University Launches Provost Scholars Program

… More than 350 incoming students given unique opportunities, challenges during inaugural seminar

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi is brimming with one of its most academically talented freshman classes ever, thanks to a new initiative designed to attract and retain bright students.

The Provost Scholars Program offers several incentives to students with impressive academic achievements. The benefits are designed to help the scholars make a smooth transition to campus, complete their degrees as efficiently as possible and get to know others in their major or from their home states and towns.

“As the inaugural class, you have great opportunities to make Ole Miss a better, stronger place,” Chancellor Daniel Jones told more than 350 scholars present for a daylong seminar introducing them to the program. “The University of Mississippi can give you more than you ever dreamed that it could. Give and it will give back to you.”

Morris Stocks, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, told the students that their academic achievements are why they were selected for the program. Among the benefits scholars receive are early registration and eligibility to apply for admission into the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College by their junior year.

“Your participation in the Provost Scholars is all part of the university’s growth, which is occurring at a rapid pace,” Stocks said.

In his keynote address, Associate Provost Noel Wilkin offered the students “Tools for the Talented.”

“There are five essential categories of tools that will contribute to your success and effectiveness here,” Wilkin said. “They are recognizing your individuality while maximizing your ability, developing appropriate expectations or beliefs, having the proper perspective, understanding the importance of perseverance and being able to execute plans.”

In covering these tools, Wilkin offered examples and cited research, including work done at UM.

“It’s easy to look at successful people and believe that their success was achieved overnight,” he said. “By exploring their career paths, and the failures and successes of well-known people, I try to help students realize that success most often occurs after years of hard work and multiple setbacks.”

The seminar also covered faculty mentorship and research opportunities, study skills for overachievers and “One Book, One Community,” a collection of innovative service learning opportunities.

For more information about the Provost Scholars Program, go to or call 662-915-1198.