The Jo Ellen Logan Endowment has been established at Northwest Mississippi Community College, according to Sybil Canon, associate vice president of Development and Special Projects.
Jo Ellen Logan taught speech and theatre at Northwest for 36 years before her retirement in 2011. At the time of her retirement, a Northwest Foundation scholarship was established in her honor by former Fine Arts Division Director Dr. Ken Sipley and others.
Logan began teaching at Northwest in 1975. Soon after, she became the Speech and Theatre chair, teaching public speaking, persuasion, debate, oral interpretation, acting, voice and diction. Over the years, she directed many theatre productions, including numerous musicals such as “Cats,” “The Music Man,” and “The King and I.”
She has also worked as costume designer for many shows at Northwest.
Logan remains very active in Northwest theatre to this day, giving feedback, guidance and notes, and is involved with the students, according to Sadie Shannon, Northwest theatre chair.
Logan served as the co-chairman of the adjudicators of the Northwest Mississippi Theatre Alliance for 13 years and was one of the adjudicators who determined recipients of the coveted Allie theatre awards.
Currently, Logan serves as choir director, pianist, elder and director of the Prayer Shawl Ministry of the Senatobia Presbyterian Church. She is a talented artist, specializing in watercolor paintings. Logan also volunteers for Hope Ministries and is the president of Senatobia Culture Club.
The Northwest Players Club, a student organization for those interested in theatre that provides opportunities for students to develop their dramatic talents, helped to raise some of the money for the endowment.
Some of the ways the Players Club raised money was through T-shirt sales, concessions at events and also donation jars. This year the club has sponsored student talent shows by charging a $2 admission fee and allowing the audience to vote, Shannon said.
“The Foundation Office is deeply appreciative to Dr. and Mrs. Robert Smith of Hernando, Dr. Patsy Sledge of Senatobia and many other friends and colleagues who contributed more than $7,500 to this effort. We are also grateful to Mrs. Shannon and the Northwest Players Club for their fundraising efforts to complete the endowment. Jo Logan was and continues to be a mighty force in the fine arts world in our region. At Northwest, her contributions were immeasurable, and she continues to be a tremendous advocate for the arts,” Canon said.
The scholarship will be awarded to a student studying theatre. For more information, contact the Foundation at 662.560.1112.
Pictured: The Jo Ellen Logan Endowment, which will benefit students studying theatre, has been established at Northwest Mississippi Community College. Logan, second from left, taught speech and theatre at Northwest for 36 years. At a recent concert, Logan visited with two of her former division directors and former colleagues. Pictured (l-r) Rosemary Simmons, former division director of Fine Arts, Logan, Dr. Ken Sipley, former division director of Fine Arts, Sadie Shannon, theatre chair, Dr. Saundra Bishop, music instructor and Susanne Spencer VanDyke, director of Choral Activities. (Photo by Julie Bauer)