When an enlightened group of University of Mississippi alumni leaders partner to improve faculty support in the College of Liberal Arts, great needs are met.
Members of the Liberal Arts Alumni Chapter Board of Directors have personally committed $130,000 to ensure that long-term resources are available to recruit and retain outstanding teachers. The endowed gift comes at a time when the College of Liberal Arts and the university are emphasizing the need for resources to undergird the work of professors who define UM’s academic reputation.
“I vividly recall the professor who changed my academic life. He didn’t convince me to shift majors or set me on a new career path, but he taught me that exploring very different subjects was exciting,” said Dennis Moore of Washington, D.C., a board member and deputy managing editor of USA Today. “When Dean Hopkins told a group of alumni that it is difficult for Ole Miss to match or exceed salaries offered by other southeastern universities, I thought of that professor and was convinced that I and others must help financially to attract and retain the best.”
Cody Giles, development officer for liberal arts, said, “We appealed to our alumni board to set an example by investing in our faculty, and we are deeply grateful for their response.”
Other board members are Alon Bee of Ridgeland, James Herndon of Oxford, Dr. Gene Norris Howell of Ripley, and Dennis Watts and Deanne Mosley, both of Madison.
“My daughter, Paige, my son, Blake, and I are all graduates of the College of Liberal Arts and have significantly benefited from our respective educations,” said Bee, president of the Metro Jackson branches of Regions Bank. “Our decision to support our gifted faculty was made to impact future students educated at Ole Miss for years to follow.”
Dean Glenn Hopkins applauded the board’s united support. “This initiative is vital to recruiting and retaining the excellent faculty that our students deserve, and the board members’ generosity has set us on the path to meet our goal of an endowment of $2 million. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to each member of the board.”