Columbus, Miss.- Olivia Eubanks of Leakesville is the 2020 MUWAA Legacy Scholarship recipient. A freshman education major, Eubanks is the daughter of Michelle “Shelley” Dobbins Eubanks, an alumna of Mississippi University for Women, where she was a student from 1988 to 1991.

“My mother’s face never fails to light up at the mere mention of Mississippi University for Women because she is overwhelmed with pride to be an alumna,” Eubanks said. “It wasn’t until I attended Mississippi Governor’s School that I fell head over heels for the beautiful campus and the feeling of home that The W provides.”

A Greene County High School graduate, Eubanks had a 4.0 GPA and was ranked seventh in her graduating class.

“Olivia Eubanks is a dynamic student who is intrinsically motivated to achieve her highest potential,” said Jenny Layton, Eubank’s Greene County High chemistry teacher and National Beta Club mentor. “Olivia’s determination to succeed is only one of her admirable qualities. Always the ray of sunshine when entering a room, Olivia has a way about her that inspires others to live their best life. I have no doubt she will succeed in whatever she endeavors.”

A student-athlete serving as team captain for the Greene County Lady Wildcats softball and volleyball teams, Eubanks was a cheerleader and a member of the National Beta Club since her freshman year. She also attended the Palazzo Youth Leadership Summit, Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Conference and, for four consecutive years, National Beta Club Leadership Summit.

Class president from freshman to senior year at GCHS, Eubanks was her high school’s homecoming queen and was elected as a 2020 Hall of Fame member.

Eubanks has served her community as a tutor and founder of Sunny Side Up, where she also volunteers. At Leakesville United Methodist Church, she is an assistant Sunday school teacher and vacation Bible school volunteer, an acolyte, usher and communion steward. She also assists her church with its food pantry and clothes closet. She has delivered meals to shut-ins in her community and collects books and toys to donate to Batson Children’s Hospital, the state’s only children’s hospital.

A student who values academics, Eubanks chose The W for its low ratio of students to professors. “More than half of the classes at Mississippi University for Women have fewer than 20 students,” she said. “The thought of not being just another face in the crowd and actually being known by faculty, staff and my peers is extremely impressive and comforting on a college campus.”

The W being ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the best public regional universities in the South also drew her attention, as did the leadership opportunities the campus afforded.

“It is extremely important to empower women to take leadership roles head-on,” Eubanks said. “I think The W and I will be a perfect fit!” MUWAA President Rebecca Rogers could not agree more. “As a second-generation W student and Governor’s School graduate myself, there is no better feeling than knowing without a doubt The W will be the place you realize your potential and come into your own. I am thrilled Olivia is joining the W family and taking her first steps toward the Long Blue Line.”

Applicants for the $2,500 MUWAA Legacy Scholarship must be a new, full-time student who is a family member of an alumna or alumnus of the university. Additionally, students must submit a resume, a brief personal statement and a letter of recommendation from a high school teacher or counselor. Scholarship recipients are selected based on the student’s potential for academic and leadership success.

Tax-deductible contributions to the MUWAA Legacy Scholarship can be made through the MUW Foundation. For more information, call at 662-329-1748 or visit

The MUWAA supports and promotes the mission of The W and provides alumni engagement opportunities. Any former student who has completed at least 12 semester hours at the university and 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, please visit the Mississippi University for Women Alumni Association website at

Sept. 29, 2020