Establishing a Firm Relationship

Young alumnus creates scholarship, excellence fund in Ole Miss business school

UM alumnus Matthew Murphy, of Nashville, Tennessee, hopes his gift to the School of Business Administration will help bridge a generational gap in the mortgage industry. Photo by Kirsten Faulkner/University Development

OXFORD, Miss. – University of Mississippi alumnus Matthew Murphy, of Nashville, Tennessee, hopes a recent gift to his alma mater will encourage more students to study banking and ultimately bridge a generational gap he has noticed in the mortgage industry.

The 2015 graduate’s $100,000 gift will establish the Matthew C. Murphy Scholarship Fund and the Matthew C. Murphy Fund for Excellence in the School of Business Administration.

“Being able to give back to my alma mater so early after graduation and really establishing a firm relationship with the university was always at the top of my list,” said Murphy, who serves as COO at the Commonwealth Group, based in Memphis.

“When I was analyzing the mortgage finance industry roughly six years ago and plotting a massive career change, I noticed an enormous age differential between upper-level and executive management versus the rest of the mortgage banking industry.

“This sparked my jump into mortgage banking, where the average age of a mortgage banker is roughly 58 to 60 years old. I realized very quickly that I could climb the executive business ladder, while bypassing the typical corporate ranking structure and timeline required to obtain such status, and all the while by doing so at an extremely early age.”

At 29, he is qualified to sit for the Certified Mortgage Banker designation, the highest offered by the Mortgage Bankers Association of America, and has already obtained the Accredited Mortgage Professional, Certified Residential Underwriter and Certified Mortgage Compliance Professional designations.

Murphy credits Ole Miss business school faculty for helping him find his place in the marketplace, leading him to found Murphy Capital Management, of which he is also president and CEO.

Matthew Murphy

“Dr. Ken Cyree was, without a doubt, my favorite professor and is still to this day one of my all-time favorite speakers,” Murphy said. “I was lucky enough to take both his Finance 537 and 538 bank management classes, which are two of the best courses I have ever taken.

“I still have the hard copy of the ‘Bank Management’ book sitting by my desk in my office.”

Cyree, dean of the business school, remembers Murphy from the classroom and is grateful that he is contributing to his alma mater.

“We are thrilled to have such a wonderful commitment to our faculty and students from such a young alumnus,” Cyree said. “It is very satisfying to me to see one of the students I taught giving back.

“I think it speaks volumes to Matthew’s dedication and appreciation for the education he received at the Ole Miss business school.”

Growing up in an Ole Miss household kept the university close to Murphy’s heart. Both his father, Dr. Garnett Murphy of Memphis, and brother, Dr. Drew Murphy of Germantown, Tennessee, completed undergraduate degrees at the university.

When it came time to select his college home, Murphy said the memories of football games with his family, along with the strong reputation of the finance and accounting programs in the business school and Patterson School of Accountancy, made his decision to attend UM an easy one.

“I will always hold the professors who taught me, the students who helped me and the university staff who assisted me through my years at Ole Miss close to my heart and I will continue to give back as much as I possibly can,” Murphy said.

“I cannot stress this enough: the cost of a great education – which Ole Miss gave me – is priceless.”

Gifts such as Murphy’s create opportunities for students and open doors to their future careers, said Sally Rychlak, development officer for the School of Business Administration.

“This incredible gift not only will support student success in the business school but also will display the commitment to excellence among our young alumni base,” Rychlak said. “We are so grateful for Matthew’s generosity and dedication to the business school.”

Murphy describes his philosophy of giving with an analogy: “You’ll never see a turtle sitting on a fence post that got there by itself. He had to have some help. Being a student at such an extraordinary university allows you to receive this needed help and assistance and find your niche and specific interests that will ultimately pave your way for future success upon graduation.”

To make a gift to the Matthew C. Murphy Scholarship Fund or the Matthew C. Murphy Fund for Excellence, send a check, with the fund name written in the memo line, to the University of Mississippi Foundation, 406 University Ave., Oxford, MS 38655; or online at

For more information about supporting the School of Business Administration, contact Sally Rychlak, development officer, at or 662-915-3084.