Arts, Music & Literature
Patti Carr Black, 1955
Director of State Historical Museum. Member of the board of the National Endowment for the Humanities
Author of Catfish Alley and Alligator Lake.
Annie Denman, 1919*
Playwright and winner of the American Theatre Festival’s National Student Playwright Award, whose play, Blue Collar Blues, was performed in the Kennedy Center.
Musician, Drummer for Zac Brown Band
Francis Jones Gaither, 1909*
Best selling author of Follow the Drinking Gourd; The Red Cock Crows; and Double Muscadine
Niell James, 1918*
Author and Travel Writer.
Valerie Jaudon, 1965
Only Mississippi woman artist featured in H.H. Arnason’s History of Modern Art (third edition)
Thomas Richardson, MFA 2019
Educator & Poet
C.T. Salazar, 2016, MFA 2018
Award winning Poet
Penelope J. Stokes
Eudora Welty *
Pulitzer Prize-winning author and leading lady of letters in America.
Blanche Colton Williams, 1898*
Writer who started the nationally prominent O.Henry Short Story Awards.
The mothers of Tennessee Williams and William Faulkner both attended MUW.
Dr. Jan Reid-Bunch, 1988
Vice President of Dyersburg State Community College
Dr. Phillip Cockrell, 2003
Vice President for Campus Engagement, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Cleveland State University
Dr. Bettye Rogers Coward, 1965
President of Blue Mountain College, retired
First women to argue a case before all of the United States courts of appeals
Hon. Kay Beevers Cobb, 1963
Retired Mississippi Supreme Court Justice
Hon. Mary Libby Bickerstaff Payne
Retired Mississippi Appeals Court Judge
Hon. Lenore Prather*, 1953
First woman to serve as a Supreme Court Justice in Mississippi.
Media & Personalities
Joe Barnes, 2004
Anchor of WCBI-TV, Columbus, Mississippi.
Miss Mississippi 1973.
Prize Winning Marketer
L. Kim Kimbrough
Award-winning New York Times Syndicate journalist and first female auto racing manager for Fortune 500 company Allied-Signal (now Honeywell)
Liza Cirlot Looser
CEO of Cirlot Agency, one of America’s leading marketing agencies.
TV Chef from Food Network Star Season 8.
Miss Mississippi – 1970
President of Taylor & Pond, one of America’s leading digital marketing agencies.
First black Miss Mississippi – 1987.
Dr. Eddie Betcher
OB-GYN Physician serving the Columbus and Amory areas. Former chairman of the MUW Foundation.
Sister Mary Trinita Eddington
Inducted into the Mississippi Nurses Hall of Fame in 2010. Recognized by the Mississippi Business Journal as a 2012 Healthcare Hero. Her clinic sees the homeless, uninsured, and underprivileged at no charge to the patient.
President of Hurst Review Services, a NCLEX review service. Established her business in 1988 and it has become one of the primary review services and is recognized throughout the region.
Nurse recruiter for Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle.
Dr. Pam Johnson Rowsey
Associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Visiting Research Scientist at the Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park in North Carolina.
Nurse practitioner and owner of the Evergreen Clinic in the Evergreen Community, which to that point had no healthcare facility. First nurse practitioner in the state of Mississippi to own a clinic.
Dr. Mary Ware
Former IHL Director of Nursing Education from 2003-2007. Inducted into the Mississippi Nurses Hall of Fame in 2009.
Military & Politics
Dorothy Bush, 1937*
Served as the secretary of the National Democratic Party for 45 years.
Sen. Nancy Collins
Former Mississippi State Senator from District 6.
Maj. Junie M. Coursey*, 1951
Chief of the Medical Specialist Corps
Sen. Sally Doty, 1988
Former Mississippi State Senator from District 39.
Rep. Ester Harrison*
Mississippi State Representative from District 41.
Susan C Hovanec *
Served as senior adviser at the U.S. State Department’s Office of International Women’s Issues
Lt. Col. Troy Lewis
Georgia Air National Guard
Evelyn McPhail *
Served as co-chair of the Republican National Committee.
Rep. C. Allison Russo, 1998
Ohio House of Representatives from District 24
Rep. Donnie Scoggin, 1993
Mississippi House of Representatives from District 89
Rep. Miriam Quinn Simmons, 1949*
Former State Representative. First female president of the Board of Trustees of Institutions of Higher Learning
Marie Charlotte Stark, 1933*
Archivist at the International Monetary Fund. Helped develop records and archives management for United Nations.
Maj. Andy Thaggard
Mississippi National Guard
Shannon A. Truesdell-Rader
First female Navy ABH3 Aircraft Crash and Salvage Firefighting Crew Member on board the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, CVN 69
Dr. Lillian Eichelberger Cannon, 1914*
Medical Researcher and developer of synthetic malaria treatment.
Dr. Marietta Eichelberger, 1912*
Nutritionist and Home Economist
Dr. Susan Stephens Golden
Scientist and Professor of Biology who was elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences.
Dr. Elizabeth Lee Hazen, 1910*
Scientist who was the co-discoverer of the world’s leading antifungal medication.
Dr. Doris Taylor
Scientist known for achievements in stem cell research.