The Office of the University Attorney would like to thank Mary Ann Connell for the significant contribution and leadership she provided during her 21 years as the University’s Attorney. Mary Ann’s talent, skills and grace shaped and defined the Office of the University Attorney at Ole Miss. Mary Ann is a modest person despite the number of accolades that she has received over the years. She received the Distinguished Service Award given by her professional colleagues in the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA) to recognize individuals who have provided extraordinary service to the association and to institutions of higher learning over an extended period of time. As one of her NACUA colleagues stated to other members, “Mary Ann Connell is THE model NACUA attorney” and its members “have a better organization because she took the time and effort to help it develop in wonderfully inclusive, responsive and far-sighted ways.” She was also named “Outstanding Woman Lawyer of the Year” by the Mississippi Women Lawyers’ Association. She has, indeed, been an inspiration and role model to female lawyers throughout her productive career and has shown that one can be a tenacious lawyer but still treat others with dignity and respect. She is also the recipient of the NAACP Freedom Award to honor her outstanding contributions toward the attainment of freedom in the areas of education and civil rights. Despite running a busy legal office for the University, Mary Ann also taught courses in the Law of Higher Education, School Law, Business Law, and Legal Research and Writing, and has been a frequent presenter at national, regional, and state conferences, publishing extensively in the field of higher education law.
On June 30, 2003, Mary Ann retired from the University and began the next phase of her legal career. She is now practicing education law with Mayo Mallette, a law firm in Oxford, and continues to teach both inside and outside of the classroom. Mary Ann remains a valuable friend of the Office of the University Attorney. She may be reached at (662) 236-0055 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.