The Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College attracts a diverse body of high-performing students to the University of Mississippi and prepares citizen scholars who are fired by the life of the mind, committed to the public good, driven to find solutions.  Established in 1997 through a gift from alumni Jim and Sally Barksdale, the Honors College merges intellectual rigor with community action. It offers an education similar to that at prestigious private liberal-arts schools and universities, but at a far lower cost. Small, discussion-based classes, dedicated faculty, and a nurturing staff enable honors students to experience intellectual as well as personal growth.

News & Events

SMBHC Bids Farewell to Andrus Ashoo

Andrus Ashoo, national scholarship advisor, is assuming the position of Associate Director of the Center for Undergraduate Excellence at the University of Virginia starting this August.  Andrus graduated from the SMBHC in 2008 (B.A. International Studies, French), and joined us in the fall of that year as an academic counselor.  In 2010, he began his work with the Office of National Scholarship Advisement, working primarily with students applying for the Fulbright, Goldwater, Udall, and Boren scholarships.  The SMBHC thanks Andrus for his many contributions to our mission and our students, and we wish him well as he takes his talents to Virginia.

Special Programs and Scholarship Application Available

The Special Programs and Scholarship Application for prospective Fall 2015 freshmen is available here.  Remember that you must first apply to the University of Mississippi before accessing the Special Programs application.  Those who apply by our Early-Action deadline of November 1 will be notified of our decision by December 20.  The regular deadline is 11:59 pm CST January 5, 2015.  Regular applicants will be notified by the beginning of March.  Students accepted under either deadline have until May 1, 2015 to accept or decline the offer.  We look forward to reading hundreds of awesome applications.

Honors Students at the World Cup!

The SMBHC selected six students to attend the World Cup in Brazil:  Madeleine Achgill, Maia Cotelo, Vera Gardner, Jessica Hiskey, Jennifer Miller, Stephanie Trippel, and Matt Williams.  For more about the students, visit the World Cup 2014 link in the menu.  For daily updates and photos, visit Maia’s blog posts.  Also, keep up with all of Team Barksdale 2014 at our Facebook page.

Honors College Welcomes Freshman Class to Orientation!

The Honors College welcomes 371 freshmen in its Class of 2018!  The students hail from 26 states and 2 foreign countries, with 54% being from the great state of Mississippi.  This impressive body averages a 3.92 high school GPA and a 30.5 ACT.  We’ll see many of you at the Honors-Only Orientation May 20-21.  Honors students attending one of the regular orientation sessions will have a noon lunch meeting with us on the first day of orientation at the Honors College; because of space, parents will have lunch with the other orientation participants at the Rebel Marketplace.  To register for Orientation or to see the Orientation schedule, visit the Office of Orientation Programs.

Honors College Commissions Record Class

The SMBHC honored a record 177 seniors at our commissioning ceremony Friday, May 9.  The ceremony began with a welcome by Bracey Harris (Journalism).  Mary Ball Markow (English) gave the keynote speech, and Neal McMillin (Southern Studies, Economics) concluded the ceremony with a charge to his fellow classmates.  During the ceremony, Chancellor Jones presented medallions and thesis advisors presented stoles to each graduate. We are proud of your accomplishments, SMBHC Class of 2014! Congratulations!

SMBHC Senior Wins Fulbright

Senior Katie Shuford has won a Fulbright US Student Award to further her studies of the Kodály philosophy of teaching music during the 2014/2015 academic year.  Katie will enroll at the Zoltán Kodály Pedagogical Institute of Music in Kecskemét, Hungary.  As a part of refining her craft, she will investigate how Hungarian teachers meet the needs of the 21st century classroom, looking specifically at standards, assessment, and technology.  Congratulations Katie!

SMBHC Junior Named Udall Honorable Mention

Junior Kendall McDonald, one of our campus leaders in sustainability, has been recognized by the Udall Foundation with the Honorable Mention distinction.  That means that Kendall is among only 100 sophomores and juniors recognized for their leadership, service, and commitment to the environment, tribal policy, or Native healthcare.  Congratulations Kendall!

Two SMBHC Students Win Boren Scholarships

Junior Alison Bartel and Senior William Bumpas have won Boren Scholarships to study in China for the 2014/2015 academic year.  Both will use the award to fulfill the Capstone Year of the Chinese Language Flagship Program.


Funded by the National Security Education Program, Boren Scholarships provide up to $20,000 in funding for students studying languages deemed critical to U.S. security, including but not limited to Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Swahili.  Congratulations to Alison and William!

Clinical Shadowing Program Participants Announced

Congratulations to the honors students selected to participate in the Clinical Shadowing Program this summer at UMMC: Morgan Davis, Roya Gordji, Sara Kiparizoska, Shelby Claire Liddell, Savannah Mitchell, Ryan Sessums, and Joella Vaughnn. The students will participate with rising M2s in one or two 2-week shadowing rotations in Anesthesia, Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Radiology, Radiation Oncology, or Surgery. They will also have the opportunity to help at the Jackson Free Clinic.

Honors College Groundbreaking

Chancellor Dan Jones, Jim Barksdale, Dean Douglass Sullivan-Gonzalez and Honors College students and faculty broke ground for the expansion and renovation of the SMBHC Friday, March 7.  To see video from this occasion, visit here.

For photos of the event, visit here.

Last Updated:06/02/2014