You Can Still Give!
Thank you so much for your generous gifts! You can still honor Pam, and even though our online project has ended we still gladly accept donations to our fund. Please visit www.umfoundation.com/pamhamilton. Thank you!
In February 2006, Pam Hamilton was diagnosed with lupus -- a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body. Pam passed away on Aug. 10, 2015, after a long, valiant battle with the disease. Born in Laurel, Miss., on Feb. 2, 1980, Pam would have celebrated her 36th birthday this month. The question, "How can I impact my community?" was always on her mind and she often found her answer through her writing.
Pam started her reporting career as a member of the Lion's Roar newspaper staff at Raleigh (Miss.) High School, where she was a member of the Class of 1998. The kind, intelligent, talented and successful young lady was a National Achievement Finalist, a varsity cheerleader captain, dance captain and class president. She won first place in the state History Day competition and first place in the NAACP Creative Writing Contest. She was elected Homecoming Queen, Miss Raleigh High School and Most Likely to Succeed. Pam inspired and encouraged others to break barriers and accomplish their goals and Pam’s impact is continuously felt in the Raleigh/Smith County community.
Her Ole Miss Years
Pam continued to pursue her passion for journalism at the University of Mississippi, where she began writing for The Daily Mississippian student newspaper her freshman year and served as editor in 2000-2001. During her tenure, Pam’s impact was felt across the Ole Miss campus and in the Oxford community. She opened the paper’s ranks to student writers from across campus while encouraging the free exchange and reporting of ideas from all groups. She used her position as editor to bring people together and promote social justice. While at Ole Miss, she also completed an editorial board internship at the New York Times, primarily covering higher education issues.
Pam was a member of the McDonnell-Barksdale Honor’s College, the Chancellor’s Leadership Class, Mortar Board, the Lambda Sigma Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, and the National Association of Black Journalists. She was inducted into the Ole Miss Hall of Fame in 2002, one of the highest honors awarded to graduating seniors. Pam graduated from the University of Mississippi in 2002 with a degree in English and journalism.
“I guess my favorite thing about Ole Miss is that during my four years, we have always been trying to improve. Even when that “improvement” wasn’t in my personal opinion the type of improvement we should have been targeting, we were nevertheless always trying to be just a little better. And I always found that self-conscious aspiration to be something more very inspiring.” Pam Hamilton, The Ole Miss (2002)
Her Writing Career
After graduating from Ole Miss in 2002, Pam worked as a reporter for the Associated Press, covering education in South Carolina. In 2007, she earned a master's degree in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Pam had a passion for writing and often used her talents to help family and friends write and edit documents. She truly loved her career which launched at Raleigh High School, flourished at Ole Miss, and continued to expand to include various positions at The New York Times, the Associated Press, CNN and Thomson Reuters news service. Pam was a quiet, gentle spirit but her writing was bold and fearless; she was dedicated to using words and media to change the world around her.
Her Faith, Family and Friends
Pam always kept her struggles with lupus to herself. She lived life to the fullest and continued to welcome new challenges. Her devotion to her family and her firm belief in God supported her and gave her peace. From an early age, she was immersed in the Christian community of Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Raleigh -- a community that would be her lifelong support. She also actively served as a data entry volunteer with the Assimilation Ministry at Elizabeth Baptist Church in Atlanta.
Pam was blessed with a large and loving family: her parents, Albert and Cora Hamilton; her sister, Melissa Hamilton; her grandmother, Nellie McLaurin; uncles, aunts and cousins. Pam was also fortunate to have an extensive array of devoted friends, church family, sorority sisters, and co-workers. Pam’s impact on those who knew her best is profound and enduring. She is dearly missed by loved ones who celebrate the fact that she is at peace with her creator.
Pam's family and close friends ask for your support to establish 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.
Pam said of her induction into the Ole Miss Hall of Fame: “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 Lecture Series
The inaugural Pamela E. Hamilton Memorial Lecture Series will be April 1, 2016, during the Mississippi Scholastic Press Association Spring Convention at Ole Miss. The Mississippi Scholastic Press Association exists to support, promote and nurture journalism in a high school setting through workshops, competitions, conventions and online aids and advice. Membership is open to any Mississippi school that has a newspaper, yearbook, literary magazine, online publication, broadcast and/or journalism class.
Pam will always be a beloved member of the Ole Miss family. Please help establish her memorial fund by making a donation today. Whether you knew Pam as a friend, classmate or loving family member, we encourage you to support this fund as a memorial in her name. Much of Pam's success was possible due to scholarships and the love and support of her family and community. She would be proud to know that other students will receive similar support as a result of the impact she made.
Be a Pam Ambassador!
In addition to your monetary gift, you can also make an impact by becoming an ambassador for Pam's campaign and sharing our message with your family and friends via email and social media. Please share project link: ignite.olemiss.edu/PamsImpact and use #PamsImpact.
Thank you so much for your support of Pam’s memorial fund and the University of Mississippi. Together we can make a difference in the world around us, just like Pam wanted.
Questions? Contact Us
Keyana Washington, firstname.lastname@example.org
Melissa Hamilton, email@example.com
Jason McCormick, firstname.lastname@example.org