CHANCELLOR’S 3 THINGS TO KNOW
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the communities impacted by the tornadoes. The widespread devastation destroyed many homes and businesses, and we are incredibly saddened by the tremendous loss of lives. We have contacted students from the affected areas to offer support and resources. For those wishing to support the recovery efforts, please visit Volunteer Mississippi for how you can volunteer and for needed disaster supplies and drop off locations.
As we look back at the last month, our campus community has much to be grateful for including the outstanding performance by Ole Miss Women’s Basketball in toppling top-seeded Stanford and reaching the Sweet 16 round the NCAA Tournament. We also honored the 20th anniversary of the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts, the 25th anniversary of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, and the 25th anniversary of the Croft Institute for International Studies. Check out the special section at the end of this newsletter for great information about Croft’s interdisciplinary, academically rigorous program. Here are three things to know right now:
- Mark Your Calendars: April 15 will be an exciting day on campus as we host the second annual Mississippi Day, Junior Preview Day, and the Ole Miss Grove Bowl. Mississippi Day is a family-friendly festival featuring dozens of interactive games and activities. Join us to experience the creativity and ideas of our faculty, staff, and students as they put their ingenuity on display with demonstrations that showcase our impact on the state in education, the arts, service, and more. You’ll enjoy great food, live music, and fun for the whole family. Hope to see you there!
- Spring Break Recap: Beth Spencer, Mississippi Humanities Council’s Teacher of the Year, led a group of students to the United Kingdom for a distinctive program focused on British fantasy fiction and creative writing. Students experienced the magic of Scotland, including a stay at Alnwick Castle, an iconic filming location featured in several Harry Potter movies. In public policy leadership, students traveled to Tel Aviv, the Golan Heights, Jerusalem, and the Dead Sea, delving into ancient history and participating in discussions and lectures on the country’s role in the Middle East region. After exploring other cultures, broadening their horizons, and creating lifelong memories, our students returned to campus enriched with new perspectives and a deeper understanding of the world.
- Make an Impact: Giving Day 2023 states our aspirations clearly with the theme “The Time is Now.” The annual online event, set for April 4-5, unites our community in support of the people, places, and programs that make the University of Mississippi such an incredible institution. We’re better together, and together, we can make a powerful, positive impact. No matter the size, your gift will make a difference. Your gift can go further when you participate in a challenge or match. Want to do more? Amplify Giving Day by signing up to be an influencer! Mark your calendar and show your love for Ole Miss!
Until next month, take care!
Glenn F. Boyce
The federal AmeriCorps agency has renewed national service grant funding for the Grisham-McLean Institute for Public Service and Community Engagement. This continues a 12-year investment toward alleviating poverty through the North Mississippi VISTA Project. The grant brings more than $500,000 to the region annually.
The National Institutes of Health awarded Joshua Bloomekatz, assistant professor of biology, a $411,969 grant to conduct a new study that could help scientists understand why congenital heart defects occur. Undergraduate and graduate students will participate in the innovative study, emphasizing educational research experiences.
A $1 million gift from Friends of Children’s Hospital is creating a chair in honor of one of the state’s leaders in pediatrics, Dr. Owen B. “Bev” Evans, and his wife, Lynn. The Evans were instrumental in working toward the construction of the Batson Tower and helping found Friends of Children’s Hospital.
25th Anniversary of the Croft Institute
Congratulations to the Croft Institute for International Studies, which hosted anniversary events on March 24-25 to honor its 25th anniversary. Read on for more about the program’s history and achievements.
History in the Making: The Croft Institute was first envisioned in 1996 during conversations between Gerald M. Abdalla Sr., CEO and president of Croft LLC and chairman of the Joseph C. Bancroft Charitable and Educational Fund, and Robert Khayat, then-chancellor of the University of Mississippi. The first students enrolled in the international studies major in fall 1998.
Distinctive Approach: The Croft curriculum fosters collaborative and experiential learning among students. Its unique philosophy equips students with critical-thinking skills, enabling them to become imaginative, independent researchers capable of tackling complex problems and contributing to a better world.
Global Citizens: Croft students are encouraged to secure internships with an international aspect and are awarded credit for experiential learning. Additionally, a mentoring program connects current students with Croft alumni to get career advice and imagine future opportunities.
Heard around the World: Students are required to study a foreign language during each semester on campus and while studying abroad. In addition, the institute encourages proficiency-based language testing that assesses students’ ability to use the foreign language in various situations.
Impressive Track Record: Since the institute’s inception in 1998, 683 Croft students have graduated with a bachelor’s degree in international studies, studied abroad in 51 countries and learned 16 languages. Croft students have earned 82 Taylor Medals, the highest academic honor at the university.
“Croftie” Culture: Croft is known for being a tight-knit community of student scholars. “Crofties,” as they call themselves, study together, socialize together, and embrace Croft with affection and camaraderie.
Ongoing Achievements: With the program’s earliest graduates now in their 40s, its alumni have demonstrated their remarkable success in the professional world. Notable graduates include Sederia Gray, a communications manager at Google, and Joe Bateman, director of impact investing at Social Finance, who spoke with students at the anniversary celebration. Croft graduates have pursued 32 doctoral degrees, 13 medical degrees, 124 law degrees, 41 MBAs, and 258 master’s degrees.