We have had, and continue to have, some extraordinary students at the University of Mississippi. Our special section in this newsletter highlights those students who, over the years, received prestigious national awards, e.g., Rhodes, Truman and Goldwater Scholars, and provides information about where they are now and what they have done since graduating from the University. The earliest student profiled received a Marshall Scholarship in 1966 and the latest student received a Truman Scholarship in 2008. As you will see, these accomplished scholars continued their success after graduation. I found this section most interesting and think you will, also.
For all of our students to be successful, we must have a strong faculty, a faculty that excels in teaching, scholarship, and service. We have enjoyed a superb faculty for many years now, and our faculty grows stronger with each passing year. We will be sending you a brochure later in the year featuring our new hires for 2011-2012, and so I will not elaborate here except to note that this year’s beginning faculty is as strong a group as I have seen. Two examples will help make this point.
The English Department has the good fortune of adding acclaimed writer Richard Ford to the faculty. A Pulitzer-prize winning novelist, and the recipient of two Pen-Faulkner awards, Mr. Ford will return to his native Mississippi this fall. He will teach creative writing – an extraordinary opportunity for our students – and continue his own impressive work, adding much to our state’s unparalleled literary legacy. And renowned soprano Kallen Esperian will join the Music Department this fall. From the Met to La Scala, she has performed with opera legends, including Lucianno Pavarotti and Placido Domingo, and you may have seen her as one of the three sopranos on PBS.
Despite difficult economic times, the College of Liberal Arts has been able to build on its long tradition of success. You, our alumni, embody that tradition. Your achievements validate our efforts in the College, and we are grateful for your ongoing financial support which directly benefits all current and future students. If you haven’t contributed this year, I hope you will consider doing so. Your generosity will continue to strengthen the College.
I hope you enjoy this newsletter. If you have questions or comments, please let me know. And, if you are on campus this fall, please come by Ventress to say hello.