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Fight Poverty in MS by honoring Dr. Vaughn Grisham’s Legacy

Raised toward our $100,000 Goal
57 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on August 30, at 11:59 PM CDT
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Fight Poverty in MS by honoring Dr. Vaughn Grisham’s Legacy

Dr. Vaughn Grisham’s scholarship and teaching have changed lives and entire communities by inspiring hope, leadership and resilience. Honor and celebrate his legacy by supporting the Grisham Scholarship and the renaming of the McLean Institute to the Grisham-McLean Institute for Public Service and Community Engagement. 

To honor his lifelong dedication to students and communities around the world, the friends and colleagues of Dr. Grisham have established the Vaughn and Sandy Grisham Scholarship and added his name to the McLean Institute, which he served as its founding director. Become a philanthropic leader and join us as we invite every member of the Ole Miss family to support our cause by making a gift!

The purpose of the Grisham-McLean Institute is to advance transformation through service at the university and to fight poverty through education in Mississippi. Dr. Grisham has devoted his life to developing each community’s greatest asset – its people – to build leadership capacity and enhance the quality of life.

“What one or two changes or improvements will have the greatest positive effect on your lives and the people of this immediate area? What are YOU willing to contribute to this process?” — Dr. Vaughn Grisham

The Grisham-McLean Institute partners with Mississippi communities to fight poverty through education, innovation and entrepreneurship, and is home to the following signature initiatives: 

M Partner: During the pilot phase of the M Partner initiative in Charleston, Lexington and New Albany, 25 faculty and staff members engaged more than 400 students in 35 courses and projects, 18 programs and special events and 15 national service placements in the M Partner communities. These efforts reached an estimated 8,000 individuals across the three pilot communities..

North Mississippi VISTA Project: As a key initiative of the Grisham-McLean Institute for Public Service and Community Engagement, the North Mississippi VISTA Project fights poverty through education. AmeriCorps VISTA core principles are poverty alleviation, capacity building, sustainable solutions and community empowerment. The NMVP places 25 VISTA members to serve at partner organizations and advance the shared mission of fighting poverty and improving the quality of life for all Mississippians. VISTA members dedicate one year of full-time national service to build sustainable systems that connect the University of Mississippi to underserved communities throughout a 28-county area. These activities have generated more than $7 million in economic activity for the region. 

Catalyzing Entrepreneurship and Economic Development: Since 2014, CEED has provided scholarships to more than 100 undergraduate and graduate students and supported the research of UM faculty members. The program’s direct economic impact for UM and communities throughout the state is more than $2 million. Scholarships and stipends for faculty, staff and community partners total $1.6 million. The program uses an entrepreneurship and community development framework to support collaboration on business and economic development goals between community and campus. Students develop entrepreneurial skills to complement their academic interests by making meaningful contributions to Mississippi communities, with the goal of improving local economies across Mississippi. 

North Mississippi Literacy Project: Bob Dorsey, a former UM professor of economics, and his wife, Carol, helped to establish the North Mississippi Literacy Project. The program trains pre-K through second-grade teachers in the Oxford and Lafayette County school districts in the multi-sensory structured language program, which is designed to teach all children – including students with learning differences – to read, write and spell, building a strong foundation for literacy.

Each year, the institute provides opportunities to develop students into future leaders. These students join a network of hundreds of UM students, faculty, staff and community partners. We call on you to help support and sustain the legacy and work of Dr. Vaughn Grisham. 

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40 Years of Marriage

Honor 40 years of union between Vaughn and Sandy Grisham. Together, they have dedicated their lives to enhancing communities through education. Support with a $40 gift to continue to make an impact!


60 Years of Service

In recognition of Dr. Grisham’s 60 years of service to the University of Mississippi. Now serving as professor emeritus, he joined the UM faculty in 1961. Dr. Grisham taught more than 20,000 students through his affiliations with the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College. Dedicate a $60 gift for 60 years of dedicated service!


Support the UM Community

The Grisham-McLean Institute is home to many signature initiatives, such as the North Mississippi VISTA Project, Catalyzing Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (CEED), M-Partner and other programs aimed at improving the UM community and our state. These initiatives allow our students to engage in real-world problem solving and public service to create a transformative learning experience. Support our students by making a $500 gift!


Improve Quality of Life

The McLean Institute was established in dedication to George and Anna Keirsey McLean in 1984 by Dr. Grisham. The McLeans understood that universities could be a resource for communities and regions seeking to raise their quality of life. Join us and make a $1,984 gift to honor the work of George and Anna Keirsey McLean!


Inspire Tomorrow's Leaders

Dr. Grisham has connected with several students and communities worldwide through his impactful and transformative leadership. His scholarship and teaching have changed lives and entire communities by inspiring hope, leadership and resilience. Be a leader like Dr. Grisham and impact the lives of our students and communities by making a $5,000 gift to the Grisham-McLean Institute. I know that we can count on you!

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