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Judy Qualls Named Latest MVP

MC Law Director of Student Services Judy Qualls and President Blake Thompson
MC Law Director of Student Services Judy Qualls and President Blake Thompson

For the latest recipient of Dr. Blake Thompson’s “MVP Award,” supporting Mississippi College students is a way of life. Judy Qualls, who serves as the director of student services at the MC School of Law, says that making sure students have what they need to succeed is all part of a day’s work.

But her love for students extends well beyond her workday. She is a staunch fan of Blue & Gold athletics, particularly softball, which her daughter Kristen played during her time as a student.

Brianna Caldwell, an MC softball standout turned MC Law student, remembers Qualls’ presence at the games, calling her “the loudest woman in the stands.” Caldwell says that the passion that led Qualls to cheer for runs is just as visible in her work at the campus in downtown Jackson.

“Judy Qualls is undoubtedly the heartbeat of the law school,” Caldwell remarked. “A bad day does not exist when she is around.”

Her warm disposition has accompanied Qualls throughout her long journey in education. She began her career as a teacher for special needs students in the Jackson Public School District, eventually working her way up to director of parent relations for the state superintendent.

Retirement, though, just didn’t compute with Qualls’ love for students and her desire to remain active. She applied to be the admissions coordinator at the law school, a position she held for two years before being promoted into her current role, saying, “Serving others is the reason I get up every morning.”

Tanya Bradley, the coordinator of degree candidacy for both the law school and the main campus, says that Qualls’ commitment to service is evident.

“She is very passionate about her career and is dedicated to helping the MC School of Law’s faculty, staff, and students,” Bradley said of her long-time colleague.

Qualls’ joy, though, is not without sorrow, as she lost her husband, Bill, to a heart attack last year.

“This last year has been the hardest year of my life,” Qualls said. “But with God’s grace and a number of people who love and care about me, I have made it through. MC Law has been a tremendous blessing to me during this difficult time.”