Honoring thy mother is a commandment Gordon Thompson has taken to heart. When he decided to establish a scholarship in honor of his mother, who was also an Ole Miss student, Thompson followed the spirit of the commandment to a T.
The $100,000 Claude P. Thompson Ole Miss First Scholarship is for full-time entering freshmen in the School of Accountancy who are from a non-traditional (one parent) background and have financial need. The scholarship was started in 2002 and will be fully funded in December 2013.
"My mother's self-sacrifice, as well as various types of financial aid, allowed me to attend Ole Miss and receive an educational experience, academically and culturally, which has shaped my life and career," Thompson said. "It is with gratitude to her and the university that I pledge this support."
The Memphis resident received an undergraduate degree in accounting in 1975 and is a managing director of CBIZ MHM Thompson Dunavant and a shareholder at Mayer Hoffman McCann P.C.. He is also a member of the Advisory Board to UM's Patterson School of Accountancy.
"We are honored to have the Claude P. Thompson name on a permanent endowment at Ole Miss and so pleased that it will be targeted towards recruiting top students into the accountancy program," Mark Wilder, dean at the Patterson School of Accountancy, said. "This scholarship will be of great assistance to young people with financial need and may well provide the encouragement and support that enables them to attend college. We appreciate so much everything that Gordon Thompson has done and continues to do for the Patterson School of Accountancy."
Ole Miss First is a university-wide initiative that addresses the most critical need of the 21st century—scholarships. Each Ole Miss First scholarship is based on an award of $4,500 per year for four years, for a total of $18,000, to cover eight semesters of tuition for an undergraduate student. Scholarship endowments can also be created at the $100,000 level and will be awarded in perpetuity. Ole Miss First scholarships are unique in that each scholar is assigned a mentor during his or her tenure at Ole Miss.
Ole Miss First gifts help UM achieve its goal of providing a scholarship for every deserving student and builds on the university's academic reputation. The capacity to recruit and retain the brightest students exists because of private support from alumni and friends.
The Claude P. Thompson Ole Miss First Scholarship is open for gifts from individuals and organizations. To contribute, mail a check with the fund noted to the University of Mississippi Foundation, 406 University Avenue, Oxford, MS 38655; contact Jenifer McMillan, development officer for the Patterson School of Accountancy, at 662-915-1993 or email@example.com; or visit www.umfoundation.com/makeagift. To learn more about Ole Miss First, call the foundation at 800-340-9542.