UM Economics Student Wins Prestigious Prize

Doctoral candidate honored for research on relationship between homeownership and unemployment

George Akpandjar

George Akpandjar

OXFORD, Miss. – George Akpandjar, a doctoral student in the University of Mississippi Department of Economics, is the winner of the 2015 Barry M. Moriarty Graduate Paper Competition sponsored by the Southern Regional Science Association.

Akpandjar, of New Castle, Deleware, was recognized for his paper titled “The Effect of Homeownership on Unemployment: Outcomes and Implications,” based on his dissertation. Akpandjar investigated the relationship between homeownership and unemployment using a job search framework. He discovered that the increased search costs associated with homeownership do not weaken employment opportunities for homeowners.

“Results from the paper are very important for federal and state governments’ policy on homeownership,” Akpandjar said. “Going by the result from the paper, homeownership should be encouraged by federal and state government as higher homeownership rates across the country will lead to lower unemployment rates since homeowners are less likely to be unemployed.”

He competed nationally for the $1,000 prize. Previous winners have come from major universities such as Duke University, Ohio State, Texas A&M and the universities of North Carolina, Southern California and Texas.

“It feels great to win this award,” he said. “It makes me believe I can contribute something meaningful to society. I am really gratified that all the efforts that I put into my research have been recognized.”

Akpandjar entered the Ph.D. program in 2010. He has also been a graduate instructor of economic principles and statistics for several semesters.

“George has been an outstanding student and is highly regarded by the undergraduates he teaches, his fellow graduate students and faculty alike,” said Walt Mayer, UM professor of economics.

After graduation, Akpandjar plans to begin a career with Bank of America as a quantitative operations associate.

UM Class Explores ‘Race, Place and Space’

Students spend time learning from people who aren't like them

Barbara Combs

Barbara Combs

OXFORD, Miss. – A University of Mississippi class explores the significance of “race, place and space” to modern identity formation by having students place themselves in the shoes of people who aren’t like them. 

Barbara Combs, an assistant professor of sociology and anthropology, teaches the class, which is cross-listed through the departments of Sociology, African-American Studies, Gender Studies and Southern Studies. Its foundation is a multidisciplinary exploration of the influence of social, political, cultural and historical factors on the development of real and perceived “racialized places and spaces,” identities and experiences in America. The class of about 25 students places a special emphasis on gender and the South.

“I’m interested in how those variables of ‘race, place and space’ work together to encourage community or discourage community, or promote change or take away from change,” Combs said.

This semester marks the fifth time Combs has taught the class. She encourages students to learn from people who are part of groups they don’t fit into as part of an assignment called “public spaces, private faces.” They observe persons in that group, and then they interject themselves into that situation.

A female student who saw herself as thin, and had been teased about it, wanted to understand how overweight people are treated. She made a “fat suit” and walked around campus wearing it. She visited the Turner Center and was surprised at how differently she was treated and also surprised about how quickly her self-confidence vanished.

“As she tried to cross the street, no cars would stop to let her by,” Combs said. “She had never had that experience before. Normally, she would just walk out (without looking) and cars would stop. When she went into the building, she wanted to take the elevator, but she feared people would talk about her for taking the elevator, so she took the stairs, and with each step she wondered what those behind her were saying about the girth of her behind.”

A young black man decided to attend a predominantly white local church. He was welcomed at first, but the next week returned with a friend, and they presented themselves as a homosexual couple. The pastor greeted them at the church steps and told them “God bless you” but said they were not welcome there. Because of the experience the week before, it was clear the treatment was because they were perceived as homosexual.

A black female student went to a local spa wearing a hijab, which is a head covering commonly worn by Muslim women. She was asked to leave because she was making the other customers, who were all white, uncomfortable. She was told she could come back after hours and receive a 75 percent discount.

Another student observed handicapped persons, then spent a day in an electric wheelchair at Walmart to see what that experience is like. The student, who has an outgoing personality, encountered people who looked away or were overly helpful because of his perceived disability. Both attitudes were off-putting to the student, Combs said. He joked with some of them that his disability wasn’t contagious.

“All students have the experience of being bothered or treated badly because of something that’s not in their control,” Combs said. “I encourage students to harness that feeling and use it to understand the oppression faced by others in society. If a sense of learning and community doesn’t happen in their larger classes, this class always kind of redeems it.”

Latisha Baker, a senior psychology major from Bay Springs, said the class is both “enlightening and alarming” because it teaches about stigmas, perspectives, social norms and self-identity, and it has made her more conscious of her own perspectives.

“Being able to have a class built around race, place, and space creates a platform for students to not only learn, but to be able to learn from others through their personal experiences with the subjects,” Baker said. “With all these things in mind, I can say that the class teaches how to understand others, shows you how to see from various standpoints and to recognize that the understanding of race, place, space play a pivotal role in our lives.”

Juliana Headings, a senior sociology major from Tupelo, said the class was one of her favorites at UM.

“There’s a diverse group in the class and this is a testament to just how diverse and essential the knowledge of space and place is to understanding our world and interactions with those in it,” Headings said. “I am so thrilled and feel privileged to be able to be in (Combs’) class. It has influenced me and my ideas for future studies so much that I am brimming with excitement about graduate school thesis opportunities.”

Memorial Scholarship Created by Papa John’s CEO and Archie Manning

Fund memorializes late UM student Fenton Kottkamp

Fenton (left), Harrison, Rush, Jane and Stephen Kottkamp gather in one of their favorite spots, the Grove at the University of Mississippi. Fenton Kottkamp’s spirit will live on at Ole Miss, where a scholarship has been created in his memory. His parents will accept his diploma at the May 9 Commencement. Courtesy photo.

Fenton (left), Harrison, Rush, Jane and Stephen Kottkamp gather in one of their favorite spots, the Grove at the University of Mississippi. Fenton Kottkamp’s spirit will live on at Ole Miss, where a scholarship has been created in his memory. His parents will accept his diploma at the May 9 Commencement. Courtesy photo.

OXFORD, Miss. – “In honor of Fenton, please love one another,” read the last line of the obituary for University of Mississippi senior John Fenton Kottkamp, a request added by his dad, Stephen Kottkamp of Louisville, Kentucky.

“Fenton would want everyone to love one another, and he would want all of us to go forward with our lives,” said the dad, describing his son as having a “huge heart with great love for his family and friends.”

And people likewise loved Fenton, as evidenced from the outpouring from around the country when he lost his life in a tragic Feb. 25 accident in Oxford. He and his identical twin brother, Rush, were slated to graduate May 9, both from UM’s Patterson School of Accountancy. Fenton’s parents will accept his diploma during Commencement exercises.

Fenton’s influence will continue on campus for generations to come through the Fenton Kottkamp Memorial Scholarship Endowment, created by John Schnatter, president and CEO of Papa John’s Pizza, and Archie Manning, businessman and Mississippi football icon.

The Kottkamp brothers chose Ole Miss because of its nationally recognized accountancy program and well-rounded college experience, along with the university’s size and tightknit community.

“Ole Miss gave us the best four years anyone could have wanted,” Rush Kottkamp said. “Fenton loved everything about Ole Miss and Oxford. He loved every single sporting event. No matter what time the football game started, Fenton was in the Grove as early as possible.”

Stephen Kottkamp recalls spending Thanksgiving 2014 in Oxford with wife Jane and youngest son Harrison, preparing dinner for the twins’ friends who lived too far from campus to go home for the holiday.

“We love Ole Miss for Ole Miss,” Stephen Kottkamp said. “Ole Miss became our happy place. As Rush said to Jane on the way home from Fenton’s visitation, ‘Fenton and I caught lightning in a bottle when we chose Ole Miss.’ Fenton and Rush hit their stride in the Ole Miss environment; they blossomed and excelled. Our family will strive to make Ole Miss our happy place again.”

Schnatter encourages others to honor Fenton by supporting the scholarship fund.

“My family and I have been deeply impacted by the tragic passing of Fenton Kottkamp, not only because of the fine young man that Fenton was, but also because of the relationship between the Kottkamp family and my family,” he said. “Over the years, my wife, Annette, and I have become close to Fenton’s mother and father, Jane and Steve. Fenton’s youngest brother, Harrison, can often be found at our home hanging out with our son, Beau.”

Fenton’s Ole Miss experience was not lost on his four-year journey in Mississippi, Schnatter said. “Fenton and his brother Rush both served as interns at Papa John’s headquarters not far from our Anchorage, Kentucky, homes. Ole Miss clearly had an impact on Fenton; he was bright and ambitious and welcomed the experience. He embodied all of the qualities we want from a young professional looking to make his place in the world.

“Working with Ole Miss alumnus Archie Manning to create the Fenton Kottkamp Memorial Scholarship Endowment was a way for my family and other donors to honor Fenton’s memory and highlight for the Kottkamp family how much affection and respect we hold for their son.”

Manning agreed, adding, “We are deeply saddened by the loss of Fenton, a beloved member of our Ole Miss family. Our hearts continue to be with the Kottkamp family during this difficult time. We hope others will join us in remembering this extraordinary young man by helping build this scholarship endowment to help others experience Ole Miss in Fenton’s name.”

The Kottkamps agree that Fenton would be pleased to have his name on a scholarship. “He probably would have been a little embarrassed, too, for all the attention – but very proud,” Jane Kottkamp said.

In addition to his great love of people, among other descriptions family and friends offer include “excellent student,” “fun and funny,” “welcoming and kind,” “compassionate” and “adventuresome.”

The scholarship committee will look for recipients who embody Fenton’s spirit, character and integrity. Those eligible for consideration are students in the Patterson School of Accountancy and the School of Business Administration. Recipients must maintain a minimum 3.0 grade-point average.

The scholarship is an appropriate means of remembering Fenton, said Mark Wilder, dean of the Patterson School.

“His life had such a positive impact on the faculty and students in our school, as well as other members of the Ole Miss family. Fenton was always friendly, cheerful, smiling and never in a bad mood. He was instantly likeable because of his good nature. Fenton worked very hard in school, and his determination showed. It was obvious that his parents had raised him right.”

Jane Kottkamp said she feels Fenton’s deep enjoyment of the university stemmed from his devotion to family, something she also sees in Ole Miss.

“Fenton was always happy and excited to come home and be close to his family and cousins in Kentucky, and then he would be eager to get back to his college home,” she said. “Ole Miss is the place where you develop lifelong friends – friends who are like family – and not just among students but also parents of students. We hope Fenton’s scholarship will make it possible for other young people to go to Ole Miss and also for them to be a part of this great tradition of developing great lasting relationships.”

Laura Johnson of Atlanta, a senior education major and close friend of Fenton, graduates in May and intends to carry forward his impact.

“Fenton was an all-around great guy,” Johnson said. “He was so inspirational in that he lived every day to the fullest. He was always down for a night out with friends and taking new adventures. I met Fenton at the freshman welcome picnic the day before classes started, and we had an instant friendship. He’s been my best friend for the past four years at Ole Miss.

“I want the individuals who receive this scholarship to know that Fenton always had a smile on his face and made any situation positive. To recipients, I encourage you to aspire to live your lives in a similar way – to live life to the fullest and to take chances. Fenton always took the extra step to make others happy and include everyone before even thinking about himself. I aspire to live my life like him and to be welcoming to everyone.”

A graduate of Anchorage Public School and DuPont Manual High School, Fenton planned to pursue a master’s degree in accountancy at Ole Miss beginning this fall.

His goal was a career in public accounting, but he recognized that his degree provided many career options. He was a member of St. Francis in the Fields Episcopal Church and Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, and an avid Rebels and Louisville Cardinals supporter.

In addition to his parents and brothers, Fenton is survived by his grandparents, Dr. Wayne and Eileen Kotcamp; and a large number of aunts, uncles and cousins. He also leaves his loyal dog, Biggs.

Individuals and organizations can make gifts to the Fenton Kottkamp Memorial Scholarship Endowment by sending a check with the fund noted in the memo line to the University of Mississippi Foundation, 406 University Ave., Oxford, MS 38655 or online at For more information, contact Brett Barefoot, director of development for Parents Leadership, at 662-915-2711 or

Celebration of Achievement Honors Minorities, People of Color

Annual event begins at 5:30 p.m. May 8 in Tad Smith Coliseum

Students are honored with medals at the 2014 Celebration of Achievement

Students are honored with medals at the 2014 Celebration of Achievement

OXFORD, Miss. – As part of University of Mississippi’s Commencement activities, the Center for Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement is honoring more than 230 minority graduates who have excelled during their tenure as students.

The annual Celebration of Achievement is set for 5:30 p.m. May 8 in Tad Smith Coliseum. The free event is open to the public.

“This event is an opportunity for family, friends and the university community to come together and honor graduating students of color and other underrepresented populations,” said Courtney Pearson, a graduate assistant and program co-coordinator. “Each honoree is invited to have an escort who will have the privilege of presenting them with a medal that honors their achievements here. We would like to increase the number of attendees that come out and support these graduates that are being honored.”

Program participants include Brandi Hephner Labanc, vice-chancellor for student affairs; Valeria Ross, associate dean of students; Charles Ross, chair and professor of African-American studies; Donald Cole, special assistant to the chancellor for multicultural affairs; and Julia Bussade, instructor in Spanish and Portuguese.

Chase Moore, former director of the UM Gospel Choir and associate director of the Student Activities Association, will sing the university alma mater. Student reflections will be given by Camila Versaquez, president of the Latin American Student Organization, and Briana O’Neil, president of the Black Student Union.

Begun by Valeria Ross years ago, the Celebration of Achievement program has become very meaningful to students who have been honored.

“To a first-generation college student coming from a family who thought they would never be able to afford to put their child through college, the Celebration of Achievement ceremony means everything,” said Cedric Garron of Winona, a 2014 recipient. “As a minority student, my decision to attend the University of Mississippi was questioned by my community, my classmates and sometimes by my friends. For an extended period of time I began to doubt my own choice, but I entered in the fall of 2009 with very high hopes.”

Garron said his tenure at UM was never a perfect, stress-free journey.

“I struggled academically and socially during my freshman and sophomore year, but with the help of the amazing faculty and staff members I was able to eventually fill out the first of hopefully many degree applications,” he said.

As graduation approached, Garron found himself thinking of how he wasn’t going to be recognized as an honor graduate or be the person wearing multiple cords from those prestigious honor societies so many of his classmates had joined. What he did have to look forward to was the Celebration of Achievement ceremony.

“Seeing how proud my mother was to escort me to the front of hundreds of my fellow minority graduates and place a medal of achievement around my neck created an indescribable amount of emotion,” he said. “We as a family were able to take a minute to reflect on just how large of an accomplishment my graduation was. Celebration of Achievement was not only a chance to celebrate my success, but the success of hundreds of my brothers and sisters in the Ole Miss family. That is a memory I will cherish forever.”

For more information, contact the Center for Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement at 662-915-1689 or

Moon Landing Scientist Speaks with UM Students

Josephine Howard offers problem-solving advice to UM students

Ole Miss Alumna, Josephine Howard, talks with students during a recent visit to campus.

Josephine Howard talks with students during a recent visit to campus.

OXFORD, Miss. – A veteran scientist who helped NASA achieve one of the crowning achievements of the 20th century visited the University of Mississippi recently to challenge students to face life’s problems by first checking their assumptions.

UM alumna Josephine Howard, who helped put Apollo 11 on the moon in 1969, discussed relating mathematical studies to life applications during a lighthearted gathering April 21 in Hume Hall. Howard recalled sitting behind James Meredith in one of her classes, then talked about one of her first jobs, which involved developing programs to guide a spaceship through the Earth and moon’s orbits for the first lunar landing. She also talked about some of her current projects, which include writing a novel.

Overall, her main goal was to inspire. She encouraged students to understand that problems, just as in mathematics, will always be present, but they should look past their assumptions when solving them. She challenged students to revisit their assumptions and evaluate choices from other angles.

“Whatever you do in life, whatever you think, your choices are based on your assumptions,” Howard said. “On all your choices, go back and check your assumptions; if your assumptions are wrong, you may discover you are way off base.”

Howard’s visit offered students a different perspective on subjects related to mathematics and suggested that students should branch out of their subjects and learn as much as possible for the value that knowledge will have in their long-term careers.

The lecture provided an incredible opportunity for students to speak with a veteran scientist, said James Reid, professor and interim chair of mathematics.

“Howard reminds me a lot of our students because she is very industrious,” Reid said. “This is one of the most exciting speakers our undergraduates will have an opportunity to hear.”

Howard has worn many hats throughout her career. She worked on design trajectory for the Apollo lunar missions, programmed data management programs for oil and gas companies, wrote control language for data management systems, and organized and implemented successful political campaigns for 18 years.

She also has taught junior high and high school, operated her own real estate company and helped found Living Water International, an organization that helps provide clean water in 26 countries. She also assisted with typhoon relief in countries affected by a 2013 typhoon.

Howard graduated from UM in 1964 with her bachelor’s degree in mathematics and minors in psychology, French and education. She earned her master’s in combined science of mathematics and biology from UM in 1967.

UM to Hold Annual Memorial Ceremony Thursday

Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – Each spring, the University of Mississippi conducts a memorial ceremony to commemorate the lives of students, faculty, staff and emeriti who died during this academic year.

This year’s ceremony is scheduled for 4 p.m. Thursday (April 30) at Paris-Yates Chapel. The community is invited and encouraged to attend.

Honoring the lives of the loved ones lost over the last year provides an opportunity to bring the Ole Miss family together in unity, said Brandi Hephner LaBanc, vice chancellor for student affairs.

“The most difficult aspect of our job is dealing with death,” Hephner LaBanc said. “Every year, we lose many individuals who have had an important and lasting impact on our community. Whether they have been here one semester or numerous years, they were an important part of the Ole Miss family. The memorial ceremony is our opportunity to remember their contribution and celebrate their lives.”

This year’s ceremony honors these 14 members of the Ole Miss family:


John Fenton Kottkamp

Grant Womack

Luke Phillips

Tanner Chapmon

James McCastlain


Faculty and Staff

Andrew Stefani

Kerby Ladner

Burl Hunt

Charles Treas

Esther Sparks Sprague

Larry Taylor

Roy Sheffield

Russell Stokes

Robert Marlon Bates

McLean Institute Prepares to Launch Community Projects in Delta

Continuing work is funded by a $1.6 million grant from the Robert M. Hearin Support Foundation

Dr. Albert Nylander, the Director of the McLean Institute

Albert Nylander

OXFORD, Miss. – In the year since the University of Mississippi’s McLean Institute for Public Service and Community Engagement received a $1.6 million grant from the Robert M. Hearin Support Foundation, students and faculty have researched issues and are preparing to launch several projects aimed at increasing community and economic development in Mississippi communities.

The grant, part of the foundation’s Catalyzing Entrepreneurship and Economic Development program, has helped undergraduate and graduate students, and faculty members to research poverty, education, asset building and health care in Calhoun, Coahoma, Lee, Leflore and Tallahatchie counties. The researchers include 15 students from across campus, including representatives from the College of Liberal Arts and the schools of Business, Pharmacy, Education and Applied Sciences.

Much of the past year has been devoted to planning, said Ryan Parsons, the institute’s project manager. However, students have worked in Tallahatchie County assisting with the restoration of the courtroom in Sumner for a dedication as part of the 60th anniversary of the Emmett Till trial.

“Our students are already actively working along with community partners in both the Mississippi Delta and northeast Mississippi,” Parsons said. “This summer, they’ll work with groups like the Tri-County Workforce Alliance to learn more about community and economic development from people who do it best.”

Students have also worked in Clarksdale with farming groups in hopes of starting a farmers market in the area, with a long-term goal of education about farming.

“This work increases engagement opportunities that benefit University of Mississippi students, faculty, staff and community partners,” said Albert Nylander, the project’s principal investigator and McLean Institute director. “These projects are empowering UM students to think strategically about Mississippi’s community and economic advancement.”

This summer, the McLean Institute and the Center for Population Studies will host the Delta Regional Forum on Population, Development, and Entrepreneurial Problem Solving in Clarksdale. Set for July 15-17, the event will showcase the work of students and faculty to support economic development in rural communities.

For more information about the McLean Institute, contact Albert Nylander at 662-915-2050 or

UM History Department Named for Arch Dalrymple III

$5 million gift pays tribute to the late Amory leader and businessman

Ms. Martha Dowd Dalrymple and Chancellor Dan Jones unveil the Arch Dalrymple III Department of History plaque at a dedication ceremony. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

Ms. Martha Dowd Dalrymple and Chancellor Dan Jones unveil the Arch Dalrymple III Department of History plaque at a dedication ceremony. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – The late Arch Dalrymple III would likely have become a history professor, except that his father’s untimely death kept the young University of Mississippi graduate at home to run the family’s businesses and take care of his mother and younger sisters.

Dalrymple first came to the university in the early 1940s, left to serve as an officer in the U.S. Army during World War II and then returned to earn an undergraduate degree in history in 1947. While he was in the service, he earned college credit from Amherst College and Cornell University.

As the Amory native developed into a successful businessman and respected civic leader, Dalrymple found avenues to pursue his love of history and contribute to historic preservation efforts, including 32 years as a trustee of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. He also served as president of the Mississippi Historical Society in 1976-77.

Today, UM leaders announced the first named department on the Oxford campus: the Arch Dalrymple III Department of History. Martha Dowd Dalrymple, his daughter and business partner, joined Chancellor Dan Jones to announce her $5 million gift to undergird teaching, research and service efforts of the department.

“Daddy was passionate about history,” Martha Dalrymple said. “One of his final wishes before his death in 2010 was that an endowment be created at the University of Mississippi Department of History. He always felt our lives are shaped by the lessons we learn from history.

“Daddy was a part of the ‘greatest generation’ that instilled in him the value of a strong work ethic and the importance of giving back to his country, state and community. Our family has had a long history with the University of Mississippi, and I am pleased to give back to honor his name.”

Arch Dalrymple III and the Model T Ford he drove to Ole Miss as a student.

Arch Dalrymple III and the Model T Ford he drove to Ole Miss as a student.

Jones and Martha Dalrymple unveiled a bronze plaque to be installed in Bishop Hall, home to the history department.

“This is truly a great day in the life of the University of Mississippi,” the chancellor said. “We are extremely proud for our Department of History to bear the name of such a brilliant man, a dedicated scholar and influential leader. When students, faculty, visitors and others see the Arch Dalrymple name, we want them to be inspired by his deep commitment to history and historic preservation and by his tremendous commitment to service.

“Our state is stronger because of Arch Dalrymple, and now his alma mater is stronger because of this gift made in his memory.”

In 1986, Arch and his wife, Adine Lampton Wallace Dalrymple, had funded the Dalrymple Lecture Series in Mathematics at UM to bring distinguished speakers in mathematics to campus.

“To Daddy, history and math were the two most important areas of study needed to strengthen our great nation,” Martha Dalrymple said. “One of his favorite quotes was that of Winston Churchill – ‘The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.'”

Holmes Adams of Jackson, Arch Dalrymple’s attorney and friend for more than 25 years, spoke to the fitting nature of his name being permanently linked with the university and the study of history.

“It is appropriate to name the Department of History for Arch Dalrymple because he was a true amateur historian in the classic sense of the word ‘amateur'; that is, one who engages in a study, sport or activity for pleasure, not for financial benefit or professional reasons,” Adams said. “Arch loved the study of history – of his home community, his state, his country and the world.”

That love and dedication can be seen through his work with the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, the agency that collects, preserves and provides access to the archival resources of the state; administers museums and historic sites; and oversees statewide programs for historic preservation, government records management and publications, said Elbert Hilliard, MDAH director emeritus, who worked with Arch Dalrymple for three decades.

“Arch Dalrymple was a man of great courage and integrity,” Hilliard said. “He stood with the MDAH staff and provided invaluable support for the department’s administration and implementation of the State Antiquities Act that was enacted by the Mississippi Legislature to help preserve our state’s historic sites and buildings for future generations.”

Former Mississippi Gov. William Winter was a college classmate and longtime friend of the honoree.

“This is a highly important and timely recognition of one of Ole Miss’ most distinguished alumni,” Winter said. “Arch was a dedicated and highly informed historian, who developed much of his interest in history as a result of his study under the great history professors who were a part of the Ole Miss faculty when we were there together in the 1940s. The importance of the study and knowledge of history was passionately felt by Arch, and he did much to advance that cause in our state.”

Dalrymple’s business interests included farming, timber, cattle, commercial and residential real estate, and oil and gas. He was a passionate sportsman and conservationist, advocate for public education and a generous philanthropist. He created the Dalrymple Family Foundation to benefit the arts, culture, education, humanities and conservation in northeast Mississippi.

Martha Dalrymple is president of the foundation. Her husband is James L. Cummins, the executive director of Wildlife Mississippi.

Arch Dalrymple served on the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Officer Selection Board and on the Mississippi Economic Council and as the first chairman of the Amory City Planning Commission. He was a longtime trustee of the Amory School District, serving as president from 1968 to 1972, as well as a design adviser for the Amory Middle and Elementary schools. He helped found the Mississippi Schools Board Association and was a member of the Mississippi Governor’s School Finance Study Group.

He served for many years as a director on the Trustmark National Bank board. He was also a member of the Society of the Cincinnati, an organization founded in 1783 consisting of direct descendants of the officer corps of Gen. George Washington’s Continental Army. At his alma mater, he provided guidance on the School of Engineering Advisory Board, as well as the Ole Miss Alumni Association Board.

Widely read in history, government, economics and foreign affairs, Dalrymple was admired as an amusing and knowledgeable storyteller. He wrote six volumes of family history for his three daughters – Martha Dalrymple of Amory, Mary Cameron of Oxford and Jane Dalrymple-Hollo of Boulder, Colorado – three grandchildren and his extended family. Mary Cameron, her husband, Alan, and their daughter, Adine, all graduated from Ole Miss.

In one of the volumes Arch Dalrymple wrote about family trees: “Assembling charts and dates is really pretty dull stuff. More interesting and instructive is learning just who the people were – how they fit into the time stream of history and the fabric of the society in which they lived – in short, to put a name, an individual in historical context. Only then does the ‘tree’ come to life.”

Arch Dalrymple’s sisters, the late Jane Whitehead of Memphis, Tennessee, and Martha Guffey of Dallas, are both UM alumna. Guffey said she believes that under different family circumstances, her brother would have become a history professor.

“Arch would have been very pleased,” she said of the announcement. “He had a good experience at Ole Miss, and history professor Jim Silver was a favorite of his, as well as others.”

A connoisseur of architecture and landscape design, Dalrymple also traveled extensively in Europe with his beloved wife, “Deanie,” and was particularly fond of visiting Scotland, where he cultivated many friendships. The Dalrymples were members of the First Presbyterian Church of Amory.

Seven Seniors Get Inaugural Hall of Fame Recognition

Students represent the best in academics, research, service and leadership

The University of Mississippi School of Engineering has inducted seven seniors into its new Student Hall of Fame.

The honor was established to recognize students who have shown dedication to the School of Engineering, the university and the profession of engineering as a whole. A committee of engineering faculty, staff and students selected the first group of honorees, whose names were made public during the annual Engineering Honors Banquet in April.

The inaugural School of Engineering Student Hall of Fame members are: Erin Dyer and Abdul Hamid, both of Oxford; Jeremy Roy of Abbeville; Corey Schaal of Paris, Tennessee; Colin Wattigney of Waggaman, Louisiana; Charles Rainey of Jackson; and Haley Sims of Ridgeland. Each inductee reflected on their experiences.

“I am grateful for the education and opportunities provided by the School of Engineering at Ole Miss.” Wattigney said. “The experience has been better than I could have imagined. I have always strived to give back to the School of Engineering by serving it to the best of my abilities and will continue to do so as an alumnus.”

Schaal said he has had an excellent undergraduate experience in the school.

“I believe the greatest strength of the program is the outstanding instructors that are willing to take a special interest in the students’ success and studies,” he said. “Their help and guidance have significantly shaped my academic and career goals.”

Erin Dyer

Erin Dyer

Dyer, a member of the Chinese Language Flagship Program, and the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, is studying chemical engineering. A Barksdale Scholar, she also earned a Marcus E. Taylor Medal and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi and Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society.

She has combined her education in Chinese and engineering to serve as a research assistant at Shanghai University’s School of Environmental and Chemical Engineering in addition to serving as student representative to the Language Flagship National Meeting in 2014. She is a member of the Society of Women Engineers and the Ole Miss Club Tennis team and participated in the Honors College’s sophomore service trip. Dyer is applying to medical school in the next year.

A member of the Haley Barbour Center for Manufacturing Excellence, Hamid is studying mechanical engineering with an emphasis in

Abdul Hamid

Abdul Hamid

manufacturing. He is an Honors College student and received the John A. Fox Outstanding Mechanical Engineering Student Award for 2014. He is also received a Taylor Medal and has earned membership in Phi Kappa Phi, Order of Omega and Omicron Delta Kappa.

He serves on the CME Student Advisory Board, the Big Event Executive Committee and has served as an Ole Miss Ambassador. Hamid is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, where he has served as president. He also was selected to Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges this year. With two internships at General Electric Aviation in Batesville and Ellisville to his credit, Hamid is interviewing for full-time positions with a variety of companies.

Charles Rainey

Charles Rainey

Rainey is a chemical engineering major with minors in business and accountancy. He has been named to Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, Order of Omega and Mortar Board, and served as secretary of Omicron Delta Kappa. He has also served as an Associated Student Body senator and on the Executive Committee for the Big Event and was a winner in the PriceWaterhouseCoopers Accountancy Case Competition.

Rainey has held a number of leadership roles within the engineering school, including vice president of the Engineering Student Body, vice president of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and School of Engineering Ambassador. He is pursuing opportunities for full time employment.

A mechanical engineering major, Roy is a member of the Honors College and the CME. He has held a co-op with Caterpillar in Oxford and an internship with Hol-Mac Corp. in Bay Springs. A member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, he has served as co-chair of the CME Advisory Board and as a CME ambassador.

Jeremy Roy

Jeremy Roy

Roy has also served on the executive council of his fraternity, Pi Kappa Phi, and participated in its 2015 Journey of Hope cycling project. He is a member of Tau Beta Pi, Order of Omega, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Gamma Beta Phi and the Chancellor’s Leadership Class. He has volunteered with the Lafayette County Fire Department as a volunteer firefighter and as an emergency medical responder. His honors thesis will involve exploring firefighter accountability systems. Roy has accepted a full-time position as a reliability engineer with ExxonMobil in Beaumont, Texas.

Schaal, a geological engineering major, is the recipient of the Outstanding Freshman and Junior Awards from the geological engineering department. A member of the Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists, he has interned with Geotechnology Inc. during the summers of 2013 and 2014. He received national scholarships from the Underground Construction Association and the Women’s Auxillary to the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers.

Corey Schaal

Corey Schaal

Schaal has been recognized with membership in Order of Omega, Phi Kappa Phi, Tau Beta Pi and Alpha Lambda Delta. He is also the recipient of a Distinguished Senior Scholarship and was a finalist for the School of Engineering’s Outstanding Senior Award. He has been an active member of Beta Upsilon Chi fraternity, serving as social chair and pledge trainer. Schaal will enroll in graduate school at Virginia Tech and continue to pursue a career as a professional engineer and professional geologist.

A civil engineering major, Sims is a graduate of Holmes Community College. She served as president of Chi Epsilon civil engineering society, vice president of the Phi Theta Kappa alumni organization, treasurer of Tau Beta Pi engineering society and secretary of Engineers Without Borders. She also traveled to Togo, Africa, with EWB in 2014 to aid in the construction of a school building.

A Taylor Medalist, she was the recipient of the Outstanding Junior Award for the Department of Civil Engineering and was named to Phi Kappa Phi honor society. Sims was also instrumental in the coordination of the American Society of Civil Engineers Deep South conference that was held on campus in March.

Haley Sims

Haley Sims

“I will be working, conducting research in the Geotechnical Engineering and Geoscience Branch of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Engineering Research and Development Center,” Sims said. “While at ERDC, I will be actively seeking graduate and doctoral degree programs in the field of Environmental Engineering at various schools across the United States.”

A member of both the Honors College and the CME, Wattigney is a mechanical engineering major. He has served as president of Tau Beta Pi and as chairman of the CME Student Advisory Board. He has been recognized with membership in Alpha Lambda Delta and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

Colin Wattigney

Colin Wattigney

Wattigney has also held a number of internships, including work with Accenture in Southfield, Michigan, Borg-Warner in Water Valley and General Electric Aviation in Batesville. He has also assisted in a number of recruitment efforts on behalf of the School of Engineering. He will remain at Ole Miss to pursue a Master of Business Administration beginning in August.

Ray Ayers Lands Lifetime Achievement Award

Civil engineering alumnus has 48 patents and numerous professional accolades

Ray Ayers

Ray Ayers

Winning professional honors and awards is nothing new to Ray R. Ayers, but getting the 2015 Offshore Technology Conference Heritage Award was still a thrill for the successful University of Mississippi alumnus.

Still achieving technical breakthroughs in his 51st year as a professional engineer, Ayers has enjoyed a career filled with multiple contributions in a number of areas that have contributed greatly to the safety and viability of the offshore technology industry. It is for the whole of this work that he was awarded the lifetime recognition.

“I was overwhelmed,” said Ayers, who earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1963. A prolific inventor with 48 U.S. patents, he has earned the Silver Patent Award by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and major professional honors from the American Gas Association, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and the Ocean Energy Center.

Ayers considers his greatest career achievements to be his work on deepwater pipeline design and repair, technology to help clean up oil spills on water and a polyester rope mooring system. He worked more than 50 years for such companies as Brown Engineering Co., NASA’s Saturn V program and Shell Oil Co. He has worked in a range of positions from engineer to research adviser, and is a staff consultant for Stress Engineering Services.

“I can remember back when I was working full-time during the day while going to graduate school at night,” Ayers said. “My young kids would see me working at the breakfast table, and they would ask me, ‘Daddy, are you working on work-work or school-work?’ Of course, my answer changed each day.”

The Brookhaven native grew up in Biloxi. After graduating from UM, he completed the master’s program in engineering mechanics from the University of Alabama at Huntsville in 1968 and the doctoral program in civil engineering from the University of Houston in 1973. Though pleased to have earned those advanced degrees, Ayers credits Ole Miss with having given him his start.

“I decided on Ole Miss because they offered me a Forest Land Scholarship, the only scholarship offered me from anywhere,” Ayers said. “UM provided an excellent general civil engineering education and the motivation to succeed. And I will never forget the smiling ladies at the cafeteria who fed me the best food in the state of Mississippi.”

Ayers remembers C.C. Feng as his favorite UM engineering professor.

“Dr. Feng would start a class session with the chalk in the right hand and the eraser in the left,” he said. “He would say, ‘So far to now, we have covered (topic). Then, he proceeded to write on one side and erase on the other, making it difficult to take notes. So I would say he was challenging!”

Ayers’ mentors included Dean R. Malcolm Guess, “who encouraged me to study harder so that I would not lose my scholarship,” and the Rev. Don Anderson of the campus Wesley Foundation. “He made it possible for me to have a rent-free room to live in at the Wesley Foundation House. He also provided short-term loans (lunch money) until additional funds arrived.”

Ayers is married to his college sweetheart, the former Carolyn Kerr, who earned her bachelor’s degree in music at UM. They have two sons, Tom and Andy, and a daughter, Cheryl Sauls. He enjoys singing choral music at Memorial Drive United Methodist Church in West Houston, Texas.