Jackelyn K. & Christopher F. Byrd Memorial Scholarship
You Can Still Give!
Thank you so much for your generous gifts! You can still honor Jackie and Christopher, and even though our online project has ended we still gladly accept donations to our fund. Please visit www.umfoundation.com/kulzerbyrd. Thank you!
Thanks to you we have passed our goal of $50,000, but we cannot stop there! We have extended our goal to $75,000! At this level, we will be able to expand the two scholarships awarded each year, and we will further cement Jackie and Chris's legacy at Ole Miss. Help us reach our goal of $75,000 by spreading the word on social media! #LoveByrds
The Ole Miss Years
On May 8, 2015, Jackie Kulzer, her fiancé Christopher Byrd, his father, Greg, and brother, Phillip, were tragically killed in a plane crash on I-285 in Atlanta, GA., while en route to watch Chris's brother, Robert, graduate from Ole Miss.
Jackie and Chris both attended the University of Mississippi, where they met, began dating and fell in love. During their time at Ole Miss, Jackie was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma and Chris was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon. The couple is remembered by their friends as fun loving, outgoing and adventurous.
Starting a Life Together
After graduating from Ole Miss, the two moved to Atlanta, where Chris began a career at Cooper Brown Real Estate and Jackie started working as an auditor for BDO. They remained close with the friends they made at Ole Miss and would frequently reunite in the Grove on game days. In September 2014, Chris asked Jackie to marry him. The two would have tied the knot on Oct. 17, 2015, in Chris’s hometown of Asheville, N.C.
Not long after their engagement, the couple bought their first home in Atlanta and decided to add another light to their lives, an adorable "golden doodle" puppy they named Hollis. While their time with Hollis was short, he gave them great joy and they loved spending time together.
A Love for Family
Jackie and Chris had a passion for life that was rare and special. They loved each other, and they loved their friends and family. The two proudly served as Godparents for their newborn nieces, Madison and Carter Bailey. They loved creating memories with Jackie's brother Matt and his wife Maggie, and they were very supportive of Chris's younger brother Robert. They looked forward to seeing him graduate from Ole Miss.
Jackie and Chris will always be beloved members of the Ole Miss family, and it is comforting to their families knowing that their names will be forever linked to the place that brought them together, a place they each dearly loved. This endowment was established as a way to pay tribute to the lives and legacy of this outstanding couple. It will be appropriately named “The Jackelyn K. and Christopher F. Byrd Memorial Scholarship” in honor of their planned nuptials. The endowment will benefit students of the Patterson School of Accountancy, of which Jackie was an alumna.
Maggie Bailey's Race for Jackie and Chris
As a way to increase awareness for this scholarship, Jackie's sister-in-law Maggie Bailey will run The Rock and Roll Half Marathon in New Orleans on Feb. 28. This campaign will begin on October 17th and continue throughout the remainder of Maggie's training and throughout her race. Please remember to visit the Update Page on this platform to follow her training progress!
Maggie has trained five days a week in preparation and, with each step, she carries Jackie and Chris in her heart. We hope that her profound commitment to this endeavor and her strength and conviction will ignite the rest of our Ole Miss family to join the effort to preserve their legacy here at Ole Miss.
Please help keep Chris and Jackie's spirits alive by pledging any amount to this endowment. Additionally, invite your friends and family to participate by sharing this site on your social media pages and via email. Thank you for your support!