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Jimmy Carr of Oxford, center, is pictured with the 2014-15 recipients of the Jimmy Carr State Farm Scholarship awarded Ole Miss freshmen members of the Pride of the South Band. The students are Harley Purdy, a graduate of Lafayette High School, left, and Kimberly Cassisa, a graduate of Oxford High School.

While University of Mississippi alumnus Jimmy Carr of Oxford never marched with his alma mater’s Pride of the South Band, he has come to appreciate what UM student-musicians add to both cultural and athletic activities on campus. Carr is among many Ole Miss supporters who recognize the effort, hours of practice and dedication of Rebel band members.

When Carr, with the help of his employer, State Farm of Oxford, decided to create a scholarship at UM, he chose as recipients the hard-working members of the Pride of the South.

“The band adds so much to the gameday experience at Ole Miss, and they work so hard,” said Carr. “They deserve so much recognition for their work and dedication.”

The Jimmy Carr State Farm Scholarship, created with the help of the State Farm Companies Foundation Good Neighbor Grant and Matching Gift Program, is awarded to an Oxford High School and a Lafayette High School graduate each year.

Selected this year were UM freshmen Kimberly Cassisa, an OHS graduate, and Harley Purdy, an LHS graduate.

Both students are music education majors in addition to their participation in the UM band. Cassisa plays clarinet, while Purdy plays the trumpet. Both students were able to travel with the Pride of the South to Atlanta for the Dec. 31 Peach Bowl.

“It was a really neat experience to play in a dome,” said Purdy.

Individuals and organizations can make gifts to the Jimmy Carr State Farm Scholarship fund online at or by contacting Denson Hollis at 662-915-5092 or

Katie Morrison


Online gifts for the 2024 calendar year should be made no later than noon on December 31, 2024.  Checks by mail will need to be postmarked by December 31 to be counted in the 2024 calendar year.