Loyola University Chicago Celebrates Mamie Till-Mobley Scholarship Luncheon

On Saturday, the Loyola University Chicago Black Alumni Board hosted the second annual Mamie Till-Mobley Scholarship luncheon to celebrate LUC alumna and raise funds for the scholarship.

In 2022, Loyola established the scholarship in honor of Mamie Till-Mobley, the mother of Emmett Till and a 1971 graduate of the University’s Graduate School of Education. The scholarship, sponsored by Loyola’s Black Alumni Board, aims to elevate Mamie Till-Mobley’s courage, wisdom, creativity, and strength for generations of Loyola students.

“We honor the memory of Mamie Till-Mobley, a remarkable woman whose legacy profoundly impacted the Civil Rights Movement,” said Karen Fleshman, president of the Loyola University Chicago Black Alumni Board. “We unite in the spirit of celebration, acknowledging Mrs. Till-Mobley’s impact on the lives of thousands of Chicago Public School students. Her story is one of bravery, self-sacrifice, and transformation, reminding us all that even in the face of tremendous personal pain, positive change is achievable through resilience and determination.”

In 1955, Mamie Till-Mobley’s life was catapulted into the national spotlight after the abduction and murder of her son, Emmett Till, in Mississippi. She turned unspeakable tragedy into action, activism, and transformation. In 1956, Mobley enrolled in Chicago Teachers College and began her 23-year career as an educator, inspiring and uplifting students both inside and outside the classroom. A lifelong learner, Mamie earned her Master of Education degree from Loyola University Chicago in 1971 and would continue teaching for another decade until her retirement from Chicago Public Schools in 1983. Even after her retirement, Mamie remained a vocal leader and activist sharing her story throughout the country until her passing in 2003.

The Mamie Till-Mobley Scholarship will recognize a Chicagoland high school graduate in good academic standing with financial need who has been recognized for their engagement with the Black community through leadership or community service. The first scholarship funds are on track to be awarded in the fall of 2024.

“The outpouring of support we received after announcing this scholarship last year is a testament to the impact Mamie Till-Mobley had and continues to have on Chicago,” said Markeda Newell, interim dean of the School of Education. “We are honored to come together again this year to celebrate the life of Mamie Till-Mobley, raise funds for the scholarship in her honor, and support equitable access to education.”

The Mamie Till-Mobley Scholarship is part of ongoing University-wide efforts by Loyola to address inequities in education and close the gap in access to resources, including:

  • Arrupe College, an innovative, supportive associate’s degree program that ensures affordability and a pathway to the bachelor’s degree for Black, Brown, immigrant, and first-generation students.
  • Achieving College Excellence, building community and providing intensive services for college students who are first-generation, Black or Brown, or those with disabilities.
  • The Rambler Brotherhood Project, a cohort of 40 male students working together to become leaders on campus, working closely with Loyola’s Black Alumni Board and LUC Alumni Association.

“Mamie Till-Mobley is the perfect example of how one person’s courage can transform our world and create a brighter future for all,” said Karen Paciero, vice president of Advancement. “At Loyola, we believe the first step in creating a brighter tomorrow is to invest in the future of our students by expanding access to education and addressing historical disparities. We are thankful for the vision and leadership of the Black Alumni Board that made this possible, as well as the support of the entire Loyola community as we work to carry on Mamie Till-Mobley’s legacy.”

Over 130 people attended today’s luncheon which was emceed by Art Norman, anchor at NBC 5 Chicago, with a keynote address delivered by Dr. Carol Adams, President, and CEO of Urban Perspectives. Members of the Till family, Amberly Carter, Ollie Gordon, and Bertha Thomas, were in attendance alongside Till-Mobley’s former students and members of the Emmett Till Players youth drama troupe. A special viewing of the documentary trailer featuring Carter and Gordon and Till-Mobley’s legacy as an educator followed the speaking program.

The scholarship fund has now raised over $210,000. To learn more about the scholarship or make a gift toward endowing a full-tuition scholarship in honor of Mamie Till-Mobley, please visit: www.luc.edu/mtm

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