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Robin McGraw, Renasant Bank Chairman and CEO

OXFORD, Miss. – Renasant Bank has committed $100,000 to create a new type of scholarship for the School of Business Administration at the University of Mississippi.
“Renasant Bank is proud to support the University of Mississippi through the Ole Miss First scholarship fund and the Renasant Bank Fund for Business Excellence,” said E. Robinson McGraw, Renasant Bank Chairman and CEO. “This is a tremendous opportunity to invest in and mentor Mississippi’s future business leaders, and we look forward to helping our state’s best and brightest learn the fundamentals needed for successful business careers.”

Of the total amount, half will be used to create two Ole Miss First scholarships. Ole Miss First is a university-wide initiative, implemented in 2000 by Chancellor Robert Khayat to address the critical need for scholarships. Ole Miss First scholarships are unique in that each scholar is assigned a mentor during his or her term at Ole Miss. The Renasant Bank Ole Miss First scholarships will also be the first to include internship opportunities within the company.

“We are thrilled about the new corporate component of the Ole Miss First scholarship program,” said Jill West, development officer for Ole Miss First. “Renasant Bank is the first to fund this type of scholarship and we are incredibly appreciative. It’s another example of Renasant’s dedication to ensuring a bright future for University of Mississippi students.”

The Renasant Bank Corporate Ole Miss First scholarships will be awarded to full-time students pursuing degrees in banking and finance in the School of Business Administration.

The remainder of Renasant’s gift will be used to establish the Renasant Bank Fund for Business Excellence, which will assist the School of Business Administration with recruitment and retention of faculty, and will also create a general fund to address the school’s greatest needs.

“Faculty, staff and students of the School of Business are grateful for the generous support of Renasant Bank,” said Ken Cyree, dean of the School of Business. “The new scholarships will give our students an opportunity to gain professional experience and knowledge outside of the classroom. Faculty support will help us retain and attract high-quality faculty to provide scholarship and teaching.  Renasant’s generosity provides a wonderful example for us all. We thank them for supporting the School and for helping to make sure we can provide the best education possible.”
Renasant Bank is headquartered in Tupelo and has locations throughout Mississippi, Tennessee, and Alabama.

Renasant’s gift is part of the university’s MomentUM campaign, a four year initiative to raise $200 million. Funds raised through the MomentUM campaign, which ends in December 2008, will support scholarships, graduate fellowships, faculty support, a basketball practice facility, residential colleges and a new law school on the Oxford campus. Also in the plans are a cancer center at the UM Medical Center and a new building to house the School of Pharmacy, both in Jackson.
(sonia thompson)

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