is Annie’s mother.

“Establishing the scholarship is something we have discussed for several years,” Eddy Edwards said. “We have made gifts to various individual scholarships over the years, but we decided that a larger gift, creating a scholarship endowment, would provide a greater benefit to a particular student.

“Celie’s teaching experience provided her with a unique perspective on the significant impact a scholarship could have on numerous students under her guidance.”

Law Dean Frederick G. Slabach expressed gratitude for the Edwards’ gift.

“We are extremely grateful for the visionary support of alumni like Celie and Eddy. Their provision of a scholarship will financially support students who might not otherwise be able to obtain a law degree.”

The Edwards Family Scholarship in Law Endowment is open to support from businesses and individuals. Gifts can be made by sending a check to the University of Mississippi Foundation, with the fund’s name noted on the memo line, to 406 University Ave., Oxford, MS 38655, or click here to give online.

To support the School of Law, contact Suzette Matthews at or 662-915-1122.

By Bill Dabney/UM Foundation


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.