By Bill Dabney
Their recent $250,000 gift to the University of Mississippi gives Amy and Alex Knight of Germantown, Tennessee, a lasting family tribute while honoring a beloved fallen Rebel.
The Knights’ name adorns Gate 38 of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, representing in perpetuity the family’s desire to help improve athletics facilities and help recruit student-athletes to campus.
“We believe that modernized facilities help land top recruits that lead to winning seasons, so it seemed logical to focus our support in that direction,” said Alex Knight, executive vice president of analytics and an owner of Citizens Rx, a national full-service pharmacy benefit-management provider for public and private companies.
“In selecting Gate 38, we wanted to honor Chucky Mullins’ spirit and courage,” said Amy Knight, who received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the UM Patterson School of Accountancy in 2000 and 2001 respectively.
The late Roy Lee “Chucky” Mullins, a Rebel defensive back from Russellville, Alabama, died on May 6, 1991 — 19 months after the Ole Miss homecoming game in which he sustained a devastating football injury that left him a quadriplegic. After the injury, Mullins became the central figure in an outpouring of support that spread nationwide. On Sept. 3, 2006, his jersey number (38) was retired in a pregame ceremony.
The Knights’ gift is part of the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation’s drive to honor donors with naming opportunities for each entrance gate at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
“We are so grateful to Alex and Amy for participating in our gate naming initiative, which is the first of its kind and will play an integral role in completing the $200 million Forward Together campaign,” said Keith Carter, interim athletics director. “This type of leadership gift shows the Knight’s commitment to helping us make a difference in the lives of our student-athletes.”
Of the $180.9 million raised toward a multitude of capital projects, gifts have most recently supported the William F. Galtney Indoor Tennis Center and renovations to Oxford-University Stadium.
Naming opportunities remain available for the grand gates at the north, east and west entrances as well as a limited number of individual gates.
Prior to his current position with Citizens Rx, Alex Knight held various operational and business development roles in retail, mail order, specialty, internet and hospital pharmacy as well as pharmaceutical repackaging and physician dispensing.
In 2011, he was named to the Memphis Business Journal’s “Top 40 Under 40” for his professional contributions, accomplishments and community service. In 2013, he was named “Big of the Year” for the State of Tennessee by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Memphis for his service mentoring his “Little,” Marquette, for more than 12 years.
A CPA by trade, Amy Knight held various accounting and financial leadership positions for both privately and publically held companies. Her career focused on directing global corporate compliance and financial process improvement efforts. She developed a high level of proficiency in all aspects of financial controls and compliance-related initiatives, specializing in re-engineering countless revenue and accounting-related processes.
In 2016, after a successful 15-year career, she chose a new challenge, leaving behind her position at a Fortune 50 logistics company to focus on raising the couple’s son, Jack, now 4. This role includes participating in various functions at his school, St. George’s Independent School. She also volunteers with various philanthropic organizations, including the Memphis Zoo, Orpheum Theatre, Children’s Museum of Memphis and Junior Auxiliary of Collierville, Tennessee.
The Knights, who met at Ole Miss, want their support to inspire similar giving.
“We hope other young alumni, family, friends and fans of Ole Miss, especially those in the Memphis, Tennessee-area will consider enhancing their philanthropic giving to Ole Miss Athletics,” Alex Knight said.
His wife agreed: “It’s never too early to focus on giving opportunities for which you feel passionate about and have a personal connection.”
For more information about the Gate Naming Initiative, contact the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation at 662-915-7782 or visit www.givetoathletics.com/gates.