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College of Liberal Arts
University of Mississippi

Fund Promotes Civic Engagement

Jesse L. White Jr.

Jesse L. White Jr.| Courtesy of KPO Photo

Jesse L. White Jr., a 1966 graduate of the University of Mississippi (political science and history) and current adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has committed a lead gift to launch the Dr. Jesse L. White Jr. Civic Engagement Endowment at UM’s William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation.

The $50,000 gift will provide income for the Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation’s civic/community engagement minor at UM. It is also a foundational gift for the Winter Institute to increase the financial support it receives from individuals.

“We are bowled over by Jesse White’s generosity,” said Dr. Susan M. Glisson, Winter Institute executive director. “He is a longtime friend and a former board member, and he knows our work as well as anyone. That makes this support an even bigger vote of confidence. In spring 2015, the interdisciplinary civic/community engagement minor will begin to equip undergraduates with the knowledge and skills they need to be effective community builders, so the timing on this gift is perfect.”

White expressed enthusiasm for the Winter Institute’s leadership in tackling the problems, old and new, brought about by difference-based division and discrimination.

“I’m a proud Mississippian,” White said. “And the Winter Institute and Chancellor Dan Jones are honoring (former Mississippi Gov.) William Winter’s legacy in ways that make me especially proud. There is no work being done that is more important than what the Winter Institute is doing at the University of Mississippi. I hope that this gift motivates others to support their work similarly.”

The Dr. Jesse L. White Jr. Civic Engagement Endowment encourages the Institute to invite “guest speakers, visiting scholars or other such activities and events that build a bridge between the University and the state, region and nation that it serves.”

The William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation works in communities and classrooms, in Mississippi and beyond, to end all division and discrimination based on difference. To keep abreast of the institute’s work, visit

Individuals and organizations interested in providing support for the institute can mail a check with the fund noted in the memo line to the University of Mississippi Foundation, 406 University Ave., Oxford, Miss. 38655; contact Nikki Neely, development director for the College of Liberal Arts, at 662-915-6678 or; or visit online