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Currence Scholarship to Benefit Nutrition & Hospitality Management Students
Oxford chef John Currence is being honored with a new scholarship in his name at the university.

The University of Mississippi School of Applied Sciences is honoring chef and entrepreneur John Currence by creating a new scholarship in his name.

John Currence

The John Currence Excellence in Nutrition and Hospitality Management Scholarship was introduced at the recent Legacy of Flavors event hosted by the school at the Oxford Conference Center. It will help full-time students enrolled in the nutrition and hospitality management program who show promise as future leaders.

“Having this scholarship named after me is something that I never would have imagined happening,” Currence said. “It is an honor which words cannot truly express and I am grateful to all of those who have made it possible.”

Currence was recognized for his contributions to Oxford, Ole Miss and the restaurant industry, including his support of charitable causes and serving as a mentor to young chefs.

“The scholarship idea was to provide a means for future students to learn, lead and serve in the hospitality industry,” said Peter Grandjean, dean of the School of Applied Sciences. “As John so eloquently stated in his recognition speech, the hospitality industry – and particularly, the food service industry – is a hard grind. It takes sweat equity to enter and progress.

“It also takes passion, inspiration, innovation and persistence to do something remarkable. This scholarship will provide a path for those who are driven to apply those traits with a culinary and entrepreneurial spirit and make a difference in the lives and culture of Mississippians.”

More than 20 donors have contributed $150,000 to endow the scholarship.

A New Orleans native, Currence opened City Grocery on the Oxford Square in 1992. The City Grocery Restaurant Group has since grown with the openings of Bouré, Big Bad Breakfast and Snackbar.

The chef was awarded the James Beard Foundation’s 2009 award for Best Chef South, was the winner of the Charleston Food and Wine Festival’s Iron Chef Challenge in 2009 and competed on Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters” in 2011.

To make a gift to the John Currence Excellence in Nutrition and Hospitality Management Scholarship Endowment, send a check to the University of Mississippi Foundation, with the fund’s name noted on the memo line, to 406 University Ave., Oxford, MS 38655; or online here.

For more information about supporting the School of Applied Sciences, contact Trey Skelton, development associate, at or 662-915-6386.

By Edwin Smith/UM MarCom


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.