The most recent of many gifts from the Dr. and Mrs. R. Faser Triplett Foundation to the University of Mississippi will help construct a gleaming, new alumni center on the footprint of the current one.
The Triplett Foundation, named for the late Jackie and Faser Triplett of Jackson, Mississippi, is managed by their children: Chip Triplett of Ridgeland, Mississippi; Diane Holloway of Nashville, Tennessee; Suzy Fuller of Greenwood, South Carolina; Liz Walker of Jackson; and Lou Ann Woidtke of Madison, Mississippi.
In 1993, Faser Triplett — a past president of the Ole Miss Alumni Association — made a major gift to the university in support of the Alumni House, and the building was renamed the Triplett Alumni Center in his family’s honor. Now, the Triplett Foundation’s $4 million donation will be the lead gift in support of new construction for the $30 million project.
“It is a continuation of my parents’ legacy because they felt strongly about a place for the alumni to gather, and the alumni meant so much to my father as he attended Ole Miss,” said Chip Triplett who attended Ole Miss for two years before finishing at Belhaven College.
While the Triplett Alumni Center already welcomes hundreds of alumni and friends to campus, each year creating and building relationships that foster continued support for the university, its services will significantly expand in its new home, said Clay Cavett, associate director of Alumni Affairs.
Initial plans for the new, multistory building feature expansive plate-glass windows through which guests can view UM’s historic Grove as they host receptions, weddings, and class and team reunions as well as events focused on recruiting new students.
“With the new construction being one of the first places for new students and their parents to visit on campus right across the Grove, we felt that it would make a great first impression,” Chip Triplett said.
“It will also be one of the last places they go when they graduate from school,” he continued. “Then any time they come back and as they have children of their own, they can say, ‘This is the first place I came when I was on this campus, and I have great memories of it.’ That’s our goal for this gift.”
Diane Triplett Holloway, a 1985 graduate of the UM School of Education, serves on the planning committee for the new building, and she shares her brother’s sentiments: “My siblings and I are thrilled that the Alumni Center will welcome a whole new generation of students, alumni and families. It will act as a front door to the university that everyone can be proud of.
“We know that the new building will continue to anchor our community, just as the old building has for decades. And we are excited to see it evolve to meet new needs and purposes that advance the university’s cutting edge,” she continued.
“We look forward to this next chapter and know that the Alumni Center will carry on the tradition of serving as a hospitable gathering place, a vibrant and strategic center point on campus, and a space to honor and expand Ole Miss’s legacy.”
Holloway said the Triplett Alumni Center holds sentimental value for her family, and they are eager to see it flourish.
“My siblings and I grew up running the halls of the old Alumni House, and those moments are truly some of my fondest memories,” she said. “This place is a part of us, and I know I speak for my whole family when I say that we are humbled to be able to serve the community that has enriched our lives so deeply.
“Visiting now, seeing our father’s portrait hang in the lobby overlooking the Grove, is a reminder for us of the incredible impact that this institution has on the lives of so many and the importance of giving back to it. It is one of the greatest privileges of my life to continue the work that my parents began and to honor their legacy through service,” Holloway said.
Cavett said countless generations of UM graduates will be grateful for the Triplett Foundation’s support.
“Their gift continues what Faser and Jackie started years ago when they made their initial contribution to the alumni center. That tradition continues, and we’re blessed beyond belief that we have a family with such generosity and vision for Ole Miss,” he said.
“They believe in our mission and understand our goal to build relationships that ultimately benefit our university.”
Holloway considers her family’s support of Ole Miss an honor.
“Seeing the Triplett name represented here inspires my siblings and me, every time we set foot on the grounds, to reflect on the greatness of this special place and to be proud to serve as members of the vibrant Ole Miss family,” she said.
In 2021, the Triplett Foundation provided the seed money, $500,000, needed to establish the William Magee Institute for Student Wellbeing at the university. The institute serves as the umbrella organization over several wellness centers designed to encourage holistic well-being and transform lives through education, research and support related to alcohol and other drugs.
This is the second major gift the Triplett Foundation has made to the university’s efforts in this area, and the support has been instrumental in the growth of powerful resources for students. In 2019, the family’s foundation awarded the William Magee Center $750,000 to support the hiring of a health-education specialist, fund the planning of a national symposium at Ole Miss and cover expenses associated with the startup.
In addition to supporting student wellness, the Triplett siblings directed a $1 million gift to the Campaign for Children’s of Mississippi at the UM Medical Center to support the expansion of Children’s Hospital. They also helped establish the R. Faser Triplett Sr. Chair of Allergy and Immunology in honor of their father.
“By directing this gift and others to Ole Miss, we want to draw attention to the projects that we believe will improve the university we love — those that will benefit generations of students and alumni to come,” said Suzy Triplett Fuller. “In raising awareness for this worthwhile project, we hope other foundations and individuals will lend their support as well.”
Those interested in supporting construction of the new Triplett Alumni Center, contact Clay Cavett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 662-915-7375.
By Bill Dabney/UM Foundation