Foundation News

Barksdale Foundation Extends Scholarship Funding "Indefinitely"

Barksdale scholars Katreece Ellis, M2, and Dustin Markle, M1, examine tissue specimens in a histology lab.
Barksdale scholars Katreece Ellis, M2, and Dustin Markle, M1, examine tissue specimens in a histology lab.

The Barksdale family will continue to fund full-ticket scholarships to medical students at the University of Mississippi Medical Center indefinitely.

The Bryan Barksdale, MD, Scholarship, the Fred McDonnell, MD, Scholarship and the Don Mitchell, MD, Scholarship will be extended to attract more students to the Medical Center, according to David Barksdale, director of the Barksdale Foundation.

“Mr. (James) Barksdale has again made a commitment to funding scholarships that will change the lives of individuals, strengthen our School of Medicine by allowing us to recruit the brightest and by allowing us to continue to improve our diversity, and change the lives of many Mississippians when these health professionals complete their training and begin their practices in Mississippi communities,” said Dr. Dan Jones, vice chancellor for health affairs.

In 1999, the scholarships were originally made possible by a $2 million gift from James and Sally Barksdale to encourage highly qualified African-American medical students to stay in Mississippi for their medical training. The Barksdales named the scholarships in honor of the physicians in their family: Dr. Bryan Barksdale and Dr. Don Mitchell of Jackson and Dr. Fred McDonnell of Hazlehurst.

“Our family is delighted with the quality of students the Medical Center is attracting with these scholarships,” David Barksdale said. “We have met many of the scholarship recipients and are following their successful careers with interest.

“My father and his wife, Donna, created these new scholarships with the same idea, and we are confident that the medical school will continue to recruit top-notch talent through them.”

The medical school scholarships, made possible by the Barksdale Family Account in the University of Mississippi Foundation, will be given on a yearly basis, according to David Barksdale.

Barksdale scholar Katreece Ellis, M2, said she is grateful for her scholarship.

“The Barksdale scholarship has enabled me to concentrate on my studies and focus on becoming the best doctor possible without worrying about financial difficulties, present or future,” she said. “Presently, I have not decided what type of physician I would like to become or where I would like to practice, but there is comfort and a sense of satisfaction in knowing that I will be spending time serving the State of Mississippi and its people.”

James Barksdale is a former Netscape CEO and a native Mississippian. The Barksdale Foundation provided funds to establish the Barksdale Honors College at the University and established the statewide Barksdale Reading Institute to promote literacy.

“I am grateful to Mr. and Mrs. Barksdale for the commitment of their resources that allow all of us to move forward together,” Jones said.

 —Jenny Woodruff