The Mel Hailey endowment fund was established this year to benefit an ACU program promoting public service and to recognize the professor whose service directed the program for twenty years.
The Jack Pope Fellows Program was established in 1989 by former Texas Supreme Court Justice Jack Pope (’34) in order to offer scholarships to ACU students pursuing public service careers. Approximately 20 juniors and seniors participate in the program and must work to complete an interdisciplinary 24-hour minor in public service during their last two years of undergraduate study.
Political science department chair Dr. Mel Hailey directed the Jack Pope Fellows program for twenty years from its inception.
“The content of the program itself in terms of curriculum was shaped by Dr. Hailey,” said current Jack Pope Fellows Program director and professor of political science, Dr. David Dillman.
Dillman also said Hailey played a large role in planning various activities for the Pope Fellows throughout the years. Hailey helped to bring several outside speakers to the university specifically for the Pope Fellows Program and organized several service projects for program participants.
“Judge Pope all along has wanted to do something for Dr. Hailey,” Dillman said.
Judge Pope honored Hailey with the 50,000 dollar endowment fund this past summer at a dinner in Austin.
“It was quite a surprise when Judge Pope established the fund,” Hailey said. “I was overwhelmed by his generosity.”
Dillman hopes to use the fund mainly for the Program enhancement by either bringing in more outside speakers or funding Program presentations at conferences.
The Jack Pope Fellows Program serves as a preparation program for ACU students across majors to successfully continue their studies in public service and enter careers within their given fields, Hailey said.
“That’s what Judge Pope wanted as his legacy,” Hailey said, “to put the very best students in a position where public policy is shaped.”
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