CHANCELLOR’S 3 THINGS TO KNOW
Welcome to the October edition of @ The Flagship! As we enter the home stretch of this semester, I’d like to highlight several milestones achieved this fall. While COVID-19 required major changes in the way we live, learn and work, our university community is persevering through unprecedented challenges and demonstrating its unstoppable spirit. Here are 3 Things to Know right now:
New Names Honor Long Legacies: Two names very familiar to our university community will grace our campus in new, prominent places. The newly named Gertrude C. Ford Ole Miss Student Union reflects how the Gertrude C. Ford Foundation has been a deeply committed benefactor for decades, and we’re incredibly grateful for their continued and generous support of our students. The reach of the Ford Foundation’s legacy of sponsorship extends throughout the greater community and state. The idea for what is now the Martindale-Cole Student Services Center initially came at the request of the building’s current namesake, Larry Martindale, and the university wholeheartedly agrees with recognizing the indelible contributions that Dr. Donald Cole has made during his 50-year affiliation with the University of Mississippi. We’re thrilled to honor him and expand his considerable legacy at this university through the renaming.
Driving Economic Growth: Our flagship university contributes mightily to the economic development of our state and nation by educating our students, cultivating their abilities and enabling them to reach their goals. But our impact reaches much further by providing access to unique talents and innovations that spur new opportunities and support existing businesses. Universities provide economic benefit by facilitating new research, creating technologies, cultivating entrepreneurship, drawing visitors to the state, and supporting the greater economy. A 2019 economic impact study found that the university added $2.9 billion in income to the Mississippi economy during the analysis year. For every $1 in state appropriations invested in the university, there’s a return of $4.40 in state tax revenue and public sector savings. Be sure to check out the special section “Economic Impact, UM and Beyond” below to learn some of the impressive ways that the university promotes and drives economic growth.
Glorious Celebration: I was honored to attend a very special ribbon-cutting on Oct. 13 (see banner photo above) to mark the opening of the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s (UMMC) seven-story Kathy and Joe Sanderson Tower at Children’s of Mississippi. More than four years in the making, this new tower more than doubles the square footage of the state’s only children’s hospital. It signals the beginning of a new era of pediatric care in the state that will save countless lives among our state’s children and help train the next generation of pediatricians and physicians. The ribbon-cutting was a wonderful tribute to recognize and thank everyone who worked together to make this expansion a reality.
Until next month, stay well and masks up!
Glenn F. Boyce
In a new ranking from Zippia.com, UM has been named the top university in Mississippi for a variety of factors, including cost of attendance, debt, job prospects and earnings. Not only did the university lead the state in the rankings, but also the university is ranked among only a handful of other SEC schools.
For one father-son duo at UMMC, their relationship goes beyond familial ties. Both of them serve as authors and editors for the Guyton and Hall Textbook of Medical Physiology, one of the leading medical textbooks in the world.
Bacteria grown in an Ole Miss laboratory by UM biologist Patrick Curtis are rocketing 250 miles above the planet, orbiting the Earth every 90 minutes aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The microbes are part of research which could lead to better bacterial control mechanisms in space and improve future space flights. This is the third active UM experiment on the ISS right now.
Economic Impact, UM and Beyond
From technology, tourism and telehealth to big data, biomedical and business, below are just a few of the ways the university improves the economic status of citizens in Mississippi and enhances the quality of life for individuals throughout the world.
ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND INNOVATION
Leading Economic Engagement: In a distinction that places Ole Miss among only 65 universities in the country, the university was named an Innovation and Economic Prosperity University by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. The designation recognizes the university’s strong commitment to economic engagement and its work with public and private sector partners in Mississippi and the region.
Booming Micropolitan: A Bentonville, Ark.-based institute focused on economic renewal in the nation’s midsection praised the partnership between the university and the city of Oxford for building an entrepreneurial ecosystem that fosters strong growth for long-term economic success. In the report from Heartland Forward, Oxford ranked 12th overall for young firm activity for the country’s top 50 micropolitans, or urban areas with a population between 10,000 and 50,000 people.
Producing Patents: The Oxford campus holds a total of 55 U.S.-issued patents including four patents for a product that could prevent painful itching and rash due to exposure to poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac and two patents for Alasta, the main ingredient in a line of skin care products being sold under the brand name Sustainable Youth.
Spurring Entrepreneurial Opportunities: UM and the Mississippi Small Business Development Center launched a pilot program to assist UM employees interested in starting new businesses out of the university’s research enterprise. Based in the UM Office of Technology Commercialization, the program’s main goal is developing faster, more effective pathways to support the creation of companies powered by university technologies.
Cultivating Modern Manufacturing Leaders: Students at the university’s Center for Manufacturing Excellence (CME) take both academic and hands-on courses that teach the principles of accountancy, engineering, business, communication and continuous improvement through the lens of manufacturing. CME cultivates future leaders by immersing students in enriching educational opportunities with industry partners through internships, co-ops and experiential learning courses held at manufacturing facilities.
Mentoring Tomorrow’s Physicians: Eight Ole Miss students were selected recently to participate in the Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship Program, which allows Mississippi students to earn a seat in medical school, receive mentoring during the medical school application process, and earn a $120,000 medical school scholarship in return for four years of post-graduate service in Mississippi.
Advancing Careers: The online Master of Business Administration program is ranked in the top five in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, recognizing the outstanding education and value of the degree. The program is focused on providing the best online experience possible that mirrors the on-campus program while allowing students to expand career growth opportunities through the pursuit of an advanced degree.
Training Next-Gen Data Professionals: The university’s new Institute for Data Science will help to educate the next generation of data scientists in response to the demand for data-savvy professionals in a variety of disciplines and across all industries.
Exploring Material of the Future: The Center for Graphene Research and Innovation focuses on bridging the gap between university-based innovations and industry-led applications for graphene, a strong and flexible material with conductivity that lends it to a broad range of applications ranging from manufacturing to electronics to medicine.
Teaching with Cutting-Edge Technology: Ole Miss real estate students in the School of Business Administration use the same data and analytic software used daily by commercial real estate professionals to ensure that students are equipped with the tools needed to enter the industry.
HEALTHCARE ACCESS AND INNOVATION
Expanding Medical Reach: UMMC has been a leader in telehealth for more than a decade, exploring innovative ways to advance the modern practice of telemedicine. In 2017, the Center for Telehealth was recognized as one of only two federally designated Centers of Excellence in Telehealth. Recently, the center received a $1 million federal grant to speed expansion of services to meet the changing needs of patients during the pandemic.
Evolving Engineering and Medicine: Biomedical engineering at Ole Miss is preparing students through a rigorous and interactive curriculum to meet the growing demand for biomedical engineers worldwide. Recent innovations include development of a drug delivery device that could help people who suffer from treatment-resistant depression and “DataBrace,” a smart knee brace that improves mobility and tracks movement.
TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY
Serving as a Destination: From Grove Bowl to Square Jam and everything in between, almost a million people attend Ole Miss athletic events each year. And acclaimed venues like the UM University Museum, the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts and Rowan Oak help drive year-round visitation and contribute a substantial impact to the Lafayette-Oxford-University community. UM is also home to a wide variety of programs and facilities — like the Southern Foodways Alliance, Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management and one of the world’s largest blues archive collections — that contribute to Mississippi having one of the fastest growing creative economies in the country.