COLUMBUS, Miss. – James O. Chapman, a Mississippi University for Women senior culinary arts student from Carthage, is the 2018 Southern Grace Scholarship recipient.

 The scholarship, endowed in 2006 by the MUW Alumni Association in part from the sales of the “Southern Grace” cookbook, is awarded each year to a promising culinary arts student.

Chapman is majoring in culinary arts and minoring in theatre. After graduation, he plans to join the United States Navy and attend OCS (Officer Candidate School) in Rhode Island, following in the footsteps of other family members and mentors who have served in the military. Upon completing his bachelor’s degree, he will be well positioned to pursue such a leadership position.

“I feel blessed to have been selected for this scholarship and am extremely grateful for the opportunities I have been presented with,” Chapman said. “Thank you to the MUWAA for selecting me.”

Chapman has always enjoyed cooking. This interest developed as he grew up surrounded by a family where every single individual excelled in the kitchen. This love and shared talent steered him down the path of culinary arts.

Outside of the classroom, Chapman demonstrates leadership through his campus involvement and community service. He currently serves as president of the Residence Hall Association at The W. Chapman is also a part of the Usher Board and a former Sunday school teacher for New Truelight M.B. Church. When he is not in the kitchen learning new cooking techniques, Chapman enjoys listening to a variety of music and watching films and television shows in preparation for his second career as a retired Naval Officer who moonlights as a working actor. Chapman has held roles in both a student-directed project and the Emerging Voices production presented by the MUW Theatre in February of this year.

“Congratulations to James on being selected to receive the Southern Grace Scholarship. We look forward to seeing the impact he will have in the field of Culinary Arts once he graduates,” said MUWAA President Katy Canion Pacelli.

Applicants for the Southern Grace Scholarship must have junior or senior hours in the culinary arts program with an overall grade point average of 2.75 and a major GPA of 3.0. Additionally, students must submit a résumé, transcripts, a brief essay and two letters of recommendation.

To make a tax deductible contribution to the Southern Grace Scholarship, contact the MUW Foundation at (662) 329-1748 or visit

The MUWAA exists to support and promote the mission of The W while providing alumni engagement opportunities. Any former student who has completed at least 12semester hours at the university and who has made an annual contribution to the MUW Foundation is an active member eligible to vote and hold office for the year. For more information, visit the Mississippi University for Women Alumni Association website at

Sept. 24, 2018

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Culinary Arts Institute

Chef Alexei Harrison

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