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Tincher supports UM institute to pay tribute to wife’s life
Mike Tincher of Oxford, Mississippi, right, committed an estate gift to create the Ami Moore Tincher Endowment for the Arts at the University of Mississippi to pay tribute to his late wife and to raise awareness for the arts. Visiting with Tincher at Memory House, the home of the UM Foundation, is Caroline Hourin, associate director of development for the College of Liberal Arts.

Ami Moore Tincher’s interests in life were focused on film and theatre, music and art — the areas highlighted by the Institute for the Arts at the University of Mississippi.

Mike Tincher committed an estate gift of $100,000 to create an endowment in his wife’s name to support the work of the institute. In addition to memorializing his spouse, he hopes his gift will raise awareness for the arts and encourage other individuals to provide support. The gift was announced as part of Giving Day 2023 — the university’s annual social media-driven fundraising event.

“To me, the next All-American doesn’t have to be from the football or baseball fields; the ‘star’ can be out of the music, film or art departments,” Tincher said. “I’ve listened to some of the students perform, and they are incredible. The quality of instruction at Ole Miss is wonderful.

“All of the arts areas are so focused on helping the students accomplish their goals. I would like to see the achievements of the students and faculty in the arts publicized more. If I were a prospective student and saw where all these individuals had become successful in the arts after graduating from Ole Miss, it would definitely influence my decision on where to attend college.”

As examples of notable achievements, Tincher said his next-door neighbor UM Associate Professor of Music Jos Milton, a tenor, has four Grammy nominations to his credit. The Mississippians Jazz Ensemble, a student group, is traveling to France and Spain this summer to perform at three jazz festivals. In addition, UM’s Concert Singers are traveling to France and Belgium in May for multiple singing opportunities in historic cathedrals.

The arts were responsible for bringing the Tinchers to Oxford, Mississippi. Mike Tincher — a native of Paducah, Kentucky, who lived in Chicago, Illinois, throughout his adult life — told his wife she could choose anywhere for the couple to retire, and she chose Oxford, in part because of all the arts events hosted at Ole Miss. Two weeks after the couple moved into their newly built home, Ami Tincher passed away unexpectantly.

“Ami chose Oxford because of better weather, namely 300 days of sunshine annually, and she loved the Southern culture. She also liked the size of the town and the university-sponsored events, things you wouldn’t otherwise have in a town of 25,000.

“Ami didn’t really have interests in many other areas than the arts,” Tincher said. “Her primary interests were film and theatre, and then music and art. She was a fan of every kind of movie and had an enormous comic book collection. I really wanted to do something in her name because I know we would have had the opportunity to enjoy everything that comes with Ole Miss — events at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts, music in the Nutt Auditorium, etc.”

Ami Tincher, who was Hawaiian and moved to Los Angeles, California, with her family, earned a degree in education from the California State University, Fresno. For many movie projects, she taught child actors on sets who were missing school to film. After she moved to Chicago and married, she returned to college to become an occupational therapist.

Ami Tincher is buried in Oxford.

“This is where she wanted to be,” said her husband. “She said, ‘This is home.’”

Mike Tincher has agreed to serve on the advisory board for the Institute for the Arts, which was created to highlight and strengthen the university’s departments of Art and Art History, Music, and Theatre and Film.

Nancy Maria Balach, chair of UM’s Department of Music and director of the Institute for the Arts, said, “In academia, we tend to be so focused on what we are researching and teaching, but we also need to ensure our work connects to the public. Mike will help us connect these two worlds, and we are so lucky that he is living in Oxford.

“Mike’s pure love for music and the arts will propel the institute forward and transform the landscape of the region; he is a true arts advocate. His passion is inspiring; his musical palette will bring a fresh perspective to the institute’s work. Because of this gift and other growing support, there has never been a better time to experience and explore the arts at UM.”

Ami and Mike Tincher collected art for many years and are gifting two paintings to the university: one by Joan Miró and another by Salut Carol.

“How can you have a bad day if you are listening to beautiful music or looking at beautiful art?” Mike Tincher said. “Music is a universal language that everyone can understand, and I think art, and in some ways film, is the same. In building our art collection, we looked for the story that goes with the piece of art. It’s like that with music too; a story is told even if there are no words.”

Mike Tincher was one of two founders in 1979 who established Buker Inc., an international consulting and educational firm headquartered in Chicago with offices all over the world – London, Sydney, Mexico City and Johannesburg. Buker leaders work with manufacturing organizations to improve their processes. Tincher has partially retired but continues to work with some of the firm’s key clients about 10 days a month.

He earned a degree from Bowling Green State University, working his way through as the first person in his family to attend college.

Individuals and organizations can contribute to the Ami Moore Tincher Endowment for the Arts by mailing a check with the endowment’s name noted on the memo line to the University of Mississippi Foundation, 406 University Ave., Oxford, MS 38655; or support the Institute for the Arts here.

For more information on supporting the arts at Ole Miss, contact Caroline Hourin, associate director of development, at or 662-915-6385.

To learn more about including Ole Miss in your will, contact Marc Littlecott, advancement director for estate and planned giving, at or 662-915-6625.

By Tina H. Hahn/UM Development


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.