College of Liberal Arts

University of Mississippi

Grove Scholars

Rashad Collier

Rashad Collier | Photo by Annie Watkins Tyson

Thanks to a generous gift from Renvy Pittman (BA classsics ’77), more Mississippians are pursuing degrees in science and mathematics.

Entering its fourth year, the Grove Scholars program in the College provides scholarships and academic support to STEM students from the state’s underserved communities.

“Grove Scholars represent a better future for Mississippi,” said Stephen Monroe, assistant professor of writing and rhetoric, assistant dean of liberal arts, and a program cofounder. “Through the initiative, our students connect with faculty, build community on campus, and plan for successful careers.”

Director Gray Flora IV works with faculty and staff to create a welcoming environment and provide individual attention, research opportunities, and workshops designed to increase students’ knowledge about campus and the world.

“Whenever possible, we remove barriers, giving our Grove Scholars the best opportunity for success,” said Flora.

The initiative is producing results. Grove Scholars are more likely to persist at UM, to remain in science and mathematics, and to make steady progress toward their degrees.

Rashad Collier, a computer science major, is one example. Thriving academically and socially, he serves in leadership roles with the Columns Society, Men of Excellence, and Office of Student Housing.

Monroe and Flora credit Pittman’s vision and generous support. “Renvy sees a bright future for our university,” said Monroe. “With her help, the College supports some of our most talented students. Our Grove Scholars do the rest.”