To date, Lucian Minor's generous and continued financial support to the University of Mississippi has not been widely known outside the Patterson School of Accountancy. But that anonymity has now disappeared, as the 1937 alumnus received the distinguished honor of having one of the university's three newest residence halls named in his honor on April 25, 2013.
The dedication ceremony of Minor Hall, the dormitory previously known as Ridge West located along Rebel Drive on the former site of Miller Hall, was open to the public and well attended by university leadership, alumni, and students.
"The University of Mississippi is proud to have a residence hall bear the name of Lucian Minor, who has used his accounting degree from our university as the basis for a remarkable career," Chancellor Dan Jones said. "We are grateful to Mr. Minor for his strong and longtime support for our university through the nationally acclaimed Patterson School of Accountancy."
Having a campus building named in honor of Minor, who has been a major benefactor of the accountancy school, is most appropriate, Dean Mark Wilder said.
"Mary and Lucian Minor have been dedicated and faithful supporters of the accountancy program for decades and are truly cornerstones of the Patterson School's success," Wilder said. "Considering his own humble beginnings at the university so many years ago and his subsequent generosity thereafter, it is fitting that this state-of-the-art residence hall, which houses promising freshmen students, should bear his name."
Wendell Weakley, president and CEO of the UM Foundation, agreed.
"I am so pleased that this building will carry the Minor name for the benefit of generations of our students," Weakley said. "Lucian and Mary have been such good friends to Ole Miss. Their support has truly made a remarkable positive impact on our university."
Minor and his wife, Mary, recently provided more than $5 million in gift annuities to the Patterson School, further defining their dedication to the school and university. Minor's support over three decades has included a trust to establish the Lucian S. Minor Endowment for the accountancy school in 1996 and a trust of $1 million in 2007, as well as generous contributions to other initiatives across the Oxford campus.
"I've enjoyed my relationship with Ole Miss for many, many years," said Minor, retired from a stellar career in accounting and investments. "Many of the courses I took at Ole Miss contributed to my success in the business world, particularly the accounting field. I'm glad to share some of my success. Hopefully, some needy students will benefit from our gifts."
Enrolled at UM during the Great Depression, Minor lived on only $600 a year, all his family could provide for his freshman and sophomore years on campus. The Macon native ultimately used a personal loan to finance his last two years at Ole Miss, and his dedication to his alma mater has been evident since.
"Lucian's loyalty to Ole Miss has not been equaled by anything else in his life," Mary Minor said.
Minor Hall is one of three residence halls – the others being Ridge North and Ridge South – that opened in August. Dubbed the "Ridges" in honor of Larry Ridgeway, retired vice chancellor for student affairs, each hall can each house between 250 and 340 students. The buildings provide many of the amenities requested by students, including private bathrooms, microwaves and refrigerators in each room, study rooms, community kitchens and lounges with TVs on each floor.
Another feature that sets the Ridges apart from other residence halls on campus and elsewhere in Mississippi is that they are devoted to living-learning communities, which connect students with common academic interests, and freshman interest groups, which connect students with common extracurricular interests.
Recruited by General Mills Inc. in Minneapolis upon his graduation from Ole Miss, Minor joined the company's internal audit staff, where he was employed until his service in the U.S. Navy in 1942. He was placed with Douglas Aircraft Co. in Los Angeles as a cost inspector and passed the CPA exam during his enlistment.
He was discharged as a lieutenant commander in 1946 and soon resigned from General Mills to open his own accounting firm in Memphis. By 1967, his operation had grown to some 40 employees, large enough to interest the Big Eight firms. He merged with Ernst & Ernst (now Ernst & Young) and became partner in charge of the Memphis office, a position he held until his retirement in 1978.
Minor was inducted into the Ole Miss Alumni Association's Hall of Fame in 2005 and the Patterson School of Accountancy's Hall of Fame in 1997.
Individuals and organizations interested in learning more about providing private support to the Patterson School of Accountancy can contact Jen McMillan, development officer, at 662-915-1993 or firstname.lastname@example.org.