Ignite Ole Miss creates campaign for former student

Posted on Feb 2 2016 - 9:37am by Alice McKelvey

A campaign fund has been set up to honor the passing of a former student and editor-in-chief of The Daily Mississippian.

Pamela Hamilton, 2002 graduate, passed in August after a long battle with lupus.

Today would be her 36th birthday.

In honor of her long-time commitment to social justice and her dedication to the University, Ignite Ole Miss, the University’s crowdfunding platform, opened the Pamela E. Hamilton Memorial Fund campaign today.

The campaign is open until March 9.

According to Angela Avery, manager of the Ignite Ole Miss platform and annual giving coordinator, the campaign aims to raise $35,000 in a little over a month for the Pamela E. Hamilton Memorial Fund.

“This fund will ensure the continuity of Pam’s impact and legacy at Ole Miss by supporting an annual lecture series on social justice and media as well as an annual academic award to a student in the Meek School of Journalism and New Media whose work personifies the use of journalism in social justice,” Avery said.

Hamilton’s name was well-known around campus throughout her time as a student.

Along with being a student in the Sally McDonnell-Barksdale Honors College, Hamilton was involved in many extracurriculars. She was a member of the Chancellor’s Leadership Class, Mortar Board and a sister of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority. During her time at Ole Miss, she was also involved in other national programs such as the National Association of Black Journalists and Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.

Hamilton was inducted into the Ole Miss Hall of Fame in 2002, one of the highest honors awarded to graduating seniors.

Hamilton’s college roommate and sorority sister Keyana Washington is one of the Pam’s Impact project owners.

“She was just an amazing person,” Washington said. “Very smart and very talented. Very quiet, but very powerful at the same time.  Which is a rare combination to find both of those things in one person.”

Washington said she wanted Hamilton’s impact within the community to continue despite her passing.

“Her loss, I just felt it so deeply and I feel like our community, our Ole Miss community, had experienced a loss as well,” Washington said. “I wanted to make sure that there was a way for us to recognize all that she did and all that she contributed to the community as well as to remember her spirit and the fact that she lived to make a difference in the world around her. She would have wanted that to continue.”

Tori Olker, senior journalism major and Ignite Ole Miss intern, created the #PamsImpact memorial video. She said she didn’t know Hamilton, but wished she had had the opportunity.

“After working on the campaign and communicating with those who knew her, it is apparent that she touched everyone with her infectious energy and enthusiasm for life,” Olker said. “She will be missed by many, so this memorial fund is the perfect way to continue her legacy.”

Hamilton’s journalism career continued well after graduation.  She went on to work for publications like The New York Times, CNN and the Associated Press.

At her induction in the Ole Miss Hall of Fame in 2002, Hamilton said, “For me it means I’ve made a contribution to Ole Miss, and that feels good because you don’t want to leave a place without making at least a tiny difference.”

Her contributions didn’t go unnoticed, and today she is being honored for her work for progress.

Contributors to the campaign can donate in levels unique to Hamilton’s life— the first level is a donation of $36, signifying Hamilton’s age.

For more information and to donate, visit ignite.olemiss.edu/pamsimpact.