CHANCELLOR’S 3 THINGS TO KNOW
Welcome to the “Back to School” edition of @The Flagship! As classes resume Aug. 24, I want to share important updates about our extensive preparations for returning to campus safely. I’m also excited to showcase some of the most inspiring accomplishments from the summer, which are featured in the “7 More Successes We’re Celebrating” special section of this newsletter. But first, here are three things to know right now:
Campus Ready: With COVID-19 prevention top of mind, we adapted a phrase familiar to Ole Miss fans to ask one big question: Are You Campus Ready? We’ve shared the Return to Campus Plan for Fall 2020 with protocols, information about facilities and academics, and much more. Our Facilities Management and Facilities Planning departments have installed safety adaptations across campus, including 350 plexiglass shields, 1,500 wall racks for hand sanitizer, 1,000 racks for disinfecting wipe dispensers, and 6,000 “OKAY TO SIT HERE” stickers in about 400 classrooms. Teams of C-19 Ambassadors will model exemplary behavior and encourage our community to do the same. A team of student leaders created a voluntary pledge for all community members to commit to following safety protocols. I took the pledge because the health and well-being of our students, faculty, staff and administrators is essential to achieving our mission. Won’t you take a moment to pledge your commitment to campus safety?
Stellar Students: Our students are superstars! I recently visited with Michael Hohl and Jojo Dodd, who are among some of our outstanding UMMC medical students who lead and staff the Jackson Free Clinic on a volunteer basis. I was so inspired by how they continue to fight the pandemic by delivering free medical, dental, physical/occupational therapy, and social work services to the uninsured population of Mississippi. In 2019 alone, UMMC student volunteers filled 1,170 volunteer shifts at JFC… I was also thrilled to learn that Genevieve Verville, a chemistry major and 2020 graduate of the Sally McConnell Barksdale Honors College, was named one of only four 2020 Portz Scholars by the National Collegiate Honors Council for writing the best honors thesis in the country… Another recent grad, Lauren Graham, was recognized as one of the nation’s top student veterans. She received the G.I. Jobs Magazine 2020 Student Veteran Leadership Award and was featured on the cover of its August 2020 issue.
Generous Giving: I’m thrilled to note that gifts to the University of Mississippi in FY20 totaled more than $127 million – a 26 percent increase over FY19! Our generous, committed donors supported numerous areas including academics, our Medical Center and Ole Miss Athletics. For the ninth consecutive year, private support exceeded $100 million, signaling that alumni and friends believe our students and programs are worthy of major investments. We extend our deep gratitude to all who support this remarkable institution! Be on the lookout for our full news story highlighting this accomplishment and many of the amazing gifts for FY20.
Stay safe and stay healthy. #MaskUpMS!
Glenn F. Boyce
UM received a $10.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to establish a new center dedicated to glycoscience, which will study how carbohydrates and carbohydrate-containing molecules affect human health and also help medical professionals in tackling some of the challenges presented by COVID-19.
For the fourth year in a row, Ole Miss graduates have been named the state’s best at finding employment and keeping it, according to data from the U.S. Department of Education compiled in a new ranking from Zippia.com. This indicator shows the university’s consistent strength in preparing students for meaningful careers.
The Center for Telehealth at the University of Mississippi Medical Center is using a $1 million federal grant to speed expansion of services to meet the changing needs of patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For many more stories about how the university has responded in the wake of COVID-19, please visit coronavirus.olemiss.edu/um-expertise-on-covid-19/.
7 SUCCESSES WE’RE CELEBRATING
Even with the limitations imposed by COVID, our university delivered a lot of progress and successes over the summer. Check a few more examples of the resilient spirit of our community:
- To support our alumni in a tough economic period, the Ole Miss Alumni Association launched a new suite of career resources, including a Career Resources page and their first-ever four-day online Grad Career Festival.
- In the third and fourth quarters of FY20, the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs received 278 proposals requesting more than $153 million in funding — a 42 percent jump in requested funding over the prior year.
- In response to student requests to update the blue light stations, the university installed over 35 new and improved blue light emergency stations around campus this summer to provide an even safer environment for everyone.
- The Mississippi Outreach to Scholastic Talent (MOST) Conference 2020 Experience was a virtual edition of our annual educational recruitment conference attended by 173 rising African-American seniors representing 65 Mississippi high schools.
- The Ole Miss Food Bank provided more than 7,000 meals to Ole Miss students, faculty and staff since spring break to help our students deal with effects of the pandemic.
- A Virtual Involvement Week hosted by the Ole Miss Student Union’s Student Leadership and Engagement team, attracted 90 participating student organizations and 300 incoming students.
- For the first time in school history, three Ole Miss men’s golfers (Jack Gnam, Charlie Miller and Jackson Suber) were named Srixon/Cleveland Golf All-America Scholars by the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) in the same season.
We invite you to show your commitment to keeping our campus COVID-19 safe by taking our voluntary pledge to do your part.