Sister's grieving process includes effort that raises $10,000 for scholarship in memory of communicative disorders major
The Theta Psi chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. has raised $10,000 to establish a scholarship endowment at UM in honor of chapter member Candice O. Walker. Walker, a communicative disorders major, was killed in a car accident on the way home from a football game in November 2004.
The Candice O. Walker Memorial Scholarship Endowment, established in November 2005, is to be given to a junior college transfer student majoring in communicative disorders in the School of Applied Sciences.
Candice’s sister, Courtney, who was essential in establishing the endowment, said the scholarship is a small way to keep Candice’s name and spirit alive.
“Candice had a tremendous impact on everyone she met. She left us too soon, and that’s why it was so important to have this endowment,” said Courtney, 20, a junior English major from West Point.
“Candice was truly unselfish and the type of person who would do anything for you. So my sorority sisters and I decided to try to raise $10,000 for a scholarship as a way to keep a part of Candice at Ole Miss.”
Wanda Walker, mother of Candice, Courtney, 26-year-old Antoine and 17-year-old Constance “CJ,” said she believes the endowment is also a way for Courtney to “be near her sister.”
“Candice was the glue of the family,” Walker said. “She was the one who always tried to do the right thing. If there were dishes in the sink, Candice would say, ‘Let’s get the job done,’ and the job would be done.”
Walker said she is sad that Candice missed her opportunity to be the “glue” for others in society.
“It was Candice’s dream to be a speech pathologist; it’s why she decided to go to Ole Miss,” said Walker, a teacher at West Point High School. “When Candice was younger, she had a speech impediment and always remembered how her former teachers helped her overcome it. She wanted to do the same for someone else.”
The opportunity to serve society was among the reasons Candice and Courtney Walker joined AKA in spring 2004.
“When we were in high school, a lot of people who influenced us in a positive way were AKAs. They were the ones who were always out there trying to help somebody do better,” Courtney Walker said.
Wanda Walker said she was worried initially that the young sorority members, particularly Courtney, would become overwhelmed as they tried to raise $10,000 while going to college full time.
“But it was her desire, so I tried not to worry,” Walker said. “She wanted to do something that she knew would last. It was a part of her grieving process, and she pulled it together.”
Courtney Walker and the members of Theta Psi held various fund-raising drives, including a basketball tournament, now an annual event, with Lambda Pi, the UM chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc.
The university’s Department of Communicative Disorders and student callers at the UM Foundation Calling Center also helped raise money, and several alumna members of Theta Psi mailed donations. In August 2005, the Upsilon Iota Omega chapter of AKA hosted a gala to benefit the scholarship endowment.
Deborah Harrison, immediate past chapter president of Upsilon Iota Omega, said she was happy to support such a worthy cause and Theta Psi.
“Theta Psi showed great initiative and determination in funding this memorial scholarship,” Harrison said.
Latrisha Dean, president of Theta Psi, agreed, noting that “Candice was an amazing person who had a big presence on campus.”
“Candice was a good friend to so many people,” said Dean, a senior marketing major from West Point. “Courtney wanted to keep her memory alive by having a scholarship for a transfer student who excels academically and who possesses the same characteristics as Candice.”
Donations to the Candice O. Walker Memorial Scholarship Endowment can be sent to The University of Mississippi Foundation, P.O. Box 249, University, MS 38677-0249. For more information, call the UM Foundation at 662-915-5944.
For more than 26 years, UM’s Order programs have administered millions of dollars in private support for scholarships, faculty development and the university’s greatest needs. When the programs started in 1979, two levels of membership were available: full membership based on a $5,000 pledge payable over 10 years, and affiliate membership based on a $1,000 pledge payable over four years.
A great deal has changed since 1979. The university has experienced a renaissance with the construction of new buildings and the reconstruction of old ones, the beautification of our Oxford campus and the creation new academic units, such as the School of Applied Sciences. UM’s Order programs have also changed. On July 1, the university began recognizing contributions to its Order programs on an annual basis. All members who joined prior to June 30 will be permanently recognized as Founding Members.
The new Applied Sciences Order structure is based on a series of giving levels:
Senior Partner ($250-$499)
Patron ($25,000 and above)
The faculty, staff and students of the School of Applied Sciences extend their deepest gratitude to everyone who has chosen to give his or her support through the Applied Sciences Order.
If you would like more information on giving to the School of Applied Sciences, please contact Perry Moulds, assistant director of university advancement, at 662-915-5961 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Answer the call!
A student caller may soon call and ask you to support the School of Applied Sciences. Please answer the call, and make your pledge of support! The School of Applied Sciences phonathon will begin March 6.
The School of Applied Sciences and the Ole Miss Alumni Association hosted the annual Continuing Education Weekend in September.
Continuing education workshops on addictions—from drugs and steroids to food and exercise—were the focus of the two-day event.
Guest speakers included Allison Walker, certified fitness expert and registered dietitian; Lisa Byars, therapist at Haven House treatment center; Randy Corban, former UM police chief; Lt. Jeff Killion, Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics; Capt. Joey East, Lafayette County Metro Narcotics; and several applied sciences professors.
The next Applied Sciences Continuing Education Weekend will be held in spring 2007. For more information, call Sheila Dossett at 662-915-1876.
Save the date! Alumni, current students, faculty, staff and friends of the Department of Communicative Disorders will celebrate the department’s 40th anniversary with a reunion on September 14-15, 2006. Watch your mailbox this spring for more details. See you in September!