If you were in Oxford this past weekend, you may have run into the one and only Dolly Parton.
Parton made the trip down to Mississippi as the Ole Miss Women’s Council for Philanthropy (OMWC) honored the “Jolene” singer with the prestigious Legacy Award.
According to the OMWC, Parton was the perfect recipient of the award, which pays tribute to an individual or couple annually for outstanding leadership, mentorship and philanthropy. Through her Imagination Library, the Country Music Hall of Famer has provided more than 150 million books to children around the world. On top of that, she donated $1 million in November 2020 to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in order to help fund Moderna’s development of a coronavirus vaccine.
“When I think of the positive influence Dolly continues to have on her home state of Tennessee, as well as children and adults around the globe, it is clear she is a perfect choice for this distinguished award,” Mary Donnelly Haskell, the Legacy Award event chair, said at the time of the university’s original press release.
Prior to the presentation of the award, Parton read to a group of children at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts.
Parton was originally scheduled to be honored in April of 2021, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the reading and presentation were moved to this year. Since its inception over two decades ago, the OMWC has secured almost $17 million to endow scholarships awarded to students who have a heart for helping others.