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Honors College Scholarship Celebrates Alum Lanny Griffith, Supports Alcorn County Students
Ole Miss alumnus Lanny Griffith (left) and his family are being honored with the creation of a new scholarship by BGR Group, the Washington, D.C., lobbying firm Griffith helped to found over 30 years ago. Erskine Wells (right), president of BGR, said the firm is pleased to establish the scholarship supporting future UM students from Alcorn County, Mississippi, which is Griffith’s home county.

Lanny Griffith is giving students from his native northeast Mississippi access to the exceptional college experiences he received at the University of Mississippi.

The B.B.A. in accountancy and Juris Doctor degrees Griffith earned at UM in the 1970s provided the Corinth, Mississippi, native with the skills necessary to have a remarkably successful career as a political consultant and lobbyist in Washington, D.C.

BGR Group, the Washington lobbying firm Griffith helped to found over 30 years ago, recently created the Griffith Family Scholarship Endowment at Ole Miss. The scholarship honors Griffith, his family and the instrumental role that Griffith played as a founding partner of the thriving firm, initially known as Barbour Griffith & Rogers.

“The firm had a party to celebrate my 30 years at what we now call BGR Group,” said Griffith, a resident of Alexandria, Virginia. “One of the great things they did for me was to set up this scholarship in my family’s name.”

The $75,000 Griffith Family Endowed Scholarship supports incoming freshmen graduating from one of four high schools in Alcorn County: Corinth, Alcorn Central, Kossuth or Biggersville. Recipients must be enrolled full-time in UM’s Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, and first preference will be given to accountancy majors.

Griffith said the new scholarship provides generous financial assistance and serves as an incentive for students to focus on excelling academically and serving their communities so they can be considered for acceptance into the Honors College.

“The Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College has been enormously effective in attracting very bright students to Ole Miss,” Griffith said. “These students come from Mississippi and across the country. Having a scholarship available each year only to high school graduates from Corinth and throughout Alcorn County opens up a wonderful opportunity for the folks back home.”


Haley Barbour, a founding partner of BGR Group who returned to the firm after serving two terms as Mississippi’s governor, said the scholarship reflects the admiration that BGR colleagues have for Griffith’s contributions to the firm as well as their appreciation of his decades of work supporting various educational initiatives and his deep fondness for Ole Miss and Alcorn County.

“For more than 50 years, my friend and business partner, Lanny Griffith, has been ‘all-in’ on helping the University of Mississippi and our home state to be the best they can be,” Barbour said. “His hard work and pride in our school and state have been guiding lights for him and for me for many decades.

“It is heartening to know that Lanny’s love of Ole Miss will continue through this wonderful scholarship. The BGR Group is proud to support this important effort. I look forward to meeting future scholarship recipients and I am confident these scholars will do great things at Ole Miss and in the world.”

Erskine Wells, president of BGR Group, joined Barbour in sharing the firm’s support of the Griffith Family Scholarship Endowment.

“BGR is honored to help establish this scholarship in the name of Lanny, his wife Susan, and the Griffith family,” Wells said. “Ole Miss means so much to him and to our firm. We are excited to support future student leaders from Corinth and all of Alcorn County in their academic careers at a great university.”


The Griffith Family Scholarship Endowment will play a pivotal role in helping the Honors College achieve its objective to attract Mississippi’s most talented students, said Ethel Scurlock, dean of the Honors College.

“The scholarship funds will help us recruit and retain high-achieving students from Alcorn County, fostering their continued education within Mississippi,” Scurlock said. “As students opt to pursue their studies here and contribute to our community, this generous gift will create a ripple effect, positively impacting our state.

“We are profoundly grateful for the financial support that Lanny and BGR are providing to the Honors College. We hope that others will see the impact of Lanny’s gift and think about how they can join the Sally McDonnell Barksdale College’s work to advance Mississippi and make a positive global impact.

“We welcome and encourage other alumni, Mississippians, and friends to consider how their gifts can strengthen our work and help us create even more opportunities for future scholars,” she said.

Individuals and organizations can support the Griffith Family Scholarship Endowment by sending a check with the endowment’s name written in the memo line to the University of Mississippi Foundation, 406 University Ave., Oxford, MS 38655, or online here.

For information on supporting this endowment, establishing a new endowment or supporting the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, contact Brady Bramlett, director of development for the Honors College, at or 662-915-3081.

By Jonathan Scott/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.