September 1, 2015
To honor her life’s work of sharing knowledge with, providing encouragement to, and showing kindness toward thousands of students, the Dr. M. Lynne Murchison Scholarship Fund has been established.
Dr. M. Lynne Murchison’s distinguished service to the University of Mississippi has assisted deserving men and women pursuing higher education.
Dr. Murchison, or Dr. Murk as she is fondly known, was born in Sikeston, Missouri in July of 1946. She received her bachelor’s degree from Union University in 1968, and both her master’s and doctoral degrees in English from UM.
Dr. Murk was a teacher at Oxford High School for 25 years and beginning in 1980 she spent each summer developing and overseeing UM’s summer programs for accelerated high school students. In 2000, she began working full-time at the University as Associate Director of Summer School and Pre-College Programs.
During that time she added new programs that proved huge contributors to the University’s recruitment of the best and brightest students in the state and the region. Those programs included Project PACE, Summer College for High School Students, Lott Leadership Institute, Summer Academy, the Independent Study High School, and numerous academic competitions.
A major legacy dear to Dr. Murk’s heart are the academic competitions she instituted— the UM Academic Invitational Tournament (UMAIT) and Brain Brawl— which continue to inspire, test, and push young minds to expand and grow. The first UMAIT competition, then called Quiz Bowl, was held in the spring 1986 and Brain Brawl was added to the fall of 2000. The first event had seven teams in the competition and it now brings 64 teams of 5-6 students each to campus each year.
In 2002, she became Director of Credit Programs within the Division of Outreach this included the regional campuses and several other programs. In this role, she found a new way to share her belief in the benefits of education. UM now operates four regional campuses in Booneville, Grenada, Southaven, and Tupelo that employ numerous faculty and staff and have helped thousands of North Mississippians earn their college degrees from the state’s flagship university.
Dr. Murchison was also tasked with the development of the Japanese Saturday School sponsored by the University of Mississippi in 2008. Under her leadership, the university built a profitable cooperation between the Toyota Motor Company, its suppliers, and North Mississippi.
During this time Dr. Murk has continued to teach University English and writing courses, to travel the region promoting the University, to crochet baby blankets for friends, to address thousands of wedding invitations in her beautiful calligraphy, to organize Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes to give to children around the world, and to share stories of her nieces, nephews, and grands whom she treasures greatly.
To continue and honor the hard work and dedication of Dr. Murchison, all friends, former students and colleagues of Dr. Murchison are asked to contribute to the fund. Through these scholarships Dr. Murk can continue to inspire, challenge, and push young minds to achieve the goals they have imagined. The Dr. M. Lynne Murchison Scholarship Fund will be open to and will accept gifts from persons, estates, organizations, and any others who may desire to make a gift, and each gift, when made through the University of Mississippi Foundation, will be fully tax-deductible and all contributions when received by the Foundation will be used in accordance with this Memorandum of Understanding unless otherwise specified by the UM Division of Outreach at the time of the gift.