As president of the Columns Society, student William Kneip learned about the University of Mississippi inside and out in order to interact effectively with alumni, donors and other distinguished guests. That knowledge combined with other education and experiences are contributing to his new role — development officer to generate private support for the College of Liberal Arts.
Founded in 1848, the College of Liberal Arts is UM’s oldest and largest division, with 18 departments and three military units, 11 centers and institutes, more than 5,300 students pursuing majors and 500 in master’s and doctoral degree programs. The college also provides the general education component of all undergraduate degree programs.
“The number of College of Liberal Arts’ alumni and friends continues to expand as we produce more graduates and see increases in our enrollment,” said Lee Cohen, dean of liberal arts. “We are pleased to welcome William Kneip to the Development team and are confident he is well prepared to work with this large group given his extensive knowledge of the college.”
“Crucial to our success is having a significant number of individuals involved in supporting our programs with their time, expertise and resources, and we are grateful to have such deeply committed stakeholders. We anticipate that William will make outstanding contributions to the College of Liberal Arts, as he applies his knowledge, experiences, perspectives, dedication and energy toward building relationships and encouraging gifts on our behalf.”
Kneip is a May 2016 liberal arts graduate who majored in public policy at Ole Miss and has held two internships with the Office of Development, first an undergraduate and most recently as a graduate intern.
“William is a natural at development work and has an amazing talent for connecting with people from all backgrounds,” said Denson Hollis, Development Office director. “He has a great passion for Ole Miss and exceptional educational opportunities, and he welcomes all opportunities to share our growth and achievements. We expect William to help fuel continued momentum the university is experiencing by encouraging alumni and friends toward long-term involvement in the life of Ole Miss.”
Kneip credits his Ole Miss experiences with guiding his career choice.
“The University of Mississippi is a liberal arts university and I was fortunate enough to experience this firsthand as a student,” Kneip said. “My interactions with professors, students and eventually colleagues led me to develop this desire to help strengthen the College of Liberal Arts and, of course, the university as a whole.
“Our alumni and friends are as excited and optimistic about our university as ever before. It is amazing to travel around the country and visit with them,” the new Development officer said. “They want to know about construction and changes on campus, what their favorite professors are doing and updates on academic initiatives. Time and again I see that although we all have different backgrounds, careers, interests and zip codes, we are united by our love for Ole Miss. I look forward to building on the College of Liberal Arts’ excellence so that many more generations will feel that they received the very best educational opportunities here.”
While a senior at Ole Miss, Kneip was inducted into the student Hall of Fame, co-directed finance and fundraising for the Big Event — the largest day of community service in Mississippi — was elected “Mr. Ole Miss” by the student body, and served as a fraternity president. He also was the co-coordinator of a university crowdfunding Ignite Ole Miss campaign that attracted contributions for the Ole Miss Family Emergency Fund.
Those interested in contacting Kneip to learn more about supporting the College of Liberal Arts can reach him at 662-915-2254 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Tina Hahn