Trustee Jill Mansfield says Brenau international experience ‘changed my life’

Jill Mansfield, BU ‘15

For Brenau University alumna and trustee Jill Mansfield, BU ’15, helping others is in her blood.

Reflecting on the university’s mission, Mansfield says elements of “personal and professional fulfillment, intellectual accomplishment and global awareness” are echoed in her life experience and a family tradition of providing support.

Some of Mansfield’s earliest memories include visiting the Brenau campus with her mother, Dixie Chester Ramsey, who also attended Brenau. Ramsey’s passion for Brenau led her and her husband, Wilbur, to create The Ramsey-Chester Endowed Scholarship Fund that supports students seeking a nursing degree. Mansfield says her parents volunteered countless hours and resources to the community that her family has called home since the early 1800s.

Following the death of her mother in 2010, Mansfield decided to pursue her dream of becoming an interior designer. She enrolled as an adult student in Brenau’s Master of Interior Design program, becoming fast friends with classmates from China and Russia. While they helped her with technology, geometry and AutoCAD, she helped them with American culture.

“This five-year experience changed my life in many ways,” Mansfield says. “Not only was it extremely challenging, but it was rewarding beyond my wildest dreams.”

Mansfield, who would go on to found Jill Mansfield Interiors LLC, says she remains close with many of her fellow graduates and even officiated one of their weddings.

“I met so many wonderful women, including several international students that I’m very close to now,” she says. “One of my friends who I met in the program now works in my company. This experience was so rewarding that I, too, developed a passion for the school.”

In 2017, Mansfield’s husband, John E. Mansfield, Jr., created the $50,000 Jill Ramsey Mansfield Opportunities Fund for Interior Design to honor his wife and to provide support for the Interior Design program through the earnings of the fund.

“I attribute so much of my success to the excellent educational experience that Brenau provided me and hope I can give back to the university in many ways for years to come,” Jill Mansfield says.

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