Skip to content
Young Alum Creates Scholarship in Ole Miss Business School
Young alumnus Matthew Murphy (below) of Nashville, Tennessee, hopes his gift to the University of Mississippi School of Business Administration will help bridge a generational gap in the mortgage industry.

University of Mississippi alumnus Matthew Murphy of Nashville, Tennessee, hopes his recent gift to his alma mater will encourage more students to study banking and ultimately bridge a generational gap he noticed in the mortgage industry.

The 2015 graduate’s $100,000 gift will establish the Matthew C. Murphy Scholarship Fund and the Matthew C. Murphy Fund for Excellence in the School of Business Administration.

“Being able to give back to my alma mater so early after graduation and really establishing a firm relationship with the university was always at the top of my list,” said Murphy, who serves as COO at the Commonwealth Group based in Memphis, Tennessee.

“When I was analyzing the mortgage finance industry roughly six years ago and plotting a massive career change, I noticed an enormous age differential between upper-level and executive management versus the rest of the mortgage banking industry.

“This sparked my jump into mortgage banking, where the average age of a mortgage banker is roughly 58 to 60 years old. I realized very quickly that I could climb the executive business ladder, while bypassing the typical corporate ranking structure and timeline required to obtain such status, and all the while by doing so at an extremely early age,” Murphy said.

At age 29, he is now able to sit for the Certified Mortgage Banker’s (CMB) designation, which is the highest designation offered by the Mortgage Bankers Association of America, and has already obtained the Accredited Mortgage Professional (AMP), Certified Residential Underwriter (CRU), and Certified Mortgage Compliance Professional (CMCP) designations.

Murphy credits Ole Miss business school faculty for helping him find his place in the marketplace, leading him to found Murphy Capital Management of which he is also the president and CEO.

“Dr. Ken Cyree was, without a doubt, my favorite professor and is still to this day one of my all-time favorite speakers. I was lucky enough to take both his Finance 537 and 538 Bank Management classes, which are two of the best courses I have ever taken. I still have the hardcopy of the Bank Management book sitting by my desk in my office,” Murphy said.

Cyree, dean of the business school, remembers Murphy from the classroom and is grateful that he is contributing to his alma mater.

“We are thrilled to have such a wonderful commitment to our faculty and students from such a young alumnus. It is very satisfying to me to see one of the students I taught giving back,” Cyree said.

“I think it speaks volumes to Matthew’s dedication and appreciation for the education he received at the Ole Miss Business School.”

Growing up in an Ole Miss household kept the university close to Murphy’s heart. Both his father, Dr. Garnett Murphy of Memphis, and brother, Dr. Drew Murphy of Germantown, Tennessee, completed undergraduate degrees at the university.

When it came time to select his college home, Murphy said the memories of football games with his family, along with the strong reputation of the finance and accounting programs in the business school and Patterson School of Accountancy, made his decision to attend Ole Miss an easy one.

“I will always hold the professors who taught me, the students who helped me and the university staff who assisted me through my years at Ole Miss close to my heart and I will continue to give back as much as I possibly can,” Murphy said.

“I cannot stress this enough: the cost of a great education – which Ole Miss gave me – is priceless.”

Sally Rychlak, development officer for the School of Business Administration, said gifts like Murphy’s will create opportunities for students and open doors to their future careers.

“This incredible gift not only will support student success in the business school but also will display the commitment to excellence among our young alumni base. We are so grateful for Matthew’s generosity and dedication to the business school,” Rychlak said.

Murphy describes his philosophy of giving with an analogy: “You’ll never see a turtle sitting on a fence post that got there by itself. He had to have some help. Being a student at such an extraordinary university allows you to receive this needed help and assistance and find your niche and specific interests that will ultimately pave your way for future success upon graduation.”

To make a gift to the Matthew C. Murphy Scholarship Fund or the Matthew C. Murphy Fund for Excellence, send a check with the scholarship name written in the memo line, to the University of Mississippi Foundation, 406 University Ave., Oxford, MS 38655; or online at

For more information about supporting the UM School of Business Administration, contact Sally Rychlak, development officer, at or 662-915-3084.

By Mary Stanton Knight


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.