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Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Mississippi

Scholarships & Support

Departmental Undergraduate Scholarships for Physics Majors

Scholarships available to undergraduate physics majors through the Department of Physics are described below.  Please note that scholarships are awarded depending on availability of funds and may not be awarded every year.  The application period is now open (02/14 – 03/03, 2023).  Click on the Apply links to submit an application online when available.

Arthur B. and Alma G. Lewis Endowment in Physics

This scholarship fund was established in 1999 by Dr. and Mrs. Arthur Lewis, of Oxford, Mississippi, to reward outstanding men and women who are pursuing a degree in physics. The Lewis Scholarship is targeted to incoming freshmen who have officially declared their intention with the University’s Admissions Office or College of Liberal Arts to be a B. S. physics major.  It is renewable in subsequent years providing that reasonable progress is made toward the Bachelor of Science degree in physics, subject to availability of funds.  Selection is based primarily on scholastic achievement, however, financial need will be considered.

About the donor(s)

Arthur Beverly Lewis (1901-2000) a native of Forest, MS received his B.A. (1923) and his M.A. degree (1925) from UM.  He then enjoyed a 35 year teaching career at UM, starting in 1936 as associate professor of mathematics and physics, becoming chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, and then dean of the College of Liberal Arts until his retirement in 1971. He donated his collection of Physics Abstracts, a journal with articles spanning much of the development of high voltage physics, to the department in 1998. Lewis Hall, home of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, was re-named in Lewis’s honor in 1984 and his portrait hangs in the Department of Physics.

Alma Gouchenour Lewis (1902-2002) was a native of Roanoke, VA and worked in Washington, DC before her marriage to Dr. Lewis. Their tombstone reads “And gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche” – quoted from Chaucer – which aptly describes their life.

Audio recordings of Dr. Lewis can be found here: Part 1: Part 2.

No application: The Lewis Scholarship is awarded to incoming majors by selection.  No application is necessary.

William Lee Kennon Scholarship

The Kennon Scholarship provides financial assistance for the first, second or third semester of undergraduate enrollment. It is renewable in subsequent semesters providing reasonable progress is made toward a Bachelor’s degree in physics, subject to availability of funds. The scholarship is available to incoming and current freshmen who have officially declared their intention with the University’s Admissions Office or College of Liberal Arts to be a B. A. or B. S. physics major. Selection is based primarily on scholastic achievement, although financial need may also be considered.

About the donors

William Lee Kennon (1882-1952) born in Columbus, MS, was educated at Millsaps College (B.S.1900, M.S. 1901) and Johns Hopkins (Ph.D. 1906). In 1909 Dr. Kennon joined the faculty of the physics department at UM, and 42 years later he retired having served forty years as chair. He was instrumental in securing the funding for Kennon Observatory and Lewis Hall, where his portrait hangs. The observatory, conceived by Dr. Kennon, was completed in 1939.  Dr. Kennon’s legacy is secured by the observatory named after him, his careful planning of the physics buildings, his successful efforts to attain funding for new demonstration and laboratory equipment, his commitment to the growth of the curriculum and his nurturing of the students.

To Apply (click here)

Wofford Reynolds and Opal Read Price Scholarship

This scholarship fund was established by Mr. and Mrs. Price in 1992 to assist deserving students majoring in physics.  The recipient will be a full-time physics student in the junior or senior year of study who is a Mississippi resident, citizen of the United States, and who qualifies for the award based on the criteria of scholastic ability, leadership potential, and financial need. Preference for the award will be given to students from Jasper County, Mississippi.  The award provides financial assistance for each of the last two years of undergraduate enrollment, subject to availability of funds.

About the donor(s)

Wofford Reynolds Price (1921-1998), a Winston County native, West Point Academy graduate, and WWII veteran, earned both his undergrad & grad degrees in physics from UM. Having received a Bronze Star for his army service, he retired after 20 years in the reserves with the rank of Lt. Col. He taught physics at UM after the war for 5 years and subsequently enjoyed a long career with Hughes Aircraft in California before he and his wife returned to Jasper County.

Opal Read Price (1923-2017) a native of Jasper County, MS, earned both her B.A. (1949) and M.A. in English and Literature from UM (1950).  She taught in the English department at the University of Mississippi for 5 years and later in the California School Systems for 35 years until she retired.

To Apply (click here)

The Dr. Lee N. Bolen, Jr. Scholarship

The Dr. Lee N. Bolen, Jr. Scholarship is designed to provide income for scholarship assistance to deserving students in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Mississippi. Recipients will be full-time undergraduate students in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

About the donor(s)

Dr. Bolen (1937-2016) a native of Memphis, received his undergraduate degree at UM and completed his master’s and doctoral studies at the University of Virginia. He joined the physics faculty at UM in 1964 where he taught for 35 years, specializing in nuclear physics. Dr. Bolen was active in the Mississippi Association of Physicists and worked with other physics faculty to bring the National Center of Physical Acoustics to the university.

To Apply (Click here)

Richard Raspet Memorial Scholarship

Dr. Richard Raspet was born in upstate New York, and as a child moved with his family to the
campus of Mississippi State University in Starkville where he attended Starkville public
schools. At Rhodes College, Memphis Tennessee, he earned a Bachelor of Science
degree with distinction, and then went on to earn his Doctorate in Physics from the
University of Mississippi in Oxford.

Soon after, Rich accepted a position as Physicist in the Environmental Division
of The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Construction Engineering Research Laboratory
(CERL) in Champaign Illinois. It was there he met co-worker and his future wife
Wendy. Rich and Wendy married in Urbana Illinois in 1983, and embarked on a life
together that would span the next forty years filled with shared love of nature, scientific
inquiry, music, rescue dogs, friends, support of important causes, and every day

In 1987 Rich joined the faculty of the Physics Department of the University of
Mississippi in Oxford as an Associate Professor, eventually becoming full professor.
His academic home on campus was the University’s National Center for Physical
Acoustics (NCPA). In recognition of his research, teaching, and service
accomplishments, Rich was awarded the honor of Distinguished Faculty Fellow in the
College of Liberal Arts, in 2007. His main area of research was investigation of how
sound travels, and how to accurately measure sound. Rich’s scientific contributions in
acoustics were vast, with publications on topics ranging from atomic nuclei, to aircraft
sonic booms, and atmospheric turbulence. His work has applications in fields from
national defense to weather prediction to the study of animal behavior. He continued to
conduct research and mentor students as an Emeritus Professor until his passing. He
was a fellow of the Acoustical Society of America.

This Scholarship Celebrates Life of UM Professor Raspet. For details please follow this link.

College of Liberal Arts Undergraduate Scholarships

The following scholarships are available to physics majors through the College of Liberal Arts.  These scholarships are awarded by nomination and selection; there is no application process.

The Farrel Scholarship for Deserving Students

This scholarship assists deserving students pursuing a degree in medicine, chemistry, engineering of the natural sciences.  The recipient must be a full-time major in the Department of Physics (or other qualifyinq departments) and have financial need as determined by the FAFSA.  Recipients are selected by the department based on academic performance.  Established in 1996 by the estate of James Parmer Farrell (1923-1995) to assist deserving students pursuing a degree in medicine, engineering, or the natural sciences, the primary criteria for selection is financial need.

About the donor(s)

The scholarship was established in 1996 by the estate of Mr. James Parmer Farrel (1923-1995), a native of Tunica. MS who graduated in 1943 from UM with a BS in Chemical Engineering.

The Jerrel K. Yates and Laura A. Yates Scholarship

This scholarship assists deserving students in mathematics or science who are registered with the Office of Student Disability Services.  The recipient must be a full-time junior or senior student majoring in biology, biochemistry, chemistry, forensic chemistry, mathematics or physics with a 3.0 or higher GPA.  The recipient must be a Mississippi resident with first preference for Smith County.

About the donor(s)

The scholarship endowment was established in 1996 by Dr. Jerrel K. Yates and Laura A. Yates.  Dr. Yates earned a BS in Mathematics in 1964 and a PhD in Mathematics in 1972 from UM.  He served on the faculty at Columbus State University.

The Hattie Burke Jackson College of Liberal Arts Scholarship

This scholarship provides assistance to female students who are majoring in one of the following fields: Classics, English, History, Mathematics, Modern Languages or Physics. The recipient must be a resident of Yalobusha, Calhoun, Lafayette, or Grenada Counties, and must maintain a 3.0 G.P.A. on all courses.

About the donor(s)

This scholarship was established in 2004 by the estate of Miss Harriet Jackson, a UM graduate & long-time Latin & French teacher at UM, to honor her mother, Mrs. Hattie Talbert Burke Jackson (1868-1917), a Water Valley native, ‘a splendid woman, active in every civic and benevolent work’ (Water Valley Progress newspaper), who died at the age of 49, leaving Harriet and her three sisters to be raised by their father, Dr. Manuel Winter Jackson, “one of the most talented practicing physicians in the city (of Water Valley)’.

Miss Harriet Jackson received her BA from UM in 1924 & M.A. at UM in 1936. While in college she was a member of The Marionettes, a student drama club that William Faulkner helped found in 1920.  Miss Jackson joined the Modern Languages department in 1950 where she taught Latin & French for 21 years, retiring in 1970.  During her time at UM she was acting chair several semesters, a member of the Miss. Modern Languages Association, the Faculty Senate, and was advisor to Phi Kappa Phi and the Latin Club.

Other Financial Support

Undergraduate students often receive financial support during the summer months to work with professors on cutting-edge research in one of the department’s specialties. The research program includes activities in acoustics, solid state physics, high energy (elementary particle) physics, general relativity, and atmospheric physics.

National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates

Students are also eligible for various federal and state grant and loan programs. For more details, see
the Office of Financial Aid website.