NOVEMBER 5, 2014 | BY TINA HAHN
A University of Mississippi residence hall was named for Scarlotte and Crymes G. Pittman of Jackson, to honor the couple’s longtime generosity and service. The public dedication ceremony held at 1:30 p.m. Friday (Nov. 7) celebrated the couple’s recent $1 million gift, which elevates their lifetime giving to more than $6.6 million.
The ceremony took place in front of Pittman Hall (on the side facing a courtyard shared with Minor and Burns halls), just off Rebel Drive, with a reception following in the residence hall’s lobby.
The Pittmans have directed $500,000 of their new gift to faculty support in the College of Liberal Arts and the other half to the Forward Together athletics campaign.
UM Chancellor Dan Jones expressed gratitude for the couple’s contributions.
“Scarlotte and Crymes Pittman are outstanding alumni,” Jones said. “We are extremely grateful and proud of their many investments in the life of the University of Mississippi directed to both academic and athletics programs. The Pittmans are thoughtful and visionary in their support, as evidenced by their creation of the Freshman Seminar to enhance students’ educational experiences. They always have the best interests of our students and the future of this university uppermost in their hearts and minds.”
Keith Carter, senior associate athletics director for development and executive director of the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation, described the Pittmans as “dedicated alumni and fans.”
“The Pittmans continue to dedicate resources to bolster programs and facilities for Ole Miss student-athletes, which, in turn, draw alumni back to campus and keep them engaged with the overall university. The generosity shown by the Pittmans is inspiring and will encourage other members of the Rebel Nation to invest in our Forward Together campaign, which will secure a very bright future for our athletics programs.”
The impact of the Pittmans’ gifts continues to have far-reaching effects. They have provided in excess of $1 million and a planned gift for the Pittman Fund, which founded and supports the Freshman Seminar at the university. This program boosts students’ writing, oral communication and critical thinking skills, with the goal of acquainting students with the critical participation required in a seminar setting and to stimulate their interests in more active learning.
“I have always considered education to be one of the most important things I could provide my children and grandchildren,” Pittman said at the conclusion of the law school campaign he co-chaired in recent years. “I support the University of Mississippi and its School of Law because I identify closely with them. The primary focus of my philanthropic efforts is directed to the university and education.”
That campaign resulted in the construction of the Robert C. Khayat Law Center, as well as private support for student scholarships, Grisham Law Library, and faculty and clinic support.
A longtime leader in the legal community, Pittman was a natural choice to help lead the campaign. The attorney is a partner in Pittman, Germany, Roberts & Welsh of Jackson.
He was inducted into the School of Law Hall of Fame in 2011 and was named Law Alumnus of the Year in 1999. He co-created a scholarship endowment in Pittman, Germany, Robert & Welsh’s name at the UM School of Law and has generously provided personal gifts to this endowment to assist law students. Likewise, the firm continues as a generous financial supporter of the university.
Pittman also has given his time and expertise to serve as a board member of the University of Mississippi Foundation, Ole Miss Alumni Association, Lamar Order, Law Alumni Chapter and the Momentum Campaign.
“It is a tremendous honor to work with individuals who have such exceptional commitment to supporting educational opportunities for young people and a strongly held belief that education is the key to elevating the quality of life for our state, nation and world,” said Debbie Vaughn, UM’s senior executive director of development and chief development officer. “They have built a wonderful legacy that will continue to improve and touch countless lives. We look forward to celebrating this family at the dedication of Pittman Hall.”
In addition to the support the couple has provided UM over the years, the Pittmans have strengthened Mississippi’s higher education community through gifts to Mississippi State University, Millsaps College and William Carey College.
Scarlotte Pittman graduated from the School of Business Administration, and Crymes Pittman earned a Bachelor of Arts in English, followed by a Juris Doctorate. They have two grown children, Lucy Pittman Culver (husband Eskridge Van Naarden Culver) of New York and Crymes M. (wife Ashley W.) Pittman of Jackson, and four grandchildren. Their daughter, son and daughter-in-law all earned degrees at UM.
Individuals and organizations interested in joining the Pittmans to provide academic support to UM can contact Debbie Vaughn at firstname.lastname@example.org or 662-915-3937.