The University of Mississippi

Family Leadership Council Makes Impact

Chas Maloy of Littleton, Colorado, left, visits with Morris and Colleen Friedman of Winston Salem, North Carolina, at the meeting of the Ole Miss Family Leadership Council. Photo by Amy Howell/UM Development

The Ole Miss Family Leadership Council has invested $235,000 in the University of Mississippi to expand counseling services and student health services and rebrand The Student Involvement Place (The SIP).

Among the 10 projects selected for allocations were:

  • $70,000 for Protocall 24/7 crisis line in the University Counseling Center – This resource provides crisis support for students after hours, during holidays and in the event of unexpected campus closures. Students have utilized this resource to speak to a licensed counselor or social worker 1,020 times in the past seven months.
  • $50,225 for Student Health Services – The center is expanding its footprint to the South Oxford Campus with two nurse practitioners to see an additional 40-plus patients daily. This funding will cover essential medical equipment, eight new examination tables and other needed office equipment to effectively and efficiently see patients.
  • $40,000 for renovations to Lester Hall – This home of the University Counseling Center will go from using two floors of the building to occupying the entire building. These funds will facilitate the expansion and growth of offices, as they cover renovations and improvements to Lester Hall.
  • $15,000 for the rebrand of the Center for Student Organizations and Leadership – With over 400 registered student organizations, the majority lacks a dedicated space to meet regularly. This funding will rebrand the Center as The Student Involvement Place (The SIP) and provide such resources as computer stations, office supplies and other items needed for student leaders to lead successful organizations.

The FLC was formed in 2014, and a decade later, the group has now gifted $1.4 million to the Division of Student Affairs. Each year, UM’s student affairs departments present funding requests for special projects, and the Council members vote on the projects to support with their membership dues.

“When we launched the Family Leadership Council, we had 19 families from a handful of states. That year we were able to allocate $45,500 to the Division of Student Affairs. This year was the FLC’s 10th anniversary, and our 66 families representing 23 different states provided $235,000 to student affairs.

“This is the most we’ve ever had to allocate, and it clearly highlights that Ole Miss parents want to be involved and use their resources to enhance the Ole Miss experience for our students.”

Colleen Friedman, an FLC member from Winston Salem, North Carolina, has a daughter enrolled at Ole Miss.

“It was quite an eye-opener and learning experience to go through the process of a brief description of about 25 very worthy funding requests,” she said. “How wonderful to learn what the actual needs are and to know that we had a small part in making a helpful difference!”

Likewise, FLC member and father of two daughters at Ole Miss, Chas Maloy of Littleton, Colorado, said he and his wife have been impressed that the funding goes directly to student affairs projects.

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Charlotte Fant Pegues speaks to the Ole Miss Family Leadership Council meeting. The other speaker was Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Leon Collins, an Ole Miss alumnus. Photo by Amy Howell/UM Development

“In talking about the FLC with numerous people who have no affiliation or familiarity with Ole Miss, the theme I discuss most is the direct impact our support and the FLC have on projects and causes that matter to students,” he said.

“Many times, contributions to a school are directed toward a general fund or endowment. Of course, these resources are utilized at some point for the good of the institution. However, with the FLC, we are shown tangible projects and services where these resources are allocated,” he continued. “You know you are making a difference in students’ lives and experiences at Ole Miss. For me and my wife, this is the most satisfying aspect of our involvement.”

The FLC meets once in the fall and again in the spring, hearing from top campus leaders and touring new facilities. The FLC members gather for two tailgates before Ole Miss football games each fall in the Grove.

Friedman said, “My husband Morris and I attended other universities. Through the FLC, we felt immediately and warmly welcomed to Ole Miss and Oxford. We’re looking forward to getting more involved and connecting with new and existing members of the FLC over Margaret’s time at Ole Miss and beyond.”

To become council members, parents of Ole Miss students donate a minimum of $5,000 annually. To learn more about the Family Leadership Council, contact Brett Barefoot at or 662-915-2711.

By Tina H. Hahn/UM Development