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Bailey's gift assists construction of new Patterson School
Jackie Bailey is seated with her grandchildren (from left) Mary Alex, Libby, Bailey, Ellen and Thomas. Back row are Matthew and Elisha Blades Bailey with Patrick and Mary Shellie Bailey Carr.

Two study spaces in the University of Mississippi’s Patterson School of Accountancy will be named in honor of alumna Jackie Bailey’s family, showing appreciation for their $100,000 gift to the school’s new building fund.

Bailey, a 1981 graduate of the School of Business Administration with an emphasis in accounting, said she was eager to contribute to the fund, giving credit to Ole Miss for starting her on a path to success.

“My professional career was possible because of my degree and the connections I made at the university,” said Bailey, a retired CPA and former member of the Beta Alpha Psi accountancy honor society.

Moreover, she said, “I’m proud of what Dean (Mark) Wilder has done with the accounting school, and I’m thrilled that we’re going to have our own building in such a gorgeous, prominent part of campus.”

Artist’s rendering of the new Patterson School.

The building will be located on the corner of University Avenue and Grove Loop. Its 110,000 square feet will house study spaces, administrative and faculty office suites, outdoor spaces like balconies and terraces, and new tiered auditoriums.

The Patterson School is ranked No. 8 in the nation and No. 1 in the Southeastern Conference — marking the 10th consecutive year of top 10 rankings for the school.

Dean Mark Wilder called Bailey’s gift “instrumental” to the construction of the new home for accounting students.

“We are grateful for Jackie’s generosity and support. She is a wonderful ambassador for us, and we are proud to have her as an alumna of the Patterson School,” Wilder said. “Our school gets stronger every year, and we believe this new building will help us reach our goal of being the top accountancy school in the nation. We are honored to have the Bailey family name associated with two student study spaces in our new building.”

The growth in student enrollment is driving plans for the new academic home with a cost of more than $100 million. The building will provide unprecedented visibility for the Patterson School; serve as an exceptional recruiting tool in attracting and retaining top students, faculty and staff; and bring everyone under one roof with an enhanced sense of community.

After graduating, Bailey enjoyed a 27-year career in public accounting, beginning at the firm Hagaman, Roper, Haddox and Reid (now Haddox Reid) in Jackson, Mississippi, and ending at Horne LLP, including a stint working for former Ole Miss football player-turned-accountant Jim Poole.

Nearly three decades later, Bailey left public accounting to become COO for the Community Foundation for Mississippi, a nonprofit organization based in Jackson. She retired in 2021 and is now a resident of Byram, Mississippi.

Bailey and her late husband, Ricky, have two children: Matt Bailey and Mary Shellie Bailey Carr, both Ole Miss graduates. Their son followed in his mother’s footsteps, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accountancy in 2006 and 2007 respectively while their daughter earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology in 2009.

In her free time, Bailey enjoys spending time with her son and two grandchildren in Jackson and her daughter and three grandchildren in Oxford.

“We all love Ole Miss and have benefitted from going to college there; that’s why I wanted to give back,” Bailey said of the strong family ties to the university.

Jason McCormick, executive director for development, called Bailey “an incredible longtime supporter of the Patterson School.”

“When the building fund came around, it was something we talked about,” he added. “She’s always been passionate about the school. We can’t thank her and her family enough.”

Bailey’s support will go toward Now & Ever: The Campaign for Ole Miss, a historic fundraising initiative to secure $1.5 billion in private gifts to strengthen the university for generations to come.

There are naming opportunities available in the new building beginning at $25,000 and going up. To support the Patterson School of Accountancy Building Fund, click here or contact Jason McCormick, senior director of development, at jason@olemiss.edu or 662-915-1757.

By Andy Belt/UM Foundation

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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.