Supporting Research

College of Liberal Arts receives boost to research

Spring breaks forth on the Ole Miss campus in front of Ventress Hall, home of the College of Liberal Arts. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

OXFORD, Miss. – A recent major gift to the University of Mississippi will help the College of Liberal Arts continue to attract and retain top faculty.

The stock-transfer gift of $250,000 from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous supplements a faculty research grant endowment that was established in 2014. A portion of the gift also supports Ole Miss athletics.

The purpose of the academic endowment is to provide income to fund at least three research grants annually for tenure-track faculty members with preference for at least one grant to be awarded annually to a faculty member in the departments of English or History.

“Unquestionably one of the most significant responsibilities we have as a College of Liberal Arts is to recruit, cultivate and retain faculty of the highest caliber,” Dean Lee Cohen said. “How good we can become as an institution is, and always will be, driven by the quality of our faculty.

“Simply put, this gift makes us better since great faculty stimulate and support the creativity of our students as well as contribute to the research, scholarship, and creative achievements in their respective disciplines. We are very thankful to this family for their generosity and love of their alma mater.”

The donor, who majored in English at Ole Miss and has an interest in history, said he hopes his gift will strengthen the university’s national reputation in the area of the humanities.

“I’m impressed and encouraged by the way things are heading at my alma mater,” the donor said. “By making this gift, I feel as if I’m contributing to the momentum toward excellence that is evident in the College of Liberal Arts.”

Private support such as this couple’s gift is crucial to the university, said Denson Hollis, executive director of development for principal gifts.

“Working closely with this family is one of the greatest joys in my role at the University of Mississippi,” Hollis said. “They are the epitome of a total university donor in that they firmly believe in supporting both academics and athletics.

“If you look across our campus, their impact can be seen everywhere. The university and Ole Miss athletics would not be where they are today without the amazing support of this very generous family.”

For more information about supporting the College of Liberal Arts, contact Ron Wilson at 662-915-1755 or To make a gift, visit