The giver of a significant gift to the University of Mississippi hopes to provide students with increased exposure to diverse cultures and people while embracing opportunities to explore new places and careers, thereby laying a foundation for success and nurturing their empathy to strengthen for others.
UM graduate Diane Triplett Holloway, a Northside native, made a $250,000 gift to support the Ole Miss Women’s Council for Philanthropy Global Leadership Circle (GLC). The GLC expands the growth and success of Women’s Council grantees by offering national and international internships and international experience.
The opportunities offered by the GLC provide UM students with real-world experiences and skills that complement their learning on campus and propel them into the next phase of their lives with personal confidence and professional opportunities cultivated through their travel and internship experiences to lead.
“When I travel, I see things from a completely different perspective. As a result, my appreciation for our world and the many different people in it grows,” said Holloway, a 1985 UM School of Education graduate. “The GLC provides a foundation for future success that cannot be taught in the classroom alone; it must be lived. Travel brings unique wisdom.”
Oxford-based Gray Duperier, a junior psychologist with a minor in society and health, knows the truth of Holloway’s testimony firsthand. A GLC scholarship gave her the opportunity to spend the spring semester in Ireland.
“I experienced rainstorms that nearly swept me away, learned how to hop from bus to train and bus to get around different cities, and how to have fun on my own in my new environment,” Duperier recalls. “I have seen amazing natural attractions and have been able to hike often. I met a lot of the locals and found out for myself that the Irish are some of the happiest people I’ve ever met.”
Duperier’s experience fulfilled her lifelong dream of studying another culture and its impact on people.
“The GLC gave me the opportunity to see the commonalities that all people share despite very obvious cultural differences,” she said. “Seeing the Irish way of life produced observations and questions that caused me to think critically about my life, which eventually led me to get to know myself better. I will always look back on my time abroad, which fundamentally changed me as a person.”
Such transformation with personal growth is exactly what Holloway hopes to achieve with her gift to recipients.
“I hope that the experiences this gift enables will be as life-changing as my travels have been for me,” said Holloway, daughter of longtime UM donors Faser and Jackie Triplett of Jackson, Mississippi, who taught her five children the value of travel have taught .
“The classroom is just one dimension of a young person’s learning experience,” Holloway continued. “My parents and now the Ole Miss Women’s Council both recognized that. The Women’s Council created a groundbreaking program to provide students with the resources and opportunities they need to thrive in all aspects of their lives.”
According to Holloway, the impact of the GLC is profound: supporting students with professional training and professional commitment while encouraging them to embrace new experiences, learn hard lessons, and develop independence and practical skills.
The GLC also gives students like Miley Ray a broader view of different cultures and traditions.
Ray of Jackson is an aspiring junior with a dual major in International Studies and Journalism and a minor in Italian. The GLC sponsored their travel experience in Italy.
“It’s always a rewarding experience to travel to the country where the language you’re learning is from, but I’ve found this incredibly true for me as I’m concentrating on a lesser-known language. It’s difficult to find people in Mississippi who can speak Italian, so being able to test my skills in the field and immerse myself was a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Ray.
“It introduced me to such great people. My fellow students and the locals in the communities I’ve met have all challenged me to become more open to learning from others,” she continued. “Being a teenager while exploring one of Europe’s greatest treasures and also receiving recognition for my degree in journalism was amazing.”
Holloway said her husband, JL Holloway, founder and retired CEO of Tenax Aerospace in Madison, shares her passion for both travel and student success.
“It is a great pleasure for us to provide new opportunities and a broader worldview, not to mention essential life skills, to every student that the Women’s Council reaches,” Diane said. “I can’t think of a better way to expand the Ole Miss Women’s Council’s mission and programs than to provide its grantees with access to experiences like those offered by the GLC.”
OMWC Program Director Suzanne Helveston expressed her gratitude for Holloways’ gift and stated that it will be instrumental in expanding the GLC’s mission.
“Now more than ever, our students need to broaden their horizons and develop compassion for those raised in other cultures. We intend to respond to this need by expanding our program offering and reaching more students than ever before.
“That’s why donors like Diane are so important to our program,” Helveston said. “On behalf of the women’s council, I want to thank her from the bottom of my heart.”
In response, Holloway said, “New experiences are a joyful and rewarding part of a fulfilling life and a tremendous addition to OMWC’s holistic student approach to scholarship. I am honored to be a small part of the extraordinary work of GLC and OMWC to bring new experiences and challenging opportunities to as many students as possible.”
The Ole Miss Women’s Council for Philanthropy is a group of women leaders and philanthropists dedicated to promoting student development and a desire to help create a caring, more ethical world.