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Bill Dabney

Moores’ Gift Renews Commitment to Ole Miss Athletics

By | Donor Support

Guy and Lucy Moore of Pascagoula, Mississippi, believe their financial commitment to Ole Miss Athletics will help the Rebels compete in the Southeastern Conference and ultimately at the national level. The Moores, who are members of the Vaught Society — an honorary designation for those who make annual gifts to Athletics of at least $5,000 or more — renewed their commitment to the Forward Together campaign in support of Ole Miss Athletics with a $125,000 gift. “It’s important for our teams to be competitive and to do so, especially in the SEC, requires commitment, including financial support, to provide the necessary infrastructure and facilities to go along with the dedication and talent of the student athletes, coaches and staff,” said Guy Moore, a 1972 University of Mississippi accountancy graduate. “Gifts to the Forward Together campaign through membership in the Vaught Society are one way to show that commitment and support, and we are pleased to continue our involvement.”

The $200 million Forward Together campaign is the largest and most ambitious fundraising initiative in Ole Miss Athletics history. Today’s total of $186 million is the result of philanthropic giving and donations related to priority seating. Over 400 commitments from Vaught Society members are directed toward the Forward Together campaign. “The university has a rich history of exciting and successful athletic programs,” said Moore, a member of the UM Foundation board of directors. “We believe that athletics programs are an integral part of the experience of students, alumni and friends, and are important in binding us together in our connection with Ole Miss.”

Thanks to financial commitments made by Vaught Society members like the Moores, multiple projects have either been completed or are underway, including the Pavilion at Ole Miss, Olivia and Archie Manning Athletics Performance Center, Vaught-Hemingway Stadium , Gillom Athletics Performance Center, Ole Miss Track and Field Complex, football practice fields, Ole Miss Golf Course, William F. Galtney Indoor Tennis Center and the Baseball Performance Center. “Ole Miss has amazing venues for its sports teams, and they are never more amazing and wonderful than when they are filled with fans wearing red and blue,” Lucy Moore said.

Athletics Director Keith Carter shared his gratitude for the Moores’ gift. “Ongoing commitments from loyal Rebel fans like Guy and Lucy are really the fuel that sustains both our programs and propels our student-athletes toward excellence in their sports and in the classroom,” Carter said.

The Moores also have a history of support for academics at the university. Most recently, the couple established an endowment that provides tuition support for students transferring from community college into the Patterson School of Accountancy. Additionally, the Moores have included the university in their estate plans, naming UM a beneficiary of two trusts that will support all of their existing endowments. “In appreciation of how I was able to attend a community college and transfer to Ole Miss, which made it financially viable for me to attend and graduate from the university, we want to help students in similar circumstances,” Moore said. “We hope that the endowed scholarship will contribute to those students graduating from the Patterson School of Accountancy and going on to successful careers in whatever form they may choose.”

Moore retired from Deloitte LLP and Deloitte & Touche LLP in 2012 after 40 years, including 30 as an active partner. He worked in numerous Deloitte locations, including New Orleans, Louisiana; Atlanta, Georgia; Boca Raton, Florida; and the company’s national headquarters in Connecticut. “We are deeply grateful to Guy and Lucy Moore for their longtime interest in and support of the Patterson School,” said Dean Mark Wilder. “Guy has enjoyed an exceptional career and we are proud to have him as an alumnus and also as a member of the Patterson School Hall of Fame. Many students transferring from community colleges face financial challenges. The Moores’ gift will be especially beneficial to these students and will enable them to receive an accountancy education that will serve them well throughout their lives. Guy and Lucy are wonderful friends of the Ole Miss Accountancy School and we appreciate them very much.”

Guy Moore was named to the Patterson School of Accountancy Hall of Fame in 2013. While at Ole Miss, he was a member of Sigma Nu fraternity, Omicron Delta Kappa honor society and the Beta Alpha Psi accountancy fraternity.

For more information about the Forward Together campaign, visit http://givetoathletics.com or contact Matt Mossberg, chief development officer of the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation, at mossberg@olemiss.edu or 662-915-7167.

To make a gift to the Patterson School of Accountancy, visit https://give.olemiss.edu or contact Jason McCormick, director of development, at jason@olemiss.edu or 662-915-1757.

Ririe Family’s Gift to Benefit Forward Together Campaign

By | Donor Support

A St. Louis, Missouri, couple’s gift to Ole Miss Athletics will benefit student-athletes while also honoring their sons, who are University of Mississippi alumni. Scott and Shelley Ririe made a $250,000 gift to the Forward Together campaign for Ole Miss Athletics, which bolsters facilities and programs for student-athletes. In recognition, Gate 7 entrance of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium will be named the Ririe Family Gate. “We love athletics and we especially love college football,” Scott Ririe said. “After our first son enrolled at Ole Miss in 2007, we fell in love with the Grove and all of the traditions. We donated to the athletics program to help perpetuate those positive traditions at Ole Miss.”

The Riries said they also hope their gift will enable the university to continue developing the brightest and best student-athletes possible. “You have to have first-rate equipment and facilities to attract high-level talent in a very competitive Division 1 atmosphere,” said Scott Ririe, who was introduced to Ole Miss in 2005 when he visited the Oxford campus with his son, Mike – then a junior in high school. The two enjoyed a campus tour, a Rebel football game and festivities in the university’s historic Grove. “We never visited another school after that day,” said Ririe, founder and co-president of Control Technology and Solutions (CTS), an energy service company based in St. Louis.

Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics Keith Carter expressed gratitude to the Ririe family. “We love families like the Riries, whose love for Ole Miss Athletics grew from their sons’ passion for and loyalty to their alma mater,” Carter said. “We are so grateful to Scott and Shelley, especially during these uncertain times, and hope their gift will inspire others to similarly support our students and programs.”

Mike Ririe graduated from Ole Miss in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and is a commercial real estate agent in Chicago, Illinois. His brother, James, is a 2020 graduate of the School of Business Administration. Inspired by the Ririe brothers’ love for their alma mater, Scott and Shelley made a $300,000 gift in 2018 to establish the Ririe Family Scholarship Endowment, which awards $6,000 a year for up to eight semesters to two St. Louis freshmen in the School of Business Administration.

Scott Ririe graduated from Cornell College in 1979 and Shelley is a 1981 graduate of the University of Iowa. Yet they now proudly support Ole Miss. “Our family has become attached to Ole Miss through our boys and their love and loyalty to the university,” Shelley Ririe said. The couple also has two other children: Andy, a paramedic studying to become a physician’s assistant, and Elise, who graduated from the University of Dayton (Ohio) and is a pharmaceutical sales representative living in Cleveland, Ohio.

Scott Ririe began his career working in sales for Honeywell International Inc. in Des Moines, Iowa. He became service sales manager in 1984 and moved to St. Louis, where he was soon promoted again to district general manager. In 2000, he and a business partner founded CTS, which has grown to become the CTS Group, operating in nine states with over 124 employees and revenue of more than $100 million a year. He serves on the executive committee as treasurer for National Association of Energy Services Companies Board of Directors and the board of Midwest Easter Seals Association. He also has served on the advisory boards for General Motors and, along with his wife, Ranger Bass Boats. His high school sweetheart and wife of 36 years, Shelley Ririe began her career with Revlon Inc., marketing cosmetics to retailers. She then joined Ormco, an orthodontic supplier. Today, she owns Branson West Marine and Powersports.

The Riries’ most recent 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. “The gate naming initiative will play an integral role in completing the $200 million Forward Together campaign,” said Fowler Staines, chief executive officer of the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation. “With $186 million raised toward a multitude of capital projects, the final phase of the campaign saw the opening of the William F. Galtney Indoor Tennis Center and completed renovations to the Tosh Family Short Course and Oxford-University Stadium.”

Naming opportunities remain available in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium for the grand gates at the north, east and west entrances as well as a limited number of individual gates. For more information about the Forward Together campaign or the gate naming initiative, visit http://givetoathletics.com or contact Matt Mossberg, chief development officer of the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation, at 662-915-7167 or mossberg@olemiss.edu.

RJ Young President Supports Ole Miss Athletics with Major Gift

By | Donor Support

By Bill Dabney

Chip Crunk is no stranger to the University of Mississippi campus.

“I’m up here at least once a month trying to give back, trying to do the right things and help young people better themselves,” said Crunk, president and CEO of the RJ Young Company of Nashville, Tennessee.

The 1987 UM graduate and his wife, Gina, recently made a $500,000 gift to Ole Miss Athletics, the latest of many gifts to his alma mater.

“That’s the reason you work hard — so you have the ability to give back to help young people have better opportunities to attend college and be proud of what the university has to offer,” Crunk said. “I want to see young people have the opportunity to better themselves.”

Crunk is also no stranger to hard work. He started his career with RJ Young at age 14, cleaning bathrooms, sweeping, mopping and taking out the trash.

After graduating from Ole Miss, Crunk returned to the company as a sales representative. He became director of sales in 1989, then executive vice president and chief operating officer. In 1995, he took the reins and led RJ Young to see double-digit annual growth.

Providing technology services and office solutions for small- to enterprise-level businesses across every industry, the multimillion-dollar company now ranks as the largest, privately held dealer in the Southeast and one of the largest in the nation. Crunk oversees an operation that covers eight states and employs more than 650 people in 30 locations.

“We are so grateful to Chip and Gina for their commitment to the University of Mississippi and specifically to Ole Miss Athletics,” said Keith Carter, vice chancellor of intercollegiate athletics. “This type of leadership gift shows the Crunks’ commitment to helping us make a difference in the lives of our student-athletes.

“Gifts like these are inspiring to others who may be considering whether the timing is right to give back to Ole Miss,” Carter continued. “Other potential donors will see Chip and Gina leading the way toward increased support and hopefully feel that they want to contribute too.”

In addition to his interest in opportunities for student-athletes, Crunk said he is equally determined to see the School of Business Administration grow in national stature. A longtime member of the Business School’s Advisory Board, he now serves as president.

Crunk is also a member and past president of the Copier Dealers Association, along with serving on both the Canon USA and Ricoh Corporation copier dealer counsels. He is active in church, community and civic organizations and enjoys flying, boating, golfing and cheering for the Rebels and Tennessee Titans.

The Crunks live in Brentwood, Tennessee, and have two children, Trey, a first year student at Ole Miss and Caroline, an Ole Miss alumna.

To support Ole Miss Athletics with a gift to the Forward Together campaign, contact Matt Mossberg at mossberg@olemiss.edu, call 662-915-7159 or visit www.givetoathletics.com/forward-together/.

Knight Gift Names Gate 38

By | Donor Support

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.