Coronavirus: Ole Miss apologizes for 'previously scheduled' fundraising letter reminding donors to revisit their wills

The University of Mississippi has apologized for an email that its fundraising department sent donors on Tuesday.

The email, which was posted to social media Tuesday morning, surrounded the topic of estate planning and told donors that it was beneficial to revisit their wills after periods of life change. As you know, we’re in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States.

“There is a common expression that ‘change is the only constant in life,’” the email began. “We often experience this with our careers, our residences and even our families. Sometimes situations change around us, and developments in our health, laws and/or the financial landscape present new challenges.

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“In those times, it is beneficial to consider revisiting the content of your will, especially if it was designed years ago and now needs attention. Just like your home, your estate plan needs regular maintenance to reflect situations and circumstances you’ve faced.

“By adding a bequest in your will, you guarantee that the priorities in your life are matched to your legacy. Also by expressing the philanthropic priorities of your life, you can continue investing in the students, faculty, mission and values of the University of Mississippi.”

Ole Miss quickly apologizes

Tuesday afternoon, Ole Miss apologized in a series of tweets and said the email was a mistake and was “previously scheduled.”

“We deeply apologize for a University Department email sent Tuesday morning dealing with estate-planning information. This message was a previously scheduled newsletter focused on providing guidance for planned giving. However the delivery of this message at this time was insensitive in the current climate. We have adjusted our communication protocols to align them with the emergency situation facing our university and nation and we are sorry for the distress that this message caused. We hope everyone in our university community is focusing on doing everything possible to stay safe in the current climate.”


As of Wednesday morning, there had been over 50,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States and over 800 deaths.

The University of Mississippi is currently not holding any in-person classes and all spring semester classes are being conducted online.

Parents of Ole Miss center have coronavirus

Ole Miss center Eli Johnson told Sports Illustrated that both of his parents have the coronavirus. Johnson said he’s currently quarantined with his mother Ashely, who has a mild fever. His father David is hospitalized with a much more severe case of COVID-19 and Eli believes he likely has the virus as well.


From SI:

The family isn’t sure how the virus infected the household. “Wish we did,” says Johnson, who also has a 20-year-old sister. “My biggest thing is to stay strong for my two sisters. It’s been tough on them, especially Tori Kate. She’s scared right now. I’m trying to man up to be there for them and be strong for my family. That’s how I’m trying to approach it. They need me right now. I’m going to be a stable presence for them.”

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

Ole Miss apologized for a Tuesday fundraising letter. (Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Ole Miss apologized for a Tuesday fundraising letter. (Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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