Larry Sparks, VC of Administration & Finance; Hilarie Bain, Associate Director of Printing & Graphic Services; and Tony Seaman, Director of Printing & Graphic Services present a check to Chancellor Robert Khayat.

OXFORD, Miss. – The department of Printing and Graphic Services at the University of Mississippi has created the first-ever scholarship of its kind with a gift of $25,000.

Though many university employees give back to Ole Miss, this is the first gift ever made by a university department as a whole.

“It’s wonderful that our employees, who give so much of their time and effort to Ole Miss, also chose to give back in this way,” said Chancellor Robert Khayat. “This generous gift from the department of Printing and Graphic Services to create a scholarship illustrates the deep dedication of our staff and their commitment to our students and their success. We are profoundly grateful for this unprecedented gift.”

The funds to create the endowment were both given by department employees and will be generated from revenue made by the department. Printing and Graphic Services is an auxiliary unit of the university, which means it does not receive funding from university or the state. Rather, the department generates its own revenue for wages, benefits, retirement, health insurance and utilities by providing and charging for its services, some of which include graphic design, printing, copying, digital color printing, web design, book making and bindery.

“The scholarship will grow each time the campus community hires us for our services,” said Tony Seaman, department director. “We plan to contribute annually to the endowment by giving a percentage of our profits to the fund, so the more work we do on campus, the larger the contribution we can make. Everyone who uses our services will essentially be contributing to the scholarship.”

Scholarship recipients will be full-time students pursuing a degree in fine arts with a focus on graphic or web design.

“By creating this scholarship we feel we can have a direct impact on the university’s core mission of education,” Seaman said. “With the increasing costs of tuition and related costs this scholarship will perhaps make a difference to a student who might not otherwise be able to afford a college education. And who knows? We might help kick off the career of a talented up-and-coming young artist or designer.

“We have a great group of dedicated staff that I am very proud to be associated with in helping make this possible,” Seaman said. “We are proud to be part of Ole Miss and giving back to our students, because they are the ones that make our jobs purposeful. It’s a small gesture of appreciation from our staff. And as we add to the endowment each year, we can impact a greater number of students as the fund grows.”

The gift is part of the university’s MomentUM campaign, a four-year initiative to raise $200 million. Funds raised through the 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.

For more information about Printing and Graphic Services, visit www.olemiss.edu/depts/printing.