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Alumni News

Dr. Ralf Zapata and his wife, Rhonda, established a new endowment at the University of Mississippi as a way to "give back" for the scholarships that had a transformative impact on their lives.

Providing Academic Opportunities

Zapatas Create Scholarships for Future Generations of UM Students May 14, 2021 By Jonathan Scott Scholarships awarded to Dr. Ralf Zapata allowed him to earn a chemistry degree in 1983 from the University of Mississippi, enabling him to launch his future without the financial burden of student loans. As Zapata begins to ease into retirement […]


Several members of the Ole Miss First Scholarship program visit the Emmett Till Interpretive Center in Sumner, Mississippi. Among those participating in the field trip are (from left) Daniel Reed, OMF graduate assistant, Benjamin Saulsberry, museum director of the Interpretive Center, six OMF scholars – Edward Puckett, Haley Morgan, John Michael Walker, Katie Davis, Sarah Amitin and Francesca Patawaran – and Patrick Weems, executive director of the Emmett Till Interpretive Center.

Ole Miss First—It’s a Family Matter

Program Aims to Provide Scholarships for Deserving Students May 12, 2021 By Jonathan Scott Family. It’s the one word that best describes the Ole Miss First Scholarship (OMF) program. That was also the word that kept returning to the mind of Chancellor Emeritus Robert Khayat 20 years ago when he proposed establishing a new scholarship […]


Robyn Tannehill 

UM Alumni Offer Wise Words to New Graduates

Ahead of Commencement exercises, 7 Ole Miss alumni share guidance and encouragement April 28, 2021 by Emily Howorth As the Classes of 2020 and 2021 celebrate Commencement in early May, they’ll complete an exciting journey, begin their next chapters and join the good company of distinguished alumni. The University of Mississippi is a place where […]


Robert and Margaret Khayat attended many events together, including the dedication of the Robert C. Khayat Law Center. Below: Margaret Khayat on her wedding day.

Honoring Former First Lady Margaret Khayat

Members of UM Family Recall Her ‘Pivotal Impact’ on Ole Miss March 10, 2021 by Jonathan Scott Margaret Mason Denton Khayat’s generous life and many years of support for the University of Mississippi are being celebrated by the Ole Miss family. Khayat, the former first lady of Ole Miss, passed away Feb. 22. Her husband, […]


John Kelly photo

Alumni Spotlight: John Kelly

As a chemist working for UES Inc. at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, John Kelly (PhD chemistry and biochemistry 16) focuses on improving a warfighter’s ability to detect chemical warfare in the field by optimizing and engineering novel solutions for imminent chemical weapons and terrorism. He uses state-of-the-art chemical identification and characterization sensors (gas chromatography-mass […]


Their Judicial Dreams Affirmed

Three alumni appointed as U.S. District Court judges share career lessons, talk UM’s role in success February 24, 2021 by Michael Newsom Though they’ve all taken very different routes to get there, three University of Mississippi alumni find themselves as new U.S. district court judges with the awesome responsibility of upholding the nation’s laws. Judge Cory T. Wilson, […]


Patrick Dean

Alumni Spotlight: Patrick Dean

Meet alumnus Patrick Dean (BA political science 81), whose book A Window to Heaven: The Daring First Ascent of Denali America’s Wildest Peak is being published by Simon & Schuster on March 2, 2021. He grew up in the Mississippi Delta towns of Cleveland and Leland and now lives in Monteagle, Tennessee. How did your interest […]


Betsy Nelson pins an Air Force retirement pin to her husband’s flight suit. Col. Paul ‘Voodoo’ Nelson held his retirement ceremony at the Walk of Champions, the same place he was commissioned more than three decades earlier. Photo by Logan Kirkland/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

Ole Miss Alumnus Celebrates 31 Years of Military Service in the Grove

Col. Paul ‘Voodoo’ Nelson hopes to pass on legacy of service in return home January 13, 2021 by JB Clark On a sunny October afternoon, retiring Air Force flight surgeon Col. Dr. Paul Nelson (BA physics 89) and wife Betsy Moore Nelson (BS 89) welcomed friends and family to the University of Mississippi to mark […]


MLK Celebration to Feature Colorado College President

UM alumnus Mike Edmonds to discuss importance of building community in times of chaos during virtual event January 11, 2021 by JB Clark The University of Mississippi‘s Division of Diversity and Community Engagement is revisiting Martin Luther King’s 1967 book, “Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?” as part of the Community-Wide MLK […]


An actor portraying the character Ulla in the Barter Theatre’s 2019 production of Mel Brooks’ ‘The Producers’ wears a costume created by Lee Martin, a 2009 UM alumnus and the theater’s costume designer. Submitted photo

Pandemic Provides Possibilities for Mentorship

Theatre and film alumni give students a glimpse into professional world of TV, stage work December 23, 2020 by Katherine Stewart Amid shifting plans resulting from the ongoing global pandemic, professors in the Department of Theatre and Film at the University of Mississippi found new opportunities for students this fall by bringing in a diverse […]