Oscar Pope (seated, center) had worked hard to achieve success at Turner Broadcasting, where he worked as the marketing director for the NBA on TNT at just 32 years old.
Oscar R. Pope, creator, mentor, friend and a revelatory alum of the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media, passed away unexpectedly in June at the age of 32.
A 2010 UM graduate with two bachelor’s degrees in broadcast journalism and graphic design, Oscar had said that he always wanted to create meaningful content that both defined culture and connected people. During his time at Ole Miss, Pope was a production manager for Rebel Radio and a news anchor for NewsWatch. His artwork was featured in the Mississippi Collegiate Art Competition Exhibit.
His success as a student led him to Atlanta, where he worked in advertising and marketing for various firms before joining Turner Broadcasting as the marketing coordinator for the NBA on TNT and NBA TV. His work on “Inside the NBA” and “NBA Roadshow,” and developing NBA legend Charles Barkley’s “Guarantee Button” distinguished his career at Turner.
Oscar, his brother Shaun, and mother Beverly Pope
On his personal website, Oscar, a native of Terry, Mississippi, described himself as “a sports marketer by title, and storyteller by trade and passion. And by purpose, I’m an amplifier of underrepresented voices.”
To honor his life and legacy, his friends and loved ones have established the Oscar Pope Memorial Scholarship to benefit future School of Journalism and New Media students majoring in Integrated Marketing Communications.
“Oscar was a great friend and graduate of our school,” said Debora Wenger, the interim dean of the School of Journalism and New Media. “Throughout his time here, he played a transformative role, whether it was in producing incredible creative content or making connections between so many people of so many different backgrounds. You could always count on Oscar to be a light, whether it was here at the University of Mississippi or in his career at Turner Broadcasting.”
The purpose of the Oscar Pope Memorial Scholarship is to provide a transformative experience to students, like Oscar, who are passionate about marketing and communications.
In an alumni profile published more than a year ago, Oscar said he approached his time at the University of Mississippi with purpose.
“I just treated college like an opportunity to experience all the things I wanted to experience, and I think that all those things have to come together to work for my greater good,” he said.
The Oscar Pope Memorial Scholarship fulfills that purpose for a new generation of students.
Integrated Marketing Communications is one of the most popular majors at the University of Mississippi. IMC students learn how to create and use messaging strategically within today's rapidly changing social and digital media landscape, a landscape in which Oscar excelled.
“No matter how far he traveled, Oscar always kept the University of Mississippi and the School of Journalism and New Media in his heart,” Wenger said. “It didn’t matter whether he was making connections with alumni or meeting new friends that he could bring into our family. Oscar made a real difference with his life.”
Through this scholarship, Oscar Pope will continue making a difference for generations to come. Please make a gift!