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Jackelyn K. & Christopher F. Byrd Memorial Scholarship

Raised toward our $50,000 Goal
344 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on February 28, at 01:00 PM CST
Project Owners

Inaugural Scholarship Recipient - Sidney Ellenberger

September 13, 2016

We are pleased to announce the inaugural awarding of the Jackelyn K. and Christopher F. Byrd Memorial Scholarship to Sidney Ellenberger. We asked Sidney to share a few words about herself: 

My name is Sidney Ellenberger. I am a senior accounting major, general finance minor, in the Patterson School of Accountancy at Ole Miss. I am from the small town of Hernando, Mississippi, where my family and I have lived for the last 15 years. I have been a member of the Pride of the South marching band since coming to college and am an active member of the Baptist Student Union on campus. I plan to be an August 2017 graduate with my bachelor’s degree, followed by getting my masters in taxation, and then getting my certification to become a CPA and work in an accounting firm in tax. I greatly appreciate the honor of receiving this scholarship from such a generous family.

We are so proud to have Sidney Ellenberger as the first recipient of the Jackelyn K. and Christopher F. Byrd Memorial Scholarship. Through her hard work, determination, and devotion to her extra-curricular activities, Sidney clearly represents the University of Mississippi's pride and deep-rooted values. We wish her the best in her senior year and greatly support her at Ole Miss and beyond. 

We would also like to thank every one of you who donated to the scholarship fund in honor of Jackie and Christopher. It was each of you who made this possible and we are so grateful. 


Maggie and Matt Bailey

WE DID IT! (Update #9)

March 04, 2016

With your unwavering support and generous donations, we have reached and surpassed our stretch goal of $75,000 with over 340 donors. As of today, we have raised $81,278 towards the Jackelyn K. and Christopher F. Byrd Memorial Scholarship.

Last weekend, we traveled to New Orleans for the Rock 'n' Roll half marathon and continued to spread awareness of our campaign. On Friday night, we ran into Eli Manning as we were eating dinner. What a sign, right?! (Eli was Ole Miss's quarterback from 2000-03 and the youngest son of Archie Manning, for those of you who don't know)

After months of training, I ran the entire course (13.1 miles) through the great city of NOLA, passing by many historic landmarks and neighborhoods as bands and crowds cheered us on. At 2 HRS, 5 MINS, 30 SECS, I crossed the finish line, beating my personal goal.  I couldn't have done it without the support of my husband Matt, my family and friends, along with each and every one of you, and of course, Jackie and Chris who were my guardian angels that REALLY kept me going.

With your help, we have cemented Jackie and Chris's legacy at their beloved Alma mater, Ole Miss. If you have not donated and still wish to do so, please visit our permanent campaign link, THANK YOU for being a part of this journey and honoring Jackie and Chris in such a special way.

May our memories of them last forever!

10 Days Until the Race! (Update #8)

February 18, 2016

Ole Miss Family, 

The countdown has begun...only 10 days until the race! As of this week, we have reached a couple of remarkable milestones. First, we have surpassed $70,000 and are very close to reaching our stretch goal of $75,000. Second, we hit the 300 donor mark, which is unbelievable and truly shows the strong support we have received.

f our stretch goal is met, we will be able to expand the scholarships awarded each year to two students of The Patterson School Accountancy, of which Jackie was an alumna.

We would also like to give a huge thanks to Lightbeings Living and our dear friend Kristin who created the "remembrance" candle in honor of Jackie and Chris. As previously noted, part of the proceeds will go directly to the scholarship. There is a limited number of candles remaining which can be ordered here:

Thank you so much for your generosity and support in this journey. We couldn’t have done it without you. It's time...let's do it!



Maggie and Matt Bailey

Dean Wilder Reflects on Jackie and Chris (Update #7)

January 29, 2016

Dear Ole Miss Family and Friends,

An Ignite Ole Miss campaign was launched in mid-October for the Jackelyn K. and Christopher F. Byrd Memorial Scholarship, and we are humbled by its success thus far.  Great progress is being made in funding the scholarship and we appreciate all of your support.

We at the University and in the School of Accountancy are heartbroken by the tragic loss of Jackie and Chris.  Their lives had such a positive impact on the members of the Ole Miss family.

I can vividly remember Jackie attending classes and walking through Conner Hall, the home of the Patterson School of Accountancy.  She was upbeat, energetic, had a great attitude, and seemed to always be smiling.  We are proud to have Jackie as an alumnus of the Patterson School, and proud to have Jackie and Chris as alumni of The University of Mississippi.

Jackie and Chris will always be beloved members of the Ole Miss family.  We are at peace in the knowledge that they are with us spiritually and that their names will be forever linked to Ole Miss.  It is comforting to know that their spirit and memory will continue to live on in Conner Hall and on the Ole Miss campus, through scholarships helping accountancy students.

Please take a moment today to make a gift to the scholarship honoring Jackie and Chris.  We are within reach of the stretch goal of $75,000 for the scholarship endowment.  Your support is a wonderful way to invest in current and future generations of Ole Miss students through the spirit and memory of Jackie and Chris.  I hope you will also become an ambassador of this campaign by sharing this page via e-mail and on social media.  Please join me and the Ole Miss and Patterson School Family in honoring Jackie and Chris.

Thank you in advance for your support and generosity. 


W. Mark Wilder

Dean and KPMG Chair

Patterson School of Accountancy

Happy New Year! (Update #6)

January 07, 2016

Ole Miss Family, 

2015 was a difficult year, as our lives were forever changed by the loss of Jackie, Chris, Phillip, and Greg. We will never forget them and our memories of them will last forever. We are thankful for all the support we continue to receive and are appreciative of the kind and thoughtful words of friends, family, and strangers alike.  Your donations have not only helped build the foundation for the scholarship, but helped us exceed our goal. You are a part of honoring Jackie and Chris. Thank you for helping us in this journey. If you haven't donated, please consider doing so and know that your contribution will help students reach their education goals at Ole Miss in The Patterson School of Accountancy. As we all make new year resolutions, remind yourself what makes you happy, cherish your loved ones, and enjoy life.


The Bailey Family

Stretch Goal Announced (Update #5)

December 15, 2015

Dear Ole Miss Family and Friends,


As a result of your generous donations, we have funded our original goal of $50,000. Thank you for your generosity and for helping honor Jackie and Chris. Today, we are announcing our stretch goal of $75,000. If achieved, we will be able to increase the amount of both scholarships given annually to deserving students of The Patterson School of Accountancy. The campaign continues to run through February 28, which is the day Maggie Bailey will run the Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon in New Orleans to further spread awareness of the campaign.

On December 17, the Atlanta Ole Miss Club is hosting their holiday party at Ruth's Chris Steak House. A raffle will be held with proceeds benefiting the Jackelyn K. and Christopher F. Byrd Memorial scholarship, along with two other scholarships in place. For more information about the event, please visit

Additionally, as we announced in our last update, the limited edition "remembrance" candle by Lightbeings Living is available for sale. The candle makes a great holiday or hostess gift and part of the proceeds will go to benefit the scholarship. To purchase a candle, please visit or contact Maggie directly at

The loss of Jackie and Chris has forever changed our lives and the lives of their family, friends, the Ole Miss community, along with all the people they touched along the way. We are so thankful for everyone who has supported their scholarship. If you haven't done so already, please give today. We are truly touched with the support we have received and continue to receive. Thank you.


Maggie Bailey


The Remembrance Candle (Update #4)

December 04, 2015

A couple months ago, our close friend Kristin Canine asked if she could join us in furthering our fundraising campaign. Since our initial conversation, she and her friends Colton and Matt, owners of Lightbeings Living, a handcrafted aromatherapy candle company based out of Charlotte, NC, have started an initiative to benefit our scholarship.

Together, they have created a limited edition candle named, "remembrance", in honor of Jackie and Chris. Each candle is hand poured with unique blends of grapefruit, pine, and rose geranium essential oils, 100% soy wax, and cotton blend lead-free wicks. Part of the proceeds from the sale of each candle will benefit the Jackie K. and Christopher F. Byrd Memorial Scholarship.

Please keep Chris and Jackie’s spirits alive by purchasing a candle and lighting it in remembrance of their legacy. Candles are available for sale at or sold directly in the Atlanta area by contacting


Happy Thanksgiving! (Update #3)

November 27, 2015

Thanksgiving is a time for reflecting on what we are most thankful for in our lives. It's a time to gather with family and friends and cherish each others' company. It is also a great time to recognize those in need of support and give back where we can.

This Thanksgiving, our family will continue to struggle with the loss of Jackie and Chris who would have otherwise been celebrating their first Thanksgiving as a married couple. However, we are incredibly thankful for the support we have received and continue to receive during this most difficult time.

This holiday season, please take a moment to cherish the time you have with the ones who mean the most to you.

As Abraham Lincoln once said, “In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.” This truly defines how Jackie and Chris lived their lives.


Happy Thanksgiving,

From the Baileys


Maggie's Training Progress (Update #2)

November 13, 2015

This Saturday marks one month since we launched the campaign and also one month since my official training for the half marathon began! Some days are harder than others, but we push forward as we know Jackie and Chris are looking down and giving us strength. 


For the past weeks, I have followed the schedule below.

Monday: Stretch and Strengthen

Tuesday: 3 mile run

Wednesday: 2 mile run or cross

Thursday: 3 mile run plus strength

Friday: REST

Saturday: 30 min cross

Sunday: 4 mile run

*disclaimer (some of the cross training days consisted of me pushing our twin girls, both weighing over 20 lbs each, in the stroller up and down me, it's a workout!)


For those of you interested in learning more about the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon, please take a look at the link below.

Once again, we thank all who have supported us in this most difficult time and have given back to help us meet our goal in this journey. You are a part of honoring Jackie and Chris and we greatly appreciate it.


Our Weekend with Wicked Weed (Update #1)

October 30, 2015

On October 17, more than 100 friends and family members gathered at the Wicked Weed Brewery in Asheville, N.C., to celebrate what would have been Jackie and Christopher's wedding date. With the help of many, Wicked Weed hosted a private party to launch a custom small-batch Blueberry Peach IPA beer appropriately named Free Byrd. 

It was an emotional day that was made better by the company of close friends and family. Free Byrd T-shirts and beer steins were given out as reminders to everyone of this wonderful gathering and of two extraordinary individuals. Monarch butterflies also were released in Jackie and Christopher’s honor. 

Thank you again for all the support thus far. The first two weeks have been very successful as we've raised over $40,000. Going forward, we will keep you posted as the campaign progresses and we attempt to reach the $50,000 goal to support scholarships paying tribute to Jackie’s and Christopher’s lives.


Choose a giving level


A Year to Remember!

Like many students, Chris and Jackie met at their college home -- in their case, Ole Miss -- and began dating in 2008. Their love story will continue to live on in the hearts of their friends and family members.


A Magical Engagement!

On 9.3.14, Chris and Jackie enjoyed a trip to his family's beach house in South Carolina. In this romantic setting, Chris asked that special question -- "Will you marry me?" -- and gave Jackie a gorgeous engagement ring he had designed for her. She said, "Yes!"



During his college years, Chris worked at Roosters, a restaurant and bar located at 114 Courthouse Square in Oxford. You could find Jackie and her friends there most nights waiting for Chris to complete his shift, so they could all enjoy some time together out on the Square.


The House on Windsor!

In January 2015, Jackie and Chris realized a dream many couples share: They bought their first home together and started filling it with wonderful memories. Their "home sweet home" bore the house number 292.



Between the two avid Ole Miss fans, Chris and Jackie likely yelled "Hotty Toddy" at least 500 times in a single football season. They cherished the exceptional experiences they enjoyed as students and truly loved being part of the Ole Miss Family.


Love Byrds!

On 10.17, Jackie and Chris would have celebrated their wedding day -- a date that will forever be sacred to their family and friends. This couple's passion for life and adoration for each other will always give the people closest to them a reason to celebrate.


Honeymoon in Antigua!

Chris and Jackie had planned to honeymoon in Antigua, which was named by Christopher Columbus in 1493. The two looked forward to relaxing on this beautiful island as the first stop on their journey of happily ever after.


The Basilica of St. Lawrence!

The couple would have been married in the Basilica of St. Lawrence in Asheville, North Carolina. Construction on the magnificent basilica was completed in 1905, and it was a sacred place treasured by both Jackie and Chris.



Jackie's sister-in-law, Maggie Bailey, is honoring the lives of Jackie and Chris -- who were not only her family members but also her best friends. With every courageous step she takes in this half marathon Feb. 28, she'll be holding the couple in her heart. We are all rooting for you, Maggie!

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