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Leadership of Outgoing Chancellor Prompts Scholarship, Faculty Support

Dan Jones Photo courtesy of Ole Miss Communications
Dan Jones Photo courtesy of Ole Miss Communications

Gifts continue to mount in a fundraising campaign to recognize outgoing Chancellor Dan Jones for his commitment to the University of Mississippi through faculty support and a culture of academic integrity.

To date, the Daniel W. Jones, M.D. Faculty Chair has received more than $1 million from roughly 400 alumni, faculty, staff members and friends. When completed, the chair will provide critical faculty support on a rotating basis among schools and colleges on the Oxford campus.

Rose Flenorl, chair of the UM Foundation board, expressed appreciation to everyone who has embraced the effort.

“Dr. Jones has had a deeply meaningful impact during his administration,” said Flenorl, of Memphis, Tennessee. “The Ole Miss family feels a very personal connection to him. We are so happy to have this chance to thank him for his service and give back to Ole Miss in a way that illustrates his example.”

At his 2010 inauguration, Jones highlighted attracting faculty support as a priority. Since then, the university has assembled approximately $40 million in endowed funds to continually strengthen teaching and research among UM faculty. It is estimated that UM must recruit around 215 new faculty members by the 2018 fall semester to stay on par with soaring enrollment growth.

UM alumna Suzan Thames, of Jackson – an ardent volunteer, fundraiser and board member of the Friends for Children’s Hospital at the UM Medical Center – turned her attention to the Dan Jones Faculty Chair initiative.

“I was ecstatic and honored to have an opportunity to assist in the campaign to endow this faculty chair in Dr. Dan Jones’ honor,” said Thames, who serves on the board of the UM Foundation and has been honored with a faculty chair in her name at Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children. “I have served under Dr. Jones’ leadership for the past 12-plus years, both under his vice chancellor’s role at Medical Center and under his tenure on the Oxford campus. His exceptional leadership encouraged us all to aim for the stars.

“Talk about a win-win endeavor to honor his contributions through a named, endowed faculty chair. All the individuals I asked to support this initiative responded with an overwhelmingly enthusiastic ‘Yes.’ What a positively exciting and meaningful experience all of us have had in honoring Dr. Dan Jones.”

Wendell Weakley, president and CEO of the UM Foundation, agreed, saying, “Without question, the trust that Dan Jones engendered from supporters of the University of Mississippi helped achieve new possibilities for scholarships, funds for research and faculty support, and our ability to plan for future development and growth. His leadership has been an embodiment of his inaugural remarks regarding our duties to service and transforming lives through education.”

Before Commencement, leaders from the graduating Class of 2015 led an initiative to raise $25,000 for the Chancellor Dan Jones Service Before Self Scholarship Fund as their class gift to UM. More than successful, the campaign added an additional $27,560 to the scholarship fund.

Touted as a true public servant for education in Mississippi, Jones’ commitment to students’ well-being, academic integrity and heightened expectations of the flagship university garnered trust and admiration from numerous individuals and groups.

“I love Ole Miss,” Jones said. “I leave this position with great joy in my heart. The opportunity to be a part of this university for 30 of my 66 years is the greatest professional privilege of my life.”

Those interested in making a gift to the Dan Jones Faculty Chair can send a check with the fund noted in the memo line to the University of Mississippi Foundation, 406 University Ave., Oxford, MS 38655; contribute online at http://www.umfoundation.com/makeagift; or contact Debbie Vaughn, senior executive director and chief development officer of University Development, at 662-915-3937 or dvaughn@olemiss.edu.

Courtesy of Katie Morrison and the Ole Miss News Desk

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Adam Brown
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