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from left) Brian Reithel, Dean of the School of Business, Bo and Sylvia Tighe, Tara Hallie and Stirling Tighe.

OXFORD, Miss. – A University of Mississippi business alumnus has donated $100,000 to his alma mater to create the B. Stirling Tighe Memorial Scholarship Endowment.

Bowman "Bo" Stirling Tighe Jr. and his wife, Sylvia, of Ridgeland created the scholarship in memory of Bo’s father, who also was an Ole Miss alumnus.

"My father loved Ole Miss and he is the reason I wanted to come to school here." Tighe said. "He’s also the reason I wanted to give back – and am able to give back – to Ole Miss. If there is one thing that I learned from my father, it’s that there is no substitute for hard work. Because of him instilling a strong work ethic in me, I have excelled in my career. And it’s my success that has put me in the position I’m in now as far as being able to make this gift."

The elder Tighe graduated from UM with both a bachelor of business administration degree and juris doctor degree. He was a lifelong resident of Jackson and practiced law there for 34 years. A strong supporter of the university’s athletics program, he was a member of the Ole Miss Alumni Association, as well as the Ole Miss Loyalty Foundation. He was also a member of the American Bar Association, Mississippi Bar Association, Hinds County Bar Association and Mississippi Trial Lawyers Association. Tighe died in 1987 at age 59.

The scholarship in his honor will assist deserving men and women with demonstrated financial need in their pursuit of degrees in the School of Business Administration, with preference given to students in the petroleum land management program or students hoping to pursue a graduate law degree.

"We are deeply grateful to the Tighe family for this tremendous gift," said Brian Reithel, dean of the business school. "Scholarships are one of our most pressing needs and this gift will help attract students who might not otherwise be able to attend Ole Miss." Tighe said he wanted to create a scholarship both to honor his father and inspire more students to study petroleum land management at Ole Miss, a profession from which he has made a successful career.

"During my lifelong career as an oil and gas landman, I have recognized the need for more men and women to enter the oil and gas business today, especially with the increase in energy prices in recent years," he said. "We need more graduates of petroleum land management program, and I am hopeful this scholarship will encourage more Ole Miss students to consider this field as their chosen profession."

Tighe graduated from Ole Miss in 1977 with a degree in business. He is a certified professional landman and has been active in the oil and gas business as an independent landman since 1979. He is a member of the American Association of Petroleum Landmen and the Mississippi Association of Petroleum Landmen. In 1989, he formed Sunbelt Resources Inc., a consulting land and brokerage company that provides field land work services to major and independent exploration companies operating primarily in Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana.

His wife, Sylvia, a native of Laurel, also attended Ole Miss. She worked for OffiSource Inc. in Jackson for 24 years selling contract furniture until she retired in 2004. During her career there, the company was involved in many of the restoration projects on the UM campus. She is involved in the day-to-day operations of Sunbelt Resources Inc. and also works as a Realtor with Elizabeth Knight, Realtor of Jackson.

The Tighes have two children, who plan to continue their family’s legacy at Ole Miss. Tara Hallie, 17, a senior at Jackson Academy, plans to enter the university in fall 2008. Bowman Stirling Tighe III, 15, is a freshman at Jackson Academy and plans to enter UM in 2011.

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