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UM Business School Receives Largest Gift in Giving Day History

By Daniel Kuc

UM School of Business

On April 4 and 5, Ole Miss held its fourth annual Giving Day, a day-and-a-half event dedicated to raising funds for the university through gifts of many sizes and types. The event was a great success with $6,841,848 raised through 1,974 gifts.

The largest gift in Giving Day history was given to support the School of Business Administration from George Walker and Christie Kirkland Walker of Jackson, Mississippi. Their gift of $5 million will go toward establishing an endowment for faculty support within the Department of Finance.

George and Christie Walker of Jackson, Mississippi, center have made a $5 million gift to the University of Mississippi School of Business Administration for faculty support in finance and real estate. The Ole Miss alums are joined here by their family, from left, Daniel and Caroline Reed with Elizabeth, Sarah Grea Walker, Lillie Walker, and Ann Elizabeth and Andrew LoCicero with Grea.

“Having a stellar faculty is crucial to providing the incredible educational opportunities we offer our students,” said Ken Cyree, dean of the School of Business Administration. “The extent to which we can attract and retain world-class faculty greatly determines our future as a university.”

The business school also received two other significant gifts during Giving Day. The school’s Now & Ever Campaign Committee co-chairs, Lee Anne and Bill Fry, challenged 75 people to make a gift of any size toward any area of the school. Once the challenge was met, the Frys contributed $5,000.

“We hope that our gift captures a moment for others, stirring up memories and encouraging them to act with their gifts,” said Bill Fry, managing director of American Securities.

The McCuin family challenged 10 people to make a gift to Women in Business, a student organization within the school that inspires and empowers women of all backgrounds to grow in confidence, leadership and professionalism. They agreed to make a gift of $500 once the challenge was met.

“Yolette McPhee-McCuin (Ole Miss women’s basketball head coach) is a model of our Women in Business values: influence, empower, and motivate,” said Meg Barnes, chapter adviser to the club. “Her challenge and resulting donations will fund our inaugural business dinner on April 25, 2023.”

Giving Day is an event that brings together faculty, staff, students and alumni to help raise funds and awareness for many different areas of the university. Giving Days have increased in popularity over the last 10 years as a way of increasing resources in the non-profit community.

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