Evidence that Mississippi University for Women is a Lovemark comes when invoking the university name in any setting. Outsiders recognize it almost immediately. This is not my unique experience. Hundreds of graduates express this sentiment daily. I have had the good fortune of some wildly fantastic dream jobs that have carried me all over the United States and Canada and to several foreign countries. The overarching comment made about me during my 25-year career in communications and marketing is that there is decidedly something different about me from my female colleagues, that I have an edge, that I am incomparable, possessing a gravitas that other women in my occupation and at my level do not usually possess. It is because of my education and experiences at "The W". It is fondly known as The W and is a public university that feels like a private one. Furthermore, it feels like a superior educational experience for students and once graduated, it has proven to us to be Ivy-league in quality.
The W inspires loyalty in its graduates beyond reason: it beckons the most disconnected of us to come back into the fold; it connects and unifies graduates across time and space; it provides us with emotional connections that heretofore only family could provide; and it creates a one-time experience like no other we have had before attending nor have had since our graduation. I dare say that we will have no other experience like it again ever in our entire lives. The W is akin to a mother with no preconceived notions about her children, seeing only the potential in us. The W has shaped, developed and molded her children since 1884 to become leaders, innovators, legislators, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, change agents and yes, even servants who have made a difference.
The W, as an institution of higher learning, offers more than just a high-quality undergraduate and graduate education for women and men in a variety of liberal arts and professional programs. You can get that at hundreds of universities across the country. The W has a very special mission that few other institutes of higher learning in this nation possess: a historic commitment to academic and leadership development for women. It is a Lovemark because of the "Long Blue Line" of graduates that feel instantly connected to each other regardless of time and place.
In the mid to late 80s, I was the Marketing Communications Manager for Allied Signal's auto racing program. I signed Paul to a contract to represent our brands, Fram, Bendix and Autolite in what was then the SCCA Bendix Trans Am Series. He and Jim Fitzgerald drove Nissan 300ZX race cars under the banner of Newman/Hass Racing. Paul introduced me to Clint Eastwood who came to see an event at Sears Point Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., and to Marsha Mason, who attended the Long Beach, Calif., Grand Prix one year. They were all very down to earth people who put their pants on just like all the rest of us, only they were able to pay $1,000 or more for a pair of pants. I remember Paul being furious with the media who came to races just to ask him about his movie career rather than his racing career. Still, he was fun, when you could get him to talk. He tended to be quiet and rather shy, often saying he was a jack of a few trades but master of none. I think he was a master at the movie business.
I'm panning LinkedIn because of one of it's policies. I've been extremely disappointed in the one that punishes members for sending LinkedIn requests to others that reject the request. I've sent two requests to people I went to college with, only their names were similar to others and the request went to the wrong people. All the recipient should have to do is deny the request, as Facebook does. Instead, LinkedIn locks up your account so that you, like a child, have to apologize to mommy and daddy for your mistake before you can go out and play again.