Mary Ann Connell - 2002
Since 1982, Mary Ann Connell has served as University Attorney, Special Assistant Attorney General, and now General Counsel of the University of Mississippi. For six years prior to that, she worked in the Oxford, Mississippi law firm, Holcomb, Dunbar, Connell, Merkel, Tollison & Khayat. She received her B.A. degree, her M.A. in History, her M.A. in Library Science, and her J.D. all from the University of Mississippi. In 1991, she received an L.L.M. from Harvard University.
Ms. Connell’s involvement in NACUA spans the same 20 years, when she first volunteered to be on the Committee on Arrangements for the 1983 Annual Conference in New Orleans. Since then, she has served on virtually every NACUA committee, chairing the Committees on Site Selection, Program for the Annual Conference, Nominations, and Honors and Awards. She also chaired the Task Force on Public Issues and, for four years, was Co-Chair of the Section on Athletics.
Ms. Connell was first elected to the NACUA Board of Directors in 1992 as a member-at-large. Following her three-year term in 1995, she was elected Second Vice President of the Association. She successively served as First Vice President in 1996-1997; President-elect in 1997-1998; and as the 38th President of the Association in 1998-1999.
Ms. Connell has spoken and written extensively on a wide range of issues relating to collegiality as it relates to tenure and to athletics and equity issues for NACUA, as well as for numerous other higher education institutions and organizations. For 20 years, she has given selflessly and graciously of her time, expertise, and experience. In 1996-1997, the Mississippi Women Lawyers’ Association named her “Outstanding Woman Lawyer of the Year.”
All who have had the pleasure of working with her would agree that she exemplifies the essence of our profession and the essence of what NACUA represents – collegiality, civility, and professionalism. For these reasons, NACUA takes pride in presenting to Mary Ann Connell the Distinguished Service Award for 2002.