Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Local Students Receive Inaugural Jimmy Carr State Farm Scholarship

While University of Mississippi alumnus Jimmy Carr of Oxford never marched with his alma mater’s Pride of the South Band, he has always been an avid supporter of its presence at festivities in The Grove. Band members’ devotion through countless practice and performance hours impresses many students and alumni, Carr included.

The Pride of the South marching band on the field at Vaught-Hemmingway Stadium, fall 2013.
The Pride of the South marching band on the field at Vaught-Hemmingway Stadium, fall 2013.

Like many other Grove enthusiasts, Carr said he appreciates “the music, excitement and pageantry of the band” and that members “make a significant contribution to the game-day experience.” When Carr, with the help of his employer, State Farm of Oxford, decided to create a scholarship at Ole Miss, he chose as recipients the hard-working members of the Pride of the South.
The Jimmy Carr State Farm Scholarship, created this academic year with the help of the State Farm Companies Foundation Good Neighbor Grant and Matching Gift Program, will be awarded to an Oxford High School and a Lafayette High School graduate each fall, with each receiving $500.
The university’s financial aid scholarship committee selected Miles Morgan of Oxford High and Caleb Edwards of Lafayette High as the first recipients. Morgan, a biology major with medical school on his mind, shares Carr’s love of music. As a Pride of the South tuba player, Morgan looks forward to the camaraderie that he found in band throughout his high school career.
“Most of my friends are my band mates. We all share the common interest of music, and I have many fond memories of all our times at practice, football games and trips. I hope to have the same experience in the Ole Miss band,” said Morgan.
Jimmy Carr of Oxford, center, is pictured with the first two recipients of the Jimmy Carr State Farm Scholarship for Ole Miss freshmen who are members of the Pride of the South Band. The students are Caleb Edwards, a graduate of Lafayette High School, left, and Miles Morgan, a graduate of Oxford High School.
Jimmy Carr of Oxford, center, is pictured with the first two recipients of the Jimmy Carr State Farm Scholarship for Ole Miss freshmen who are members of the Pride of the South Band. The students are Caleb Edwards, a graduate of Lafayette High School, left, and Miles Morgan, a graduate of Oxford High School.

The New Orleans native has always been surrounded by music. His exposure to different genres has piqued his interest in jazz, rock, blues and hip hop. “You can change the tone, pitch, rhythm and beat to make music even more unique,” he said. “This means that music is ever-changing and expanding, that no two songs are the same.”
Morgan’s mother, Rebecca Morgan of Oxford, attended the University of Mississippi and now is on the staff. This helped shape Morgan’s decision to attend Ole Miss. Although some students struggle with the college decision, he said going to Ole Miss felt “natural.”
Edwards, an accountancy major, also shares a passion for music and the band experience.
The percussionist said he’s pushed to continue playing because “I have always enjoyed learning and playing new music. It requires hard work, discipline and teamwork. The feeling I get when a piece of music is well executed is very rewarding.”
Edwards also sees his participation as an opportunity to find a new group of friends in Oxford. “When you are a member of a band, it’s like you’re one big family,” he said.
Ole Miss runs in Edwards’ family. His mother graduated from the university and his brother is currently attending. Another aspect that keeps him in Oxford is the renowned Patterson School of Accountancy, which has an undergraduate program ranked fourth in the nation.
The recipients are very grateful to Carr for the help he has given them. “I feel very fortunate to have received this scholarship and cannot thank Mr. Carr enough for selecting me,” Miles added.
Individuals and organizations can make gifts to the Jimmy Carr State Farm Scholarship fund by contacting Denson Hollis at 662-915-5092 or dhollis@olemiss.edu; www.umfoundation.com/makeagift.
– Meg Cummins, University Development, University of Mississippi

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