College of Liberal Arts

University of Mississippi

Development

Nancy Wicker, UM professor of art history, is working to shed light on the artwork Vikings made, including pieces like the replica jewelry she is wearing. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

Art History Professor Receives First Hensley Award

Awarding Excellence JANUARY 17, 2019 BY Bill Dabney and Kirsten Faulkner A University of Mississippi art history professor is the first recipient of a new research award that is already garnering global recognition for the College of Liberal Arts. Dr. Nancy Wicker, the award’s inaugural recipient, used the gift in September to offset expenses associated […]


Anne Twitty (left), associate professor of history, greets students during the Department of History’s undergraduate open house outside of Bishop Hall on the Oxford campus.

UM History Department Receives Major Gift

Preserving History DECEMBER 9, 2019 BY BILL DABNEY A $150,000 gift to the University of Mississippi’s Arch Dalrymple III Department of History has better positioned the department to embrace long-range opportunities, such as supporting faculty with their research and teaching goals. The unrestricted gift, for example, may be used to offset expenses associated with faculty […]


Dr. Dennis Shrock, noted choral-scholar and author of several books on historic performance and repertoire, will be the guest conductor and featured lecturer for three annual music symposiums focusing on historical performances at the University of Mississippi. Funded by the generosity of an anonymous donor, the symposiums will begin in the summer of 2020. Shrock is shown during his most recent visit to UM in the fall of 2018 as a guest conductor and lecturer at a concert celebrating the late composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein.

Anonymous Donor Funds Symposium to Revive Music of Earlier Era

Rebirth of Renaissance Music OCTOBER 30, 2019 BY JONATHAN SCOTT A Renaissance music renaissance is taking place at the University of Mississippi. Thanks to a gift provided by an anonymous donor, a symposium in summer 2020 will bring the enchanting, but seldom-performed music of the Renaissance back to life with a four-day series of lectures […]


Dr. Rhett Atkinson (in red) and his wife Elaine (center) established the Doctors Andrew Stefani and Eldon Miller Memorial Chair for STEM Teaching and Research Endowment. Pictured with the Atkinsons are members of the Stefani and Miller families and UM administrators. They are (from left) Roger and Mary Jane Thornton (JoAnn Stefani’s sister and brother-in-law); Denson Hollis, executive director of development; Anne Stefani (Dr. Stefani’s daughter); JoAnn Stefani (Dr. Stefani’s wife); Patrick Booth (Anne Stefani’s husband); UM Chancellor Glenn Boyce; the Atkinsons; Tonya Dalton (Dr. Miller’s daughter); Lee Cohen, dean of the College of Liberal Arts; Christine Reiner (JoAnn Stefani’s sister); and Charles Hussey, associate dean for research and graduate education/professor of chemistry and biochemistry.

From Higher Education, Success Stems

Major Gift Honors Faculty, Supports Excellence in STEM Instruction OCTOBER 18, 2019 A University of Mississippi graduate’s major gift will honor two of his favorite professors while also supporting instruction in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). With a gift of $1.5 million, Dr. Rhett Atkinson and his wife, Elaine, established the […]


Ole Miss student Maddie Marine of Newport Beach, California, made a gift of $25,000 and a commitment of time to support the new William Magee Center for Wellness Education. The senior, pictured here in the demonstration kitchen, is dedicated to the overall mission of the Magee Center.

Student Follows Gift with Volunteer Work at Magee Center

Service in Action OCTOBER 9, 2019 BY MARY STANTON KNIGHT With a gift of $25,000 and lots of volunteer effort for the new William Magee Center for Wellness Education, a senior embodies the citizen-scholar model of service encouraged across the campuses of the University of Mississippi. “I became interested in donating to the Magee Center […]


The Ole Miss Women’s Council for Philanthropy has named Dr. Jane-Claire Williams (far left) as the 2019 Emerging Young Philanthropist. On hand to congratulate her were Judy Trott (center), former dean of students at the University of Mississippi, and Candie Simmons, an OMWC member.

Williams Honored as Emerging Philanthropist

Ole Miss Women’s Council Celebrates UM Alumna’s ‘Spirit of Giving’ OCTOBER 4, 2019 BY JONATHAN SCOTT One Christmas Eve afternoon when Dr. Jane-Claire Williams was 9 years old, her family piled into their car and drove from their home in Jackson to a neighborhood in another part of town where homes were smaller and the […]


Biology professor Beckie Symula

UM Endowment Builds to Record $736 Million

Eighth straight year alumni, friends provide more than $100 million in gifts SEPTEMBER 20, 2019 BY TINA HAHN The University of Mississippi’s alumni and friends contributed approximately $103 million in private support during FY19, a year that saw the university’s endowment grow to $736 million – the largest in the state at a public university. […]


Renvy Pittman (center) enjoys spending time with the Grove Scholars whenever she visits campus. Here, she’s pictured with alumni of the program — the 2018 seniors (from left) Jontae Warren, Devante Yates, Jessica Cole, Rashad Collier, Deshauntra Green, Bre O’Neal and Myrical Taylor. In back are Maura Scully Murry, director of the FASTrack Learning Community, and E. Gray Flora IV, director of Grove Scholars and senior academic mentor for FASTrack.

Pittman Gift Sparks George Hall Renovation

A Place to Thrive SEPTEMBER 9, 2019 BY BILL DABNEY Every time Renvy Pittman travels to the University of Mississippi she makes a point to visit her favorite students – the entering freshmen selected to participate in the Grove Scholars program. In 2014, support from Pittman – a Los Angeles, California, resident and UM alumna […]


Donald Cole (left), pictured here with state Institutions of Higher Learning Trustee Shane Hooper at a UM Commencement, is being honored with a named scholarship for his devoted work as a faculty member, administrator, mentor and advocate. The Cole scholarship will assist African American Studies majors and encourage them to get involved in the university and pursue progressive change across Mississippi.

Fundraising Campaign Honors Cole

Endowment Recognizes UM Leader’s Positive Impact AUGUST 28, 2019  BY ANGELA ATKINS For 50 years, Donald Cole has made an impact at every stage of the University of Mississippi experience – as an undergraduate and graduate student, faculty member, administrator, mentor and advocate. To honor his lifetime commitment, UM faculty, friends and alumni are working […]


Jim Barksdale (left) chats with Douglass Sullivan-Gonzalez, director of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, and former Honors College student Sierra Mannie.

FedEx Honors UM Alumnus with Gift to UM Science Building Fund

Supporting STEM JULY 19, 2019 BY BILL DABNEY With a $250,000 gift to the University of Mississippi Science Building Fund, the FedEx Corp. honored Ole Miss alumnus Jim Barksdale upon his retirement as a longtime member of the global shipping company’s leadership team. “Jim was an innovative leader during his tenure at FedEx and went […]