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Haik Family Honors Mother with New Signage, Landmark
Mac Haik, at left, and his mother, Frances, enjoyed time on the University of Mississippi campus, including the beautiful, iconic Grove. This photo was taken when Haik, an Ole Miss alumnus and pro football player, was inducted into the M-Club Hall of Fame. Reflecting on the day, his mother said, “You know honey, this is the most fun I have ever had in my whole life!”

A mother’s great affection for the University of Mississippi and the iconic Grove is being celebrated with the construction of the Grove Plaza, signage and landscaping in the 10-acre park enjoyed by thousands each year.

Sunny and Mac Haik of Houston, Texas, made a $1.5 million gift to the university to create the new campus landmark, where a plaque will read, “In memory of Frances Haik. She loved Ole Miss and the Grove.” The project is scheduled for completion in late spring, with a dedication ceremony planned soon after.

“Mother was born into a very poor family and was never able to attend school as she had to go to work to help support her family,” said Mac Haik, a UM alumnus and former student-athlete. “She did not receive an education, but I never saw anybody who had the people skills she had. She legitimately loved everyone and saw only the good in people.

The Grove Plaza is under construction at the corner of University Avenue and Grove Loop, thanks to a gift from Sunny and Mac Haik of Houston, Texas, honoring his mother, Frances.

“I think Mother would be delighted and shocked to know her name was on a plaque in the Grove. She loved Ole Miss and was fascinated by it. She always said it was the most beautiful place she had ever seen.”

“We look forward to having this new area, which will honor a cherished parent and help celebrate our beloved Grove,” said UM Chancellor Glenn Boyce. “We are grateful to Sunny and Mac Haik for this generous support, which will add to the beauty of our campus and also transform areas of need.”

The remaining funds after the construction of the Grove Plaza will be held within the University of Mississippi Foundation as conversations continue with the donors about how to use the resources to benefit the university.

Frances Haik Jordan of Meridian and Decatur, Mississippi, died in September 2012. For 20 years, she provided leadership as vice president and business development officer of Peoples Bank of Mississippi. She also served as manager for 18 years of Roth Department Store. She was active in her church and community and was selected as Decatur’s “Citizen of the Year” in 2009. Haik’s father, Joseph Albert Haik born in New Orleans, Louisiana, died when Mac was 8 years old.

“My mother was an extremely positive influence on my life,” Haik said. “She deserves all the credit for anything that my sister or I have accomplished. One of the values she placed great importance on was respect for other people. She always said, ‘Nobody is better than you, but just remember young man, you are not better than anyone either.’ She was extremely honest and loving and was still going strong when she died at 91 years old.”

Haik’s athletic prowess was recognized by Ole Miss coaches Johnny Vaught and Frank “Bruiser” Kinard, who offered him a full scholarship to play for the Rebels.

“They came to Meridian to talk to Mother and me about playing football at Ole Miss,” Haik recalled. “I couldn’t get a word in the conversation because my mom was so charming. Finally, I decided to jump in and sign my contractual agreement because I was afraid she might want to go to Ole Miss on my scholarship.”

Haik enjoyed an impressive academic and football career at Ole Miss, earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1968 and completed work toward a master’s degree in marketing. Later he was named to the Ole Miss M-Club Hall of Fame and the Ole Miss Alumni Hall of Fame.

At his M-Club Hall of Fame photo session, Haik’s mother said, “You know honey, this is the most fun I have ever had in my whole life!” That picture taken in the Grove of the mother and son still sits on Haik’s desk.

Haik’s new life and career in Houston began in 1970 when he was the top draft choice of the Houston Oilers. Shortly after a variety of injuries hastened his retirement from pro football, he established Mac Haik Enterprises. MHE has grown from a startup entity of two people to an organization with 11 affiliated companies that employ approximately 3,250 associates, generate revenue in excess of $3 billion per year and own land, commercial office buildings, retail space, medical facilities, restaurants, hotels and 1,200 billboards.

MHE also includes Mac Haik Automotive Group – the largest independent Automotive group in Texas and the 15th largest independent group in the United States. Of the 19 dealerships in the company, five are in Jackson, Mississippi.

At Ole Miss, the Haiks have provided generous support to athletics and academics. Haik’s interest in starting businesses inspired another of his commitments: a major gift that supports the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship within the School of Business Administration. Additionally, the gift established two scholarships — the Sunny Sue Haik and the Frances Haik Jordan awards for entrepreneurship — honoring Haik’s wife and mother respectively and benefiting qualified freshman and sophomore business students.

Haik also serves on the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Advisory Board.

To learn more about supporting Ole Miss programs, contact Nikki Davis, assistant vice chancellor for development, at or 662-915-6678 or visit

By Tina H. Hahn/UM Development


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