The largest Giving Day gift in Ole Miss history supported the School of Business Administration in its efforts to attract and retain top professors to the University of Mississippi.
George Walker and Christie Kirkland Walker (both BBA 1990) of Jackson, Mississippi, established an endowment for faculty support in the Department of Finance within the School of Business Administration. Income from the $5 million gift will create two endowed chair positions and provide salary supplements, research support and creative resources for specially selected real estate or finance professors.
The entire Walker family – George, Christie and their daughters Ann Elizabeth, Caroline, Lillie and Sarah Grea – earned their degrees from the Ole Miss School of Business Administration. George Walker is the CEO of Heritage Properties, and Christie Walker is also involved in the business.
“We love Ole Miss and appreciate the preparation we received there,” George Walker said. “I majored in finance, and my wife majored in real estate, along with our four daughters. God has truly blessed our business. We want to give back to the School of Business Administration to see it flourish for future generations.”
Business Dean Ken Cyree said the Walkers’ gift will transform the lives of hundreds of students every semester.
“Having a stellar faculty is crucial to providing the incredible educational opportunities we offer our students,” Cyree said. “The formal part of education is performed by the faculty, and the extent to which we can attract and retain world-class faculty greatly determines our future as a university.”
Increasing faculty support is a key component of Now & Ever, the campaign for Ole Miss. Faculty empower academic excellence and inspire students to reach their goals. Walker said his family is invested in the future success of the School of Business Administration.
“As far as the long-term impact of the gift, we hope to recruit and retain top-notch professors in real estate and finance,” Walker said. “We can’t keep the best professors without competitive salaries. These resources are for Dean Ken Cyree to use to retain his best people.”
To make a gift to the School of Business Administration, visit https://give.olemiss.edu or, for more information, contact Angela Brown, senior director of development, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 662-915-3181.
By Angela Atkins/UM Development