By Tina H. Hahn
University of Mississippi
The largest fundraising campaign in the history of Mississippi universities, Now & Ever: The Campaign for Ole Miss, just secured $1.2 billion toward its $1.5 billion goal.
Elevating the total is more than $150.6 million in gifts – the second-highest fundraising year on record – during the University of Mississippi’s 2022 fiscal year that closed June 30.
“We’re energized, inspired and truly grateful for this outstanding response to our monumental and historic campaign,” Chancellor Glenn Boyce said. “The tremendous generosity of our alumni, friends and donors plays a significant role in how we transform lives and improve the communities, the state and the world around us.
“It also fuels the extraordinary academic achievements and unprecedented triumphs we are experiencing right now at Ole Miss.”
This generosity reflects well on the Ole Miss family, said retired Maj. Gen. Leon Collins, of Madison, one of the campaign co-chairs with his wife, Debra, and Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy, of Memphis, Tennessee.
“I am so excited about the possibilities for our university,” Collins said. “With our baseball team winning the College World Series, it just goes to show what quality facilities can produce. We are well on our way to meeting our goal but now is not the time to rest. Now is the time for everyone to be part of something very special.
“There is no better time to be an Ole Miss Rebel.”
The Now & Ever campaign lays out areas of concentration that will define Ole Miss today and tomorrow: building leaders, empowering academic excellence, fueling research and innovation, creating economic opportunities and enhancing facilities for champions.
“There’s something for everyone to support in this campaign, from innovative programs and student scholarships to faculty support and new building construction,” Leigh Anne Tuohy said. “I encourage alumni and friends to find an area they are passionate about and consider making an investment.”
One of the most visible impacts of the campaign is the ongoing construction of the Jim and Thomas Duff Center for Science and Technology Innovation. In late June, the topping out ceremony of the Duff Center marked securing the last steel beam and signified that construction had reached its maximum height.
The campaign is helping the university strengthen its hyper-focus on students and is generating many more student scholarships, said Charlotte Parks, vice chancellor of development.
“Students are the reason we exist, of course, but having this campaign enables us to concentrate on elevating student success, expanding preparation for successful careers and making it possible for more students to earn their degrees on time,” she said. “We will extend our expertise in student retention, now above the national norm at 88.2% for freshmen to sophomores, to all years that students are here.
For more information on supporting Now & Ever: The Campaign for Ole Miss, contact Charlotte Parks at firstname.lastname@example.org or 662-915-3120; or give online at Now & Ever: The Campaign for Ole Miss. Checks, with the designated area written in the memo line, can be mailed to the University of Mississippi Foundation, 406 University Ave., Oxford, MS 38655.