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6/3/2022 - Jackson, Miss.

The Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning presented a check to Make-A-Wish Mississippi during a ceremony held last week at the IHL offices Jackson. The check represented the culmination of a six-week fundraising effort. A total of $2,515 was raised by IHL staff members and members of the Board of Trustees to help support the mission of Make-A-Wish Mississippi.

"I would like to thank the staff and Trustees for supporting the fundraising effort through your donations," said Dr. Alfred Rankins, Sr., Commissioner of Higher Education. "Your generosity and eagerness to help Make-A-Wish make a difference speaks volumes about the kind of caring and dedicated people we have at IHL. Thank you for your hard work and your generous donations."

Conceived by Deputy Commissioner and Chief Administrative Officer Marcus Thompson, the fundraising effort was spearheaded by a committee of seven IHL employees, including Henry Anderson, Website and Systems Administrator; Caron Blanton, Director of Communications; Allison Bullock, Digital Media Manager; Susan Erickson, Human Resources Administrator; Heather Jiles, Special Assistant to the Deputy Commissioner; Holly Johnson, Director of Accounting, and Sandra Kelly, Director of Student Services.

Through a brief survey with several options of very worthwhile and important organizations making a difference in the state included, Make-A-Wish Mississippi was selected to receive the funds donated through this effort. Make-A-Wish Mississippi helps children who are facing unimaginable health challenges set aside those challenges and help them experience pure joy by helping make their wishes-no matter how big or how small-come true.

"The mission of Make-A-Wish Mississippi obviously resonated with the staff," said Marcus Thompson, Deputy Commissioner and Chief Administrative Officer. "We met our $500 goal within 24 hours of launching the effort! Even though the goal was reached quickly, the staff wanted to keep going and see how big a difference we could make in the life of a child. I appreciate everyone who helped with the effort and all those who donated."

The $2,515 total raised far exceeded the goal originally set by the committee of $500. The effort launched in mid-April and concluded with the check presentation yesterday.

"We are so grateful for the support from IHL and their staff!" said Rachael Keyes, Senior Director of Development for Make-A-Wish Mississippi. "Through their support and the funds that they came together and raised, they will help us to be able to grant more wishes for children right here in Mississippi."

Commissioner of Higher Education Dr. Alfred Rankins Sr. (far right) and Deputy Commissioner and Chief Administrative Officer Marcus Thompson (far left) present a check representing the $2,515 raised by the IHL staff and Board of Trustees for Make-A-Wish Mississippi to Rachael Keyes, Senior Director of Development for Make-A-Wish Mississippi.


The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning governs the public universities in Mississippi, including Alcorn State University; Delta State University; Jackson State University; Mississippi State University including the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi University for Women; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of Mississippi including the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and the University of Southern Mississippi.

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