Time to Be Santa’s Little Helpers

Campus community urged to support 18th annual Books and Bears Drive

Pre-schoolers from Willie Price Day Care Center dropped their donations to the annual Books and Bears program at the Provost Office in the Lyceum. (Staff photo by Nathan Latil, Imaging Services)

Pre-schoolers from Willie Price Day Care Center deliver their donations to the annual Books and Bears program at the Provost Office in the Lyceum. Photo by Nathan Latil/Ole Miss Communications

As the holiday season quickly approaches, bringing all its shopping and preparations, University of Mississippi faculty, staff and students are once again asked to become “Santa’s little helpers.”

The 18th annual Books and Bears program begins soon across campus. Sponsored by the UM Black Faculty and Staff Organization, the event is an opportunity to assist Facilities Management Department employees and their children by purchasing and donating books and toys to be given away Dec. 18 on campus.

Items may be dropped off on the third floor of the Robert C. Khayat Law Center, the Graduate School, second floor of Vardaman Hall, first floor of Ventress Hall, the Office of the Provost in the Lyceum, the Ticket Office in the Ole Miss Student Union, Room 308 of Howery Hall, Room 305 of Hume Hall, Farley Hall, the Yerby Center, the Career Center in Martindale Hall, Powers Hall, the Learning Resources Center in the Lucky Day Residential College, Room C-135 of Bondurant Hall and Room 310 of Bishop Hall.

Smiles abounded last year in the Gertrude Castellow Ford Ballroom at the Inn at Ole Miss as BFSO members distributed more than 1,000 gifts through the program. The items were donated by UM faculty, staff, students and alumni over a three-week period. The number of presents given hit a new record.

Reception at the event was enthusiastic.

“Without this event, lots of kids wouldn’t have very much on Christmas Day,” said Pauline Beard of Oxford, a general maintenance worker. “Every little bit helps and a little goes a long way.”

Donations are appreciated by BFSO officials.

“The thoughtfulness and outpouring of support from the UM family has been nothing short of amazing each year,” said Donald Cole, associate provost and assistant to the chancellor for multicultural affairs. “By helping others, we have truly captured the spirit of the holidays.”

New teddy bears, children’s books and toys have been collected for children of custodial and grounds workers since 1997.

Ole Miss Named Bronze-Level Bicycle Friendly University

League of American Bicyclists recognizes UM efforts to advance cycling on campus

Students return to campus for the first day of the 2015 Spring Semester. Photo by Nathan Latil/Ole Miss Communications

Students return to campus for the first day of the 2015 Spring Semester. Photo by Nathan Latil/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi’s continued efforts to improve bicycle infrastructure and advocacy on campus have been recognized by the League of American Bicyclists with a bronze-level Bicycle Friendly University award.

The award comes after a year of implementing recommendations from the league, which were passed along after Ole Miss received an honorable mention BFU award in 2014. UM is the only university in the state to receive such a designation.

“We are very excited to reach this level,” said Mike Harris, UM director of parking and transportation. “This award reflects the work of many individuals, departments and groups on campus. We still have work to do, but we have made great strides to support a stronger bike community and more complete network of routes and amenities. The designation helps reinforce our commitment to continue to move forward with these important initiatives.”

Over the past year, the university has made several efforts to promote cycling on campus. The UM Bike Shop rented its entire fleet of rental bicycles to students, faculty and staff through the Rebel Pedals Bike Share program for the semester, and it has begun offering bicycle maintenance workshops.

In June, the new Active Transportation Advisory Committee spearheaded the installation of a Complete Streets Pop Up project on University Avenue, to experience a new street configuration designed for all users of the road, including cyclists, pedestrians and motorists. The committee, made up of faculty, staff and students, advises the university on issues related to active transportation modes and coordinates with relevant departments, including Facilities Planning and the Department of Parking and Transportation.

“The overall goal is to make biking a more accessible mode of transportation for students, faculty and staff,” said Rebecca Vorisek, a junior international studies major from New Orleans who is working as a sustainable transportation intern for the Office of Sustainability and the Department of Parking and Transportation. “One of the big areas that we are focusing on now is safety, both for cyclists and motorists. I’d personally like to make it so that people feel more comfortable biking on campus, especially incoming freshman and people who are considering biking for the first time.”

With the designation, UM joins more than 127 BFUs in 42 states and the District of Columbia working to foster a more bike-friendly culture on campus. The league evaluates universities on bicycle-related engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement, evaluation and planning. Institutions that receive a BFU designation are eligible to receive honorable mention, bronze, silver, gold or platinum levels.

“In its fourth year, we’ve seen the Bicycle Friendly University program reach an exciting level of growth and momentum, as more and more campuses support bicycling in new and innovative ways,” said Amelia Neptune, the group’s Bicycle Friendly University program manager. “From bike storage inside dorm rooms to bicycle-powered music festivals, we applaud this round of BFUs for raising the standard of what a bicycle-friendly campus looks like.”

Moving forward, the university will have access to a variety of free tools and technical assistance from the league to continue working to become more bicycle-friendly. To learn more about biking at UM, visit http://bike.olemiss.edu/. To learn more about the Bicycle Friendly University program, visit http://www.bikeleague.org/university.

UM Ranked Among Nation’s Best MBA Programs

Campus and online programs rise in prestigious Businessweek and U.S. News listings

Holman Hall

Holman Hall

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi School of Business Administration has risen significantly on Bloomberg Businessweek’s 2015 list of Best MBA programs.

UM ranked No. 69 this year in the second year that Bloomberg Businessweek has compiled the list. This is up seven places from its No. 76 position a year ago. Bloomberg compiled data from more than 13,150 students, 28,540 alumni and 1,460 recruiters. The university ranked highest in the student survey and job placement areas of the five-part survey.

“We are excited about the ranking, and it indicates the wonderful work of our faculty and staff in recruiting exceptional students and creating meaningful educational opportunities,” said Ken Cyree, dean of the UM business school. “The ranking will help our academic reputation, but is more of a reflection of what is already happening in the school and MBA program.”

The Ole Miss MBA program is an exceptional value for students, said Ann Canty, associate professor of management and faculty director of the MBA program.

“Students get an outstanding educational experience from an internationally accredited and highly respected business school at an affordable cost,” Canty said. “Most MBA programs are much more expensive.”

Cyree attributed much of the business school’s success to hiring talented faculty who understand its mission of providing high-quality teaching and research, as well as the engagement of its MBA board who have diligently worked to create an environment of learning the soft skills – such as speaking, writing and job-seeking – to help bolster solid academic preparation.

“Of course we could not do this without the intentional effort to recruit the best students, and our staff has been instrumental in raising the bar for admissions, which helps enhance our success,” he said. “Most importantly, it is rewarding that our graduates will benefit from the MBA degree and this ranking helps indicate the value that is obtained through earning an Ole Miss MBA.”

MBA_LogoTypeUM also recently was ranked among the Top 14 online MBA programs by U.S. News. The 36-hour online program, designed for working professionals, is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

The program may be completed in two years by taking two courses in fall, spring and summer. There is no residency requirement and students are not charged nonresident fees. More than 70 percent of the online students complete the MBA program in two years.

“Support from the MBA Alumni Board makes our program unique,” said Del Hawley, associate professor of finance and senior associate dean of the business school. “The board is made up of alumni who work at successful businesses, such as FedEx, Auto Zone and KPMG. Members come to campus several times a year and work one-on-one with our students.”

Alumni also lead professional development workshops for students with the goal of making Ole Miss MBAs stand out.

“They want Ole Miss graduates to have a polished resume in their hand, to walk with confidence into an interview and to be a valued employee in their company,” said Ashley Jones, director of MBA administration. “Recent exit interviews with students indicate the MBA students are successful in their job search. According to interviews conducted with May and August graduates, 67 percent had jobs prior to degree completion. The average compensation was $63,000.”

For more information about Bloomberg rankings, visit http://bloomberg.com/bestschools2015.

For more information about UM’s online MBA program, go to http://www.bus.olemiss.edu.

UM Innovation Center Honored as Nation’s Best Emerging Program

International award credits CIE's goals and curriculum

Owens Alexander, adjunct instructor of management and advisor to UM's Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, lectures at the CIE, which has been named one of the best centers of its kind.

Owens Alexander, adjunct instructor of management and advisor to UM’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, lectures at the CIE, which has been named one of the best centers of its kind.

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship has been recognized as one of the best up-and-coming centers of its kind. 

The Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers honored the CIE with the Award for Emerging Entrepreneurship Center at its annual conference Oct. 31 in Gainesville, Florida. The CIE shared the first-place win with the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada.

This was the CIE’s first time to compete for the award, which is given to the best emerging university entrepreneurship center. 

“For the center, this is our first big recognition outside of the state,” said Rich Gentry, CIE director. “We’ve been so fortunate to find such a strong base of support amongst our students and alumni, and it is such an honor to bring back something to university that validates that commitment. We can’t wait to get started on the Gillespie Business Plan competition and the rest of our spring program as we build our center into the best program in the SEC.”

Award recipients participated in a multiround judging process that began in July and concluded in October. Each applying center had to be nominated, and a five-page description of the centers’ goals and programs was submitted to the judging committee. For the Award for Emerging Entrepreneurship Center, the nominated centers had to be established less than five years ago.

“In the two years since the center was established, we have been working tirelessly to bring a world-class program to Ole Miss,” Gentry said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do still, but this award says to me that we’re on the right track.”

Clay Dibrell, associate professor of management and holder of the William W. Gresham Jr. Entrepreneurial Professorship, is also the CIE’s executive director. He said the recognition wouldn’t have been achieved without the hard work of the faculty and the center’s campus partners. 

“Our goal is to build off the excitement and energy generated by this award, as we strive to enhance our programming efforts to make the University of Mississippi an internationally recognized destination for students who want to create new ventures in a nurturing environment,” Dibrell said. 

The Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers, established in 1997, was developed to facilitate collaboration between the world’s entrepreneurship centers. Almost 300 universities from the United States and other countries are represented within the group.

The CIE, which is dedicated to the success of student entrepreneurs at Ole Miss, was developed to inspire students to create innovative businesses and also help increase the economic value of all businesses in Mississippi. The CIE is an independent program that runs in conjunction with the university’s School of Business Administration.

For more information on the UM Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, visit http://umfoundation.com/innovation or call 662-915-3737.

Hapten Sciences to Begin Clinical Trials for Poison Ivy Vaccine

Compound based on UM, ElSohly Laboratories research could prevent itchy rash from forming

Poison ivy

Poison ivy

MEMPHIS, Tenn. and OXFORD, Miss. – Hapten Sciences Inc., a privately held biotechnology company, will soon conduct a Phase I clinical trial of its lead product candidate, a compound based on research conducted at the University of Mississippi and ElSohly Laboratories that could prevent contact dermatitis due to exposure to poison ivy, oak and sumac.

The company obtained a worldwide, exclusive license for the technology from UM, submitted an Investigational New Drug application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is able to initiate dosing of the compound, PDC-APB, in healthy volunteers.

“Since company inception, Hapten Sciences has pursued an aggressive and efficient development timeline,” said Raymond J. Hage Jr., Hapten Sciences chief executive officer. “We are enthusiastic that we are able to begin clinical development of a first-in-class compound that can potentially prevent contact dermatitis, associated medical treatments and lost time at work.”

Mahmoud ElSohly, research professor in the UM School of Pharmacy‘s Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and professor of pharmaceutics, Khalid Ashfaq, principal research scientist II at the School of Pharmacy, and Waseem Gul, associate director of research at ElSohly Laboratories, initially developed the technology and provided support during preclinical development.

“This is a very exciting development in the potential prevention of a very serious allergic reaction,” ElSohly said. “My colleagues and I are thrilled to be a part of this groundbreaking clinical trial.”

The trial will be a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of single ascending doses and is intended to determine the safety and tolerability of PDC-APB. Hapten Sciences is also planning a multiple ascending dose study in individuals who are sensitive to poison ivy. The studies are slated for 2016.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, allergic contact dermatitis is the single most common plant dermatitis in North America. Individuals at greatest risk for significant morbidity include those who face significant job related exposure (e.g., foresters, firefighters and farmers) and children who often become sensitized in early childhood.

“The studies will provide key data on safety and tolerability after one and multiple doses,” Hage said. “In addition, the company will collect information on biological activity in preventing contact dermatitis. We would like to thank Mahmoud ElSohly, his colleagues at UM and the ElSohly Laboratories team for their work.”

Hapten Sciences is a privately held biotechnology company based in Memphis, Tennessee, that is pioneering a unique approach to the prevention of contact dermatitis using a small-molecule vaccine known as a hapten. Hapten Sciences is also reviewing other applications related to this approach for other dermatology conditions. Hapten’s lead investor is MB Venture Partners.

ElSohly Laboratories Inc. is a small business Mississippi corporation founded in 1985 and specializes in analytical and product development activities with 21 employees.

Natchez Native Joins University’s CEED Program

Janae Owens hopes to use her experiences to help create opportunities across the state

Janae Owens (left) and Albert Nylander

Janae Owens (left) and Albert Nylander

OXFORD, Miss. – Growing up on the banks of the Mississippi River in Natchez can be an adventure that immerses residents in the heart of a rich, vibrant history that is complemented by Southern cultural celebrations and events.

However, accompanying that atmosphere is a state of wealth that serves as a jarring contrast to the poverty, crime and economic stagnation seen by LaKyre’a Janae Owens, who was born into a family that resided in Natchez for generations. A graduate of Natchez High School and Mississippi State University, she lives in Oxford, where she is pursuing a master’s degree at the University of Mississippi.

While leaving her hometown was bittersweet for Owens, it also paved the way for her to step back and see what the city has to offer and what resources are needed to provide growth.

“I believe the unique history and live culture of Natchez can be seen by anyone,” Owens said. “That down-home Southern atmosphere can be used as a valuable resource, when envisioning the city in unity, to help overcome the health disparities, social inequalities and illiteracy that exist throughout the city.”

Owens said she believes it is crucial that the community find ways to create economic growth and develop opportunities for all the people of Natchez. That’s why Owens joined the McLean Institute for Public Service and Community Engagement at UM as a graduate innovation fellow.

Vaughn Grisham, a leader in the field of community development, founded the McLean Institute at Ole Miss in 1984. From that foundation, the McLean Institute is being dramatically expanded as part of UM 2020, the university’s strategic plan that calls for an increase in service to benefit Mississippi.

The McLean Institute seeks to make community engagement a distinctive part of the university’s educational culture by promoting engaged scholarship and reflective community action.

Owens has been named a McLean Institute Innovation Fellow within the institute’s Catalyzing Entrepreneurship and Economic Development Initiative, known as CEED. Throughout the year, she will be working alongside some 30 other UM students to establish partnerships throughout rural communities in Mississippi.

CEED organizers hope that these partnerships will help boost economic development and entrepreneurship throughout these communities.

“Janae’s role as an innovation fellow at the McLean Institute provides her the opportunity to engage her background from Natchez and her health education/promotion major to advance the mission of the McLean Institute,” said. J.R. Love, CEED project manager.

The goal of each innovation fellow is to develop a specific sustainable solution within a community. The scholars attain the solutions by making connections with communities and by developing a method of research that includes participating in a summerlong internship in their chosen community. Each fellow presents some sort of business plan or research paper at the end of two years.

Although she has many paths left to explore before selecting an area to address, Owens said she is considering focusing her efforts on improving the health, wellness and overall quality of life throughout Mississippi.

She said she hopes her service to the state will play a part in nurturing the growth and development of future generations of Mississippians and, as a result, having a healthier and better-prepared workforce will contribute to sustaining economic development in all corners of the Magnolia State.

UM Forward Together Campaign Exceeds Goal, Announces Extension

Ole Miss Athletics Foundation raises $155 million in donations toward campaign, eyes $200 million

The Pavilion at Ole Miss, a new $95 million arena opening in January, was made possible through the Forward Together campaign. Photo by Joshua McCoy/Ole Miss Athletics

The Pavilion at Ole Miss, a new $95 million arena opening in January, was made possible through the Forward Together campaign. Photo by Joshua McCoy/Ole Miss Athletics

OXFORD, Miss. – Thanks to the generous support of Rebel Nation, the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation has surpassed its $150 million goal for the Forward Together campaign. With the help of 3,425 donors, the campaign achieved its goal in just over a four-year span, raising $155 million.

“On behalf of Ole Miss Athletics, I want to thank everyone in the Ole Miss family and beyond who have made a contribution toward the Forward Together campaign and helping us not only reach our $150 million goal, but surpass it sooner than expected,” said Ross Bjork, University of Mississippi athletics director. “When I arrived, I stated that we must ‘pull the rope in the same direction because you love our student-athletes,’ so I appreciate everyone who has become a follower of this approach.

“In addition, we have the best fundraising staff in the country and their hard work has not gone unnoticed throughout our campaign. The generosity by Rebel Nation allows us to keep improving our athletics facilities and enhance the student-athlete and fan experience at Ole Miss. We will all be challenged with our new goal of $200 million, but we will continue to work with maximum effort to achieve goals on and off the field and move forward together as family.”

The Forward Together campaign started in August 2011 and raised $25 million in its first month. One year into the process, the campaign reached $75 million in gifts before surpassing $110 million in May 2014.

Today’s total of $155 million is the result of $56 million in philanthropic giving and $99 million in donations related to priority seating. Three hundred of the Vaught Society’s 375 active members have contributed to the Forward Together campaign, including 13 philanthropic gifts at the $1 million-and-above level.

“We are always amazed to see how generous Rebel Nation can be, and we look forward to seeing this excitement continue as we move ahead to reach our new goal,” said Keith Carter, Ole Miss senior associate athletics director for development and Athletics Foundation executive director. “Not only is the Forward Together campaign providing top-quality experiences and resources to be successful for our student-athletes, but it is also giving our fans the best game day atmospheres in the country.”

As part of the Forward Together campaign, multiple projects have either been completed or are underway. The Manning Center, the spectacular indoor practice facility, finished renovation in the spring of 2014. Vaught-Hemingway Stadium is in the midst of a facelift that will provide Rebel fans with an even greater game day atmosphere along with additional seating. Thirty luxury suites and 870 club seats were added to the south end zone, and the west skyboxes were renovated before the 2015 season.

With the campaign reaching its goal, Vaught-Hemingway will see more improvements next season. The north side of the stadium will be transformed into an exciting new “front door,” complete with a plaza and bell tower. The Walk of Champions will extend from the Grove to the plaza, which will include the new Jake Gibbs Letterwinner Walk. The series of columns will feature the names of every student-athlete who has earned a varsity letter at Ole Miss, dating back to the first football team in 1893.

Closing in the north end zone will bring stadium seating above 64,000. Finally, new videoboards along with improved audio systems will be ready for the 2016 season.

The Forward Together campaign also brought the concept of The Pavilion at Ole Miss to fruition. The $95 million state-of-the-art arena will seat roughly 9,500 fans for Rebel basketball games and a variety of other events. The Pavilion at Ole Miss will open its doors Jan. 7, when the Rebels host Alabama.

Looking to continue the momentum and success of the Forward Together campaign, the Athletics Foundation announces a $50 million stretch goal for the next phase of projects. These projects will include renovations of the following facilities: FedEx Student-Athlete Success Center, Gillom Sports Center, Ole Miss Track and Field Complex, Starnes Athletic Training Center, football practice fields and a new indoor tennis facility.

Along with upgrades to each of those athletics facilities, additional enhancements to Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field will improve different sections of the facility to benefit the team and its fans. More details regarding this project will be announced later.

As part of the next phase, $35 million of the $200 million goal will go toward current capital project costs and $15 million toward a capital investment fund to continuously maintain and improve all Ole Miss athletics facilities.


About Ole Miss Athletics Foundation

The Ole Miss Athletics Foundation is the fundraising department of Ole Miss athletics and provides resources for student-athletes through scholarships, facilities, coaches’ compensation and other areas of the programs. For more information about the foundation and its initiatives, visit http://givetoathletics.com or call 662-915-7159.

Ole Miss Athletics Receives $25 Million, Its Largest Gift Ever

Funds will support the Forward Together campaign and future scholarships

Dr. Gerald 'Doc' Hollingsworth (left), a longtime donor to UM athletics, spends time with head football coach Hugh Freeze.

Dr. Gerald ‘Doc’ Hollingsworth (left), a longtime donor to UM athletics, spends time with head football coach Hugh Freeze.

OXFORD, Miss – The entire population of Centreville, Dr. Gerald “Doc” Hollingsworth’s hometown, could fit in just one section of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium/Hollingsworth Field.

When he left for the University of Mississippi in 1949, the average U.S. household income was about $3,200 a year. His father, who had a second-grade education, was a laborer with the Mississippi Department of Transportation and also farmed and worked various jobs to make ends meet. Meanwhile, his devoted mother, whom Hollingsworth describes as “a great lady, the sweetest woman I’ve ever known,” encouraged and supported the family in their home.

“We were poor but everyone else was, too,” said Hollingsworth, now of Niceville, Florida, who recently contributed the equivalent of $25 million to Ole Miss athletics. Of the donation, $10 million is a cash gift to be used through the Forward Together campaign; the remainder is in the form of a charitable remainder trust that will establish the Gerald M. Hollingsworth, M.D., Athletic Scholarship Endowment.

A portion of Hollingsworth’s donation, which is the single largest gift not only to the campaign but to Ole Miss athletics as a whole, will be used to support the north end zone expansion of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, where the playing field already bears his name.

In 1998, at a crucial phase in plans to attract private funds for a $13 million football stadium expansion, the Fort Walton Beach, Florida-based surgeon and entrepreneur stepped forward with a gift of $3 million, which brought his contributions to more than $5 million at the time and gave him naming rights to the gridiron.

“Transformational is the only adequate word I can summon when I think about Dr. Hollingsworth and the impact he has had on our entire university, ” said Ross Bjork, Ole Miss athletics director. “‘Doc’ continues to give to academic and athletic programs of the university, and his impact will be felt for eternity.

“Everyone who experiences Ole Miss as an alumnus, fan, coach, faculty, staff, student and student-athlete will see the difference his contributions have made to our beloved athletics program and university.”

Hollingsworth is most proud that his gift will be used to provide scholarships for student-athletes who may not otherwise be able to afford UM tuition.

“I hope it will motivate and stimulate other people to donate to the university because I think it’s a great school and the money will be put to good use to provide scholarship aid to students who would not be able to attend the university otherwise, as well as provide for needs they might have,” he said. “I’m just hoping that young people will have the great experience and the great benefit I derived from going to Ole Miss.”

In a way, Hollingsworth is encouraging others to attend the university, just as he was encouraged by his family doctor and role model, Dr. Earl Fyke. “He took me under his wing and convinced me I could go to Ole Miss with his help and could get a good education there and have a great experience, and he was certainly right.”

Hollingsworth received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from UM in 1953 and then attended two years of medical school at the university before completing his medical degree at Harvard University.

Hollingsworth said he vividly remembers the day he graduated from Ole Miss: “My family, my mother and father, came to see me graduate from chemical engineering. I was the first member of the family that ever finished college, so I know it made them proud.”

But Hollingsworth cherishes a particular day of his college career over all the others.

“My very favorite memory was watching Coach Johnny Vaught’s Rebels whip Maryland in the football game in 1953 and then celebrating with my classmates after that victory,” Hollingsworth said.

“We stormed the field. There’ve been just a lot of great memories and most have been associated with football games. ”

In fact, most of the people whom Hollingsworth counts among his best friends are Ole Miss football legends: Johnny Vaught, Johnny Cain, Wobble Davidson, Eddie Crawford, Warner Alford, Robert Khayat, Charlie Conerly and Archie Manning, to name a few.

“They’re just some great names I’ve grown to admire over the years, and I’m fortunate enough to have known all those people and be friends with them,” Hollingsworth said, adding to his list Bjork, Hugh Freeze and basketball standout Keith Carter, senior associate athletics director for development and executive director of the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation.

“They always treated me like a member of the Ole Miss family and I’ll certainly always be grateful for that.”

Carter said becoming acquainted with Hollingsworth has been a pleasure.

“Doc is one of the most genuine, humble and caring individuals I know,” he said. “He has a real desire to see our student-athletes succeed and his spirit of giving unconditionally toward that goal is one we should all strive for.”

After graduating from Harvard Medical School, Hollingsworth completed his surgical residency at Duval Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida. From 1957 to 1959, he was a U.S. Navy flight surgeon and then started his private medical practice in 1959 in Fort Walton Beach.

He was the team doctor for Choctawhatchee and Fort Walton Beach high schools for almost 35 years and helped found the All-Sports Association of Northwest Florida, which honored him with its Community Service Award for helping youngsters in athletics.

The Ole Miss chapter of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame honored the physician with the Amateur Football Award for contributions to the collegiate athletic world.

“He is one of our most outstanding and most generous graduates,” said Don Frugé, chair of the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation. “The fact that he has given so much to this university, as well as to the young people of his own community, speaks volumes about his kind, loving and generous spirit.”

Besides his medical practice, Hollingsworth owned a number of profitable luxury automobile dealerships in Fort Walton Beach and, over time, found great success in commercial real estate investing.

“I’m fortunate to have this money available and it just seemed like a need the university had,” said Hollingsworth of his decision to give to the Forward Together campaign. “I’ve benefited tremendously from the university and from my relationships and friendships with the people there in the Athletic Department over the years, and I just wanted to show my appreciation and possibly stimulate others to dig deep and also give aid to the university.”

To learn more about the Forward Together campaign and major gifts, contact Keith Carter at jkcarter@olemiss.edu, call 662-915-7159 or visit http://Givetoathletics.com.

Annual Egg Bowl Run Set for Nov. 23

ROTC cadets will carry game ball from Oxford to Starkville

UM ROTC cadets on the first leg of the inaugural Egg Bowl Run.

UM ROTC cadets on the first leg of the inaugural Egg Bowl Run.

OXFORD, Miss. – For the third time, the University of Mississippi and Mississippi State University will join forces for a common cause before the state’s biggest rivalry with the 2015 Egg Bowl Run, coming up Nov. 23.

Three years ago, Master Sgt. Matt Hayes, senior military instructor for Ole Miss Army ROTC, wanted to create a way to bring the community together during the month of Veterans Day.

“It’s a way for us to recognize our future leaders and celebrate the camaraderie of serving together,” Hayes said. “Participating in the run each year shows discipline, sacrifice and courage while the cadets are learning and building friendships.”

Last year, the ROTC expanded the Egg Bowl Run to include a fundraiser for the ROTC activities fund, which allows the program to host events and ceremonies for cadets as well as offer scholarships. More than $5,000 was raised in 2014 through the Ignite Ole Miss crowdfunding platform.

Senior battalion commander Michael Resha of Birmingham, Alabama, has participated in the run all three years.

“It’s a great way to continue the rivalry between Ole Miss and Mississippi State,” Resha said. “It’s a great way for the cadets to bond and feel that we’re actively making a difference in this program.”

Senior cadet Cody Becker of Madison also has participated in the run for three years and is a recipient of an ROTC scholarship, so he said he recognizes the importance of keeping a fund to offer opportunities to others, as well as the importance of bonding with other cadets.

“It’s definitely an incentive to work harder every day,” he said. “This run gives us a chance to work with Mississippi State cadets in a way that we haven’t in the past. The Egg Bowl rivalry is such a big deal that we thought we should join our programs together. We’re rivals now, but when we graduate, we’ll be brothers in arms, so we’re creating a bond that’s good for the U.S. Army and for America.”

The runners will begin their journey from the south end zone entrance of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium and be escorted down University Avenue to Highway 7 for the 50-mile leg to the halfway point in Calhoun City, where they hand off the game ball to MSU cadets.

“This is an opportunity for our cadets to give back to the community and to show solidarity with Mississippi State,” said Lt. Col. Scott Walton, UM professor of military science.

Community participation in greeting the runners has grown tremendously, he said.

“Cheering them on during the run gives them a sense that they’re a part of the team,” he said. “It’s great because we’re isolated from the community most of the time.”

The runners will leave campus at 5 a.m. Nov. 23. Community members are encouraged to cheer on the cadets along the way until they reach their destination in Calhoun City by midday.

UM Professor Raises Funds for St. Jude

Jack McClurg runs in memory of granddaughter Lylah

Jack McClurg will be running in this year’s St. Jude half-marathon in memory of his granddaughter, Lylah.

Jack McClurg will be running in this year’s St. Jude half-marathon in memory of his granddaughter, Lylah.

OXFORD, Miss. – The two worst days of Jack McClurg’s life came within just 17 months of each other.

“In between those 17 months are some of the most precious memories we’ll ever have,” said McClurg, an associate professor of practice at the Center for Manufacturing Excellence at the University of Mississippi.

And those memories have inspired him to give back to the place that did so much for his family during that time: St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.

The first of those terrible days was April 11, 2014, when McClurg’s 2-1/2-year-old granddaughter, Lylah, was taken to LeBonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis because something was wrong. That was the first day the word “cancer” was used.

Three days later, after being transferred to St. Jude, Lylah was diagnosed with Stage 4 neuroblastoma. By November of last year, Lylah had completed six rounds of chemotherapy, two major surgeries and a partial stem cell transplant procedure at the hospital.

It was during that time of tough treatment that McClurg, also an Ole Miss alumnus, decided to train for the St. Jude Memphis Half Marathon last December to help raise funds for families undergoing treatment at St. Jude – including his granddaughter and her family – and to support cancer research.

At the race last year, he wore a T-shirt that said, “Run like your life depends on it. My granddaughter’s does.”

The second bad day was Sept. 15, 2015, when Lylah finished her own race.

This year, McClurg is again training for the half marathon. But this time, it’s in memory of Lylah. His son Joshua, a junior at Oxford High School, will be racing with him.

Lylah was spunky, strong and always a happy little girl, said her mother, Katie McGaughy.

“I feel like Lylah touched a lot of people and she did so just by smiling,” she said. “I don’t even think she had any idea how much strength she had. She had no idea, but it was amazing.”

Her smile is something McClurg will never forget.

“She had a dimple on one side whenever she smiled,” he said. “I’m going to miss that until the day I die.”

The family spent 16 of those 17 months at St. Jude. After witnessing all the efforts of the hospital and staff attending to the everyday needs of Lylah and her family, McClurg was inspired to participate in fundraising efforts.

“It’s amazing to see approximately 20,000 people come together for a single purpose,” McClurg said after running the race last year.

All donations raised by the race participants go to the hospital for research and support for families during their ongoing treatments.

“St. Jude covers everything that insurance doesn’t cover,” he said. “They make it such that the family of the child really has nothing to worry about except getting their child better. They provide world-class medical care, housing for short-term and long-term patients, food while the family is displaced, and so many other services.”

McClurg said the strength he saw in the children receiving such difficult medical treatments was inspiring, as they were smiling through it all.

So when there’s a day he doesn’t feel like running or thinks the training is too hard, he thinks back to those children.

“Lylah was pretty young when she was diagnosed and she just never really had the opportunity to go out and play like a normal child,” he said. “I remind myself when I’m out there that there are kids at St. Jude right now that would love to be able to do what I’m doing.”

He said the support that his family received during that difficult time was overwhelming.

On continuing his support of St. Jude, he said, “It means so much to us because I don’t want Lylah to be forgotten. She had a very short life, but she’s still here. She’s still contributing to a cure for this horrible disease.

“Lylah will be in my heart forever.”

To support Jack McClurg or his son, Joshua, during their race and donate directly to cancer research, visit http://heroes.stjude.org/Lylahs_Pop (Jack’s fund raising page) or http://heroes.stjude.org/Lylahs_Uncle_J (Joshua’s fundraising page).