By Jonathan Scott
Larry Sparks and Morris Stocks have a lot more in common than a friendship that has lasted for decades.
Together, they have devoted more than a half-century of service to the University of Mississippi. They have both served as members of the university’s senior leadership team. Before retiring in 2020, Sparks was vice chancellor for finance and administration, and Stocks was provost for many years.
At different times during the 2010s, they served as interim chancellor.
They also share an enormous fondness for the Patterson School of Accountancy. Sparks earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from the school in 1984, and Stocks has been a professor at the school for 32 years and holds the Donald D. Jones Chair of Accountancy.
They recently showed their appreciation for what the school has done for them and so many others and their support for the school’s future by making financial gifts to the Patterson School of Accountancy Building Fund.
Dean Mark Wilder expressed gratitude for their gifts and leadership.
“We appreciate so much the financial support that Morris and Larry have provided for our new Patterson School building,” he said. “They have both been exceptional leaders for our university. Their efforts over many years have been instrumental in helping further strengthen both the Patterson School and the university.”
Their contributions will assist with the ongoing efforts to construct a new home for the school, which is expected to cost more than $100 million.
The planned four-story academic building will feature 100,000 square feet of tiered auditoriums and classrooms, study areas, conference rooms, administrative and faculty office suites, and outdoor balconies and terraces. When it’s built at the corner of University Avenue and Grove Loop, the new facility will overlook the Grove.
Stocks and Sparks said they are grateful to provide financial support to the school’s building fund and noted how nice it is for them to be able to make their gifts simultaneously.
“Morris has been an inspirational role model for me, and I cherish our friendship,” Sparks said. “He is one of the best people I know, and I’m honored to be able to join him in supporting the Patterson School of Accountancy.”
“Larry has been my trusted friend for many years, and our close working relationship, while he was here at UM, was made stronger over the years by my growing sense of respect and confidence,” Stocks said.
They said they are both convinced that once it is built, the new building will help the School of Accountancy move closer to becoming the top accounting program in the nation.
“We’re excited about the opportunities this new academic complex will provide for the school and the university,” Sparks said.
To make a gift online, visit the Patterson School of Accountancy Building Fund. To learn about supporting the project, contact Jason McCormick, executive director of development, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 662-915-1757.