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Donald Cole Catalyst for Change Scholarship

Raised toward our $35,000 Goal
264 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on October 26, at 12:00 AM CDT
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Honor Cole's 25 Years at UM

Dr. Don Cole served as a respected professor and administrator for 25 years at the University of Mississippi, touching the lives of students, faculty and staff.


51 Years of Change

James Meredith bravely enrolled as the University of Mississippi's first African-American student in October 1962. When Don Cole arrived on campus as a freshman six years later, further progress was needed. Thankfully, Dr. Cole helped lead the way, as a student, a graduate student, a professor and administrator, and a champion of programs and opportunities serving African- American students, economically disadvantaged students, and indeed, every student enrolled at UM.


1970: Stand up for Progress

As a young campus activist with the Black Student Union, Don Cole and other UM students staged a protest at a Fulton Chapel concert in February 1970. Their modest demands included more opportunities for black students and staff and the hiring of black faculty members. In response, Cole and seven others -- the Ole Miss Eight -- were expelled from the university. Their leadership sparked change at UM. In the years since, nearly all the demands of the students were met by the University.


McNair Scholars Build a Future

As director of the Ronald E. McNair Program at the University of Mississippi, Dr. Cole mentored 177 outstanding students through intensive research projects in all fields of study. The program aims to prepare disadvantaged college students for graduate school and prepare them to become future Ph.D.s.


The Next Generation

Dr. Cole and his wife, Marcia, who serves as director of internships and community engagement in the UM School of Applied Sciences, raised three children in Oxford. Donald Cole II, Mariah Cole Williams and William Cole, all three of whom attended the University of Mississippi.


The Divine 9 Give Back

For African-American students, the nine fraternities and sororities of the National Pan-Hellenic Council offer a sense of belonging and a shared mission that extends well beyond four years of college. If you give $900 in honor of the Divine 9, you will fund the Don Cole Scholarship for one freshman student for one year. Supporting education is the founding principle of every Greek-letter organization in the NPHC.


First of All: Alpha Phi Alpha

"First of all, servants of all, we shall transcend all." Dr. Cole's membership in Alpha Phi Alpha has been an important part of his service to African-American students over the years. From his time as an advisor to the UM chapter while earning his Ph.D. in the 1980s to his current leadership and mentorship, we honor his commitment with a gift that recognizes the year Alpha Phi Alpha was founded at Cornell University.


Four Years of Cole Scholarship

Fund the Donald Cole Scholarship for one student through all four years of his/her undergraduate pursuits at the University of Mississippi. This deserving student will major in African American Studies and possibly complete a double major as well. As part of their course of study, they will learn the civil rights history of UM, of which Dr. Cole played an integral part.

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