In 1915, at a time when women could not vote or sit on juries, Bessie Young graduated from the University of Mississippi School of Law. For a female to attend law school when women lacked the status of full citizenship was unprecedented.

The UM School of Law has joined forces with a dedicated group of alumnae to honor this trailblazer and her pioneer spirit by creating the Bessie Young Council (BYC) and a scholarship in her name. The BYC will assist students who — as Bessie did — enter the UM Law School as nontraditional students. Even now, 100 years after she first walked through the doors of Ventress Hall (then Lamar Hall), the financial burden of pursuing a law degree is a significant challenge for many.

The goal of the Bessie Young Council is to assist those nontraditional students who bring diversity, fresh perspectives, and varied life experiences to our student body through scholarships and mentorship.

Our dream is to award the first Bessie Young Scholarship during the academic year of 2017-2018. We will also be hosting the first BYC Mentoring Conference in the Spring of 2018. Please consider partnering with us today to pay tribute to the life of this courageous champion and encourage the next generation of ground-breaking, innovative attorneys.

We invite you to join the BYC by making a contribution to our scholarship fund. Any contribution also makes you a member! We encourage you to make your gift in recognition of someone who played a significant role in your law school or professional career. All those recognized by gifts will be memorialized on a “wall” of mentors on the Bessie Young Scholarship webpage.