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 Welcome Week a Success

The SMBHC Class of 2019 recently enjoyed this year’s Welcome Week, which offered over 300 sessions in a variety of fields, including belly-dancing, ultimate frisbee, Harry Potter, and cooking, and provided evening engagements featuring Artist in Residence Bruce Levingston and Chancellor Emeritus Robert Khayat. Enjoy the pictures!


Are You Ready?!

Check out the new promotional video for the SMBHC by Deer Run Media LLC.

SMBHC Staff News

Tim Dolan has been named the first Director of the Office of National Scholarship Advisement. He previously mentored fellowship candidates and was director of the Westminster Scholars program and undergraduate research at Westminster College in Salt Lake City from 2007 until this past summer. He earned his MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Utah. Mimi Rankin is the new Coordinator of Recruitment and Admissions. She graduated from the SMBHC this past May with a BA in Liberal Studies with emphases in History, Political Science, English and Theater. Elizabeth Tolbert has been named Secretary for the SMBHC. Tolbert is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi with a bachelor’s degree in Entertainment Industry. Former SMBHC Academic Counselor Jennifer Parsons has been promoted to Assistant Dean. Congratulations, Ms. Parsons, and welcome, Mr. Dolan, Ms. Rankin, and Ms. Tolbert!

Version 2Mimi Rankin. Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Communications

Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Communications2012-jennifer

Prestigious Portz Scholarship Winner

Recent SMBHC and Croft Institute graduate Amir Aziz has won the prestigious Portz Scholarship, an award given by the National Collegiate Honors Council to only four honors students nationwide each year. Aziz will present his thesis, “Al-Arabiyyah, Le Français, and the Soul of Algeria: The Language Tango between Arabic and French in Algerian Education Policy and Defining Post-Colonial Algerian National Identity” at the 2015 Annual Conference of NCHC in Chicago this November. He will begin doctoral work in French this fall at the University of Texas at Austin and will concentrate in international law and human rights. Congratulations, Amir!

Leake House
Amir Aziz stands with his Thesis Advisor, Dr. Vivian Ibrahim.

Dylan Ritter Awarded ASF Grant

The Autism Science Foundation awarded a grant to sophomore Dylan Ritter to conduct autism research alongside Dr. Scott Dindot at Texas A&M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. Read about Dylan’s two-month research experience here.

Dylan Ritter.  Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Communications

SMBHC Students Part of Patented Technology

Two SMBHC students, Demba Komma of The Gambia and Forrest Gamble of Birmingham, Alabama, are working with UM research scientist James Sabatier on groundbreaking sonar technology, benefiting aging persons. Read about their work here.

Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

Honors College Construction

The Honors College addition is starting to look more like the rendering above.  Watch this short video to see the progress from March to May 2015.

Click this link to watch the progress live.  Our ground-breaking ceremony was March 7, 2014.  You can click here to watch a time-lapse of the first year of construction.


The Honors College Welcomes Record Freshman Class!

The Honors College welcomes a record 402 freshmen in its Class of 2019!  The students hail from 28states and 2 foreign countries, with 51% being from the great state of Mississippi.  This impressive body averages a 3.96 high school GPA and a 30.8 ACT.  We look forward to meeting all of you at an Orientation session this summer.

Last Updated:06/12/2015