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Oxford College Legacy Student Awarded First Overstreet Scholarship

For alumni, Oxford College of Emory University is a special place where intellectual passions are awakened, deep friendships formed, and lifelong memories made.

In 2012, after five years of fundraising, a group of Oxford alumni were able to endow the Michael S. Overstreet Scholarship Fund to honor the memory of a fellow alumnus and friend and provide the Oxford experience to new generations of students. 

Jacqueline Sutton 14OX was named the first Overstreet Scholar this spring. She came to Oxford in 2012; it was her first and only choice of colleges.

“The Oxford experience was a big selling point for me, especially going on a tour of the campus with my father and him being able to point out his window in the dorms,” she says. “It turns out one of my best friends lives in my dad’s room this year.” David Sutton graduated from Oxford in 1982 and from Emory College in 1983 with a double major in biology and chemistry. 

Michael Overstreet 76OX 78B made many lasting friends at Oxford College. When he died at age 44 from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2001, his Oxford friends decided to establish a scholarship in his memory. 

“Mike was full of life and good humor, but there was also a goodness, kindness, intelligence, and a sense of integrity about him that all of us admired,” says Susan Atkinson Gregory 77OX 79C. “Countless memories of Mike bring smiles and laughter to all of us who knew him and a desire to create a lasting memorial to him.” 

Other alumni instrumental in establishing and encouraging other alumni and friends to support the scholarship include Luke Gregory 76OX 78C, Melissa Martin McLendon 76OX 78C, Andy Tatnall 76OX 78B, Lin Callihan 76OX 78C, and Bob Atkinson 75OX 77B.

The founding committee of the scholarship held a reception for the Overstreet family and Sutton and her family on Sept. 15 to celebrate the awarding of the scholarship. 

Now a sophomore, Jacqueline Sutton says the mentorship of professors has shaped her educational journey.

“I came in wanting to be an English major, and while that has not changed, professor Mike McQuaide’s Sociology 101 course has opened up a whole view on what is happening in the world and puts those things into perspective for me,” she says. 

She has applied to take McQuaide’s popular Social Problems class, during which the class spends winter break visiting nonprofit organizations working with underserved and at-risk populations in Atlanta. 

Sutton says she is honored to be the first recipient of the Overstreet Scholarship and hopes to continue the example of philanthropy Oxford alumni have set. She has begun by volunteering as chair of the Sophomore Class Gift Committee for her Oxford graduating class.

“Being on the committee gives us the opportunity to leave our mark on campus now and sets the stage for supporting other students in the future,” she says.

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