FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aug. 1, 2007
Contact: Anika Mitchell Perkins
MUW creative writing majors to benefit from
COLUMBUS, Miss. - As a journalist and world
traveler, Neill James was
able to touch the lives of those she meet. Her
legacy will continue
through a scholarship established for creative
writing majors at
Mississippi University for Women.
The Neill James Memorial Scholarship Fund was funded
with proceeds from a charitable remainder trust,
which was established by James’ younger sister Jane
Loomis never attended MUW, but James graduated from
Institute & College in 1918. Both were born in
June Snowden, executor of the trust and niece of the
attended a luncheon with other family members on
campus celebrating the
occasion. Snowden and her husband, Thomas, currently
live in Meridian.
“You all know what Aunt Jane meant to me,” she said.
began to make arrangements for her estate, she
wanted to do for students
as well as animals.”
Snowden said James and Loomis were independent and
“They were honest and hard working, and what they
shared with others.”
In reading through James’ papers, it was evident
that travel was in
She met many celebrities of the day including Amelia
sparked an interest in flying. Her travels around
the world ended with
retirement in Mexico after she was injured for a
second time in a
James fell in love with Mexico and its people and
began compiling her
notes and journals into the popular “Petticoat
introducing and inviting writers to share her wealth
of information. She
hosted Ernest Hemingway, D.H. Lawrence, George
Bernard Shaw, plus the
editor of LIFE magazine.
She was responsible for turning the small fishing
village of Ajijic on
the shores of Lake Chappala into an art center of
Her homes and gardens were left to The Lake Chapala
Society, which today
is an information center for travelers, residents
and Mexican people.
Loomis and her two-star Marine general husband lived
the last 45 years
of their life in California. They were generous
supporters of the Boys &
Girls Club, Humane Society and the American Cancer
Society. The Snowdens took care of Loomis in
California until her death.
MUW President Claudia A. Limbert, who earned a
master’s degree in
fiction writing from Boston University, expressed
her bias toward the
creative writing scholarship.
"Having such a scholarship made a difference in my
life,” she said.
“This scholarship will certainly enhance the great
MUW has to offer.”