Alumnus Makes Impact with Scholarship

Jeep Peden with recipients of the Stennett, Wilkinson and Peden Scholarship, Davis Vaughn (left) and Rod Hickman (right).

James “Jeep” Peden (JD 1970) knows the value of scholarships. During both his undergraduate and law school years at the University of Mississippi, he was selected for several prestigious scholarships.

“I was very fortunate throughout my educational career as I was able to pay for most of my education through the generosity of scholarships endowed by others,” said Peden. Now a successful attorney in Jackson, Mississippi, Peden gives back to his alma mater so that others may receive support from scholarships like he enjoyed.

In 2015, James “Jeep” Peden created the Stennett, Wilkinson and Peden Scholarship at the Ole Miss School of Law, named for his law firm in Jackson. The scholarship provides assistance each year to a second- and third-year law student. Recipients are chosen by the Law School dean and faculty based on academic achievement, financial need and an interest in local government. Peden’s most recent gift in 2017 brings the scholarship to just under $50,000.

As an Ole Miss undergraduate student, Peden received the Carrier Scholarship, and he was a member of the University Scholars, the predecessor to the Barksdale Honors College. He graduated summa cum laude with a triple major in history, political science and Latin, ranking first in the class of 1966. Peden was also a recipient of the Taylor Medal, the university’s highest academic award.

After graduating, Peden was recognized with a a coveted Fulbright Scholarship to study British government and politics at the University of Bristol, before becoming a recipient of the Ford Foundation Law Scholarship at the Ole Miss School of Law.

While in law school, Peden served on the board of the Mississippi Law Journal. Upon graduating, he joined law firm Stennett, Wilkinson and Ward, which has since been renamed Stennett, Wilkinson and Peden. There he served on the staff of attorney William Winter who was elected governor and is nationally recognized as a champion for education and for racial reconciliation.

In addition to his law practice, Peden is a past president of the Young Lawyers Division of the Mississippi Bar, past president of the Fellows of the Young Lawyers of the Mississippi Bar, chair of the Mississippi Law Institute, bar commissioner for the Seventh Circuit Court District and charter member of the Governor’s Judicial Nominating Committee. He also served on the Mississippi Air National Guard as a staff judge advocate for more than 30 years. Upon retirement, he was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General. He is a graduate of the Air War College.

Peden has been listed for many years in “Best Lawyers in America” in the specialties of land use and zoning law. Since 2009, he has helped prepare future attorneys as an adjunct professor at the Mississippi College School of Law, where he teaches a course on land use controls.

The Stennett, Wilkinson and Peden Scholarship is open to gifts from individuals and organizations. A check with the fund’s name in the memo line can be mailed to the University of Mississippi Foundation, 406 University Ave., Oxford, MS 38655, or made online at For more information, contact Suzette Matthews, development officer for the UM School of Law, at or 601-937-1497.