The University of Mississippi has embarked on an ambitious initiative to construct one of the nation’s leading student-centered learning environments for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education. There is a critical need to increase graduates in STEM fields; to support growth in the state, regional, and national economy; and to support the pipeline for training health professionals, engineers, science and math teachers, and others.
Business leaders and brothers Jim and Thomas Duff of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, have made a $26 million gift directed to the construction of the STEM building, and the Gertrude C. Ford Foundation of Jackson, Mississippi, has committed $25 million. With a $160 million total project budget, the 204,000-square-foot building will be the largest single construction project in Oxford campus history. Other private support is being sought, with interior naming opportunities available. Funding also will come from federal, state, and university sources.