A University of Mississippi alumni couple has honored Chancellor Robert Khayat with a gift of $25,000 to the Chancellor’s Trust.

Pete and Allison Davis wanted to give back to their alma mater and support Khayat’s leadership and vision for the institution.

"I wanted to support the many positive steps the university has taken under Chancellor Khayat’s leadership," Davis said. "I had a desire to participate in the impressive changes that the university continues to undergo."

Established in 1975, the Chancellor’s Trust is used for the university’s greatest needs. Supporting the fund provides the chancellor with the flexibility to use the gift where it is most effective. For example, the money can be used to enhance faculty development, provide scholarships or respond to changing needs.

Davis, originally from Laurel, is a real estate investment banker in Atlanta. He received a bachelor’s degree in English in 1994 and a master’s degree in education in 1998. Before leaving Oxford for Atlanta, he worked as an Ole Miss assistant tennis coach, a development officer for the School of Engineering and in the Office of the Chancellor, another reason he was motivated to give to the fund.

"Chancellor Khayat gave me some fantastic and unique opportunities during the time I worked with him, and I saw this gift as a small way to help repay him for that," Davis said.

Allison Davis also attended Ole Miss and received her bachelor’s of fine arts degree in 1995. The couple’s children are 16-month-old twins Peter and Lillis.

The gift is part of the university’s MomentUM campaign, a four-year initiative to raise $200 million. The campaign, which ends in December 2008, already has raised more than $160 million for scholarships, graduate fellowships, faculty support, a basketball practice facility, residential colleges and a new law school on the Oxford campus. Also in the plan is a cancer center at the UM Medical Center in Jackson.

Chancellor’s Trust gifts can be paid out over a five-year period, and members receive invitations to special events. For more information about the Chancellor’s Trust or for other ways to contribute to Ole Miss, call 662-915-5955 or 800-340-9542 or go to
.