Benefactors’ estate gift will support UM students in law, education and medicine – The Oxford Eagle
An estate gift to University of Mississippi will eventually provide scholarships to students in the faculties of law, education and medicine.
The benefactors of the gift are the late Taylor Webb, a 1950 graduate of the Ole Miss School of Law, and his wife Sue Webb, of Leland.
“My husband and I never had children, so we decided several years ago to give Ole Miss a gift after our lives,” said Sue Webb, a Taylor native who grew up in Oxford. “We decided it would be split between the law school and the education school because Taylor practiced law and also believed very strongly in public education.”
Taylor Webb practiced law for 40 years, focusing on estate and land title litigation. His wife worked as a secretary all those years and they retired together in 1990.
Susan Duncan, dean of the law school, expressed her gratitude for the Webbs’ foresight.
“We are very grateful for this support, as it will allow us to attract the best and brightest students to our law school,” she said. “I want Sue to know that the couple’s invaluable gift will have a positive and lasting effect on our students, their communities and, ultimately, our world.”
“On behalf of the School of Education, I am very grateful to the Webbs for this gift,” said Dean David Rock. “Such private support truly changes the course of young people’s lives, and we are always grateful for the dedication and vision of our donors.
When Taylor Webb died in July 2017, his wife decided to include UM Medical Center in their estate plans.
“I am very encouraged by the things I have read about UMMC, and I think the state of Mississippi needs a good teaching hospital like this,” she said.
UMMC, the only academic health sciences center in the state, relies on the generosity of donors, said Dr. Loretta Jackson-Williams, associate dean for medical education at the School of Medicine.
“Gifts, like this one from the Webbs, open up opportunities for students training to become the healthcare professionals of tomorrow,” she said. “We greatly appreciate their thoughtful generosity to sow seeds in the lives of future physicians.”
Taylor Webb earned her Eagle Scout rank at age 13. At age 17, he dropped out of high school after his senior football season to become the tight end for the Ole Miss Rebels. He was soon drafted into the US Army during World War II.
Back home, he graduated from law school at the age of 22 and, throughout his career, held various positions in the Mississippi Economic council and other organizations. Since the 1960s, he has advocated for public support for education as a solution Mississippieconomic and social problems.
The Gillsburg native grew up in Leland and always had a project going, his wife said. When their house was under construction, for example, he used the carpenters’ scaffolding to paint the house himself.
He later added a room and discovered some walnut paneling for sale in Missouri, which he took home to install in their large room. He bought an old water tower, scaled it down to about 5 feet tall, and added utilities to fashion a hot tub for the couple’s backyard.
“I’m 5ft 9in and it was wide enough for me to swim a lap. That was how big it was,” Webb said. “He always did things like that.”
Taylor Webb had a rental property in Oxford and a 75-acre pecan grove he harvested behind their Leland home. He loved hunting but stopped when he killed a trophy deer. He loved tennis but quit playing when he beat the top two singles players in Washington County.
He also had a pilot’s license. Although his wife never flew with him, she always accompanied him on their many road trips across the United States and Canada, even driving together as far as Alaska, Seattle, San Diego and Key West. on different trips.
“I can’t stress enough what a remarkable person he was,” said Sue Webb. I know I was very lucky to be married to him. We had a fun life; we really did. We had a storybook life.
Planned giving rewards donors’ membership in the Society of 1848, named after the year in which University welcomes its first students. Society recognizes those who wisely care for the University by legacies and deferred donations.
“I hope our gift will give students the opportunity to achieve what they want in life,” Webb said. “I hope it will enable someone, or several, to be a primary or secondary school teacher and certainly to practice law.
“Furthermore, I want our giveaway to help healthcare students continue to benefit from the hands-on training that UMMC offers.”
For information on estate planning to support Universitycontact Daniel Wiseman, Senior Director of Gift Planning, at [email protected] or 662-915-7601.
For more information about law school support, contact Suzette Matthews, Senior Director of Development, at [email protected] or 601-937-1497; to support the School of Education, contact Kelly Smith Marion, Associate Director of Development, at [email protected] or 662-915-6381; and for UMMC, visit http://www.umc.edu/givenow/ or contact Meredith Aldridge, Executive Director of Development, at [email protected] or 601-815-7469.