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Contribution to endowment is one of first by a major corporation
Former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour (left) visits with Mayo Flynt, president of AT&T Mississippi, and UM Chancellor Dr. Jeffrey Vitter (right). AT&T recently donated $100,000 to help establish the Governor Haley Barbour Endowment for the Study of American Politics at the University of Mississippi.

In an effort to help increase the visibility of the University of Mississippi’s Department of Political Science and offer students enhanced learning opportunities, AT&T is donating $100,000 to help establish the Governor Haley Barbour Endowment for the Study of American Politics. AT&T is one of the first major corporations to contribute to the fund that will support a new faculty position led by a prominent American politics scholar.

“Governor Barbour’s impact on American politics is notable and far-reaching. It’s worthy of continued dialogue and study by scholars and political science students,” said Mayo Flynt, president of AT&T Mississippi. “We’re fortunate the University of Mississippi recognizes the importance of preparing the next generation of policy makers with thought-provoking education and exchange of ideas. AT&T is pleased to recognize Governor Barbour’s successes and accomplishments with this well-deserved endowment.”

The University of Mississippi’s Department of Political Science and the University of Mississippi Foundation established the Endowment to honor Barbour in perpetuity; for recruitment and retention of outstanding faculty; and to ensure quality teaching, research and service are available for future University of Mississippi students. The current campaign goal is to raise $1 million for initial efforts. While $1.5 million is the standard goal to endow a chaired faculty position, the UM Foundation has set a goal of $2.5 million.

“This gift from AT&T is an extraordinary vote of confidence in the work of our political science department and in the legacy of Governor Barbour,” said Jeffrey S. Vitter, chancellor of the University of Mississippi. “Developing sound policy solutions that can impact many requires a world-class education, and our graduates must be ready to understand and solve countless domestic policy issues. We thank AT&T for contributing to this endowment in honor of Governor Barbour at the University of Mississippi. Their generosity underscores our approach to political science studies that is important to our campus and to public policy across the state.”

Haley Barbour is a former 2-term governor of Mississippi and remains one of the top political strategists in the country. His handling of the Gulf Oil Spill as well as Hurricane Katrina, where he worked with local, state and national leadership to assist victims, received praise. He’s also the author of America’s Great Storm: Leading through Hurricane Katrina, which explores leadership during a crisis.

“My life has been accentuated by numerous efforts to provide students with opportunities to successfully compete in the political arena and in any field rooted in public service,” said Governor Haley Barbour. “There is no place I want to do that more than at my alma mater, Ole Miss. If we can attract the brightest scholars, that will only benefit the young people who have so much to offer our great state and nation. I’m humbled by this endowment in my honor and look forward to strengthening the academic reputation of the University of Mississippi.”

This endowment is open to gifts from individuals and organizations. To contribute, send checks with the Governor Haley Barbour Endowment noted in the memo line to the University of Mississippi Foundation,406 University Ave., Oxford, MS 38655; contact Denson Hollis, senior director of major gifts, at 662-915-5092 or; or visit


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.