OXFORD, Miss. – Two of Mississippi’s largest companies, Cellular South and Ergon Inc., have made generous contributions to the University of Mississippi School of Engineering. Both companies were founded by UM graduates.
Wireless provider Cellular South has pledged $150,000 for the Cellular South Distance Learning Lab in the Old Chemistry building, and petroleum refiner Ergon has made a $100,000 gift to the Campaign for the School of Engineering for the building’s renovation and equipment.
“Both Cellular South and Ergon continue to be very generous to the School of Engineering,” said Kai-Fong Lee, dean of engineering. “We are so thankful that these Mississippi companies continue to give time and resources to our students.”
The Distance Learning Lab is to be used primarily for the Introduction to Engineering course, which is taught online for high school students throughout Mississippi. The lab also will be used for other distance learning courses and seminars presented by the school.
“We’re looking at this as an opportunity to participate and be involved with the exciting things going on at Ole Miss,” said Hu Meena, president of Cellular South. “This really is a partnership between Cellular South and the School of Engineering.”
Ergon also has been instrumental in assisting the school with its co-op program, which integrates theory and practice by blending classroom learning with practical work experience.
“Ergon has a long history of working with the engineering program at the University of Mississippi,” said Robert Lampton, Ergon president of supply and distribution and an Ole Miss alumnus. “It’s a great school, and we wanted to help upgrade the facilities to keep it great.”
Leslie B. Lampton Sr., a 1948 UM graduate, founded Ergon in 1954 as a petroleum retailer with two employees. The company has evolved into a network of diverse companies employing more than 2,500. Also headquartered in Jackson, Ergon and its nationwide subsidiaries stand as industry leaders in refining and marketing, asphalt and emulsions, transportation and terminaling services, oil and gas operations, embedded computing and real estate development.
Founded by Wade Creekmore Sr., a 1923 UM graduate, Cellular South is headquartered in Jackson and has more than 85 retail locations. The company provides wireless service in Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, the Florida panhandle and southwest Tennessee, an area with more than 5 million people.
For more information on the Campaign for the School of Engineering, go to http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/engineering_school/campaign/.