Miss Ole Miss finds value in family tradition
The Ole Miss experience is truly a family affair for the Samuel Hardy Farris family of Oxford and Vicksburg.
“Attending Ole Miss has been a tradition in my family,” said Katie Farris, who expects to receive her bachelor’s degree in accountancy in May. “Since my grandparents live in Oxford, I feel as if I have grown up visiting the university. I fell in love with Ole Miss at an early age and always knew this was where I wanted to attend college.”
Farris, who is interning this semester with KPMG in Birmingham, was chosen to represent the student body as Miss Ole Miss last fall in campuswide elections.
She is the daughter of Kimberly Pruette Farris (BAccy 82) and Samuel Hardy Farris III (BE 82) of Vicksburg. Her grandparents, Martha Faye Nicholas Farris (BS 55) and Hardy Farris Jr. (52) of Oxford, both attended the university, and her brother, Samuel Hardy Farris IV, is an Ole Miss freshman accountancy major.
Farris said that as a senior at St. Aloysius High School in Vicksburg she was influenced by her mother to major in accounting, and she has not regretted her decision.
“Every faculty member I’ve been in contact with and every professor I’ve ever had has been dedicated to the students by forming relationships with the students and bending over backwards to assist them in any way possible,” she said. “The School of Accountancy pushes you and challenges you to do your best while being a constant support throughout college.”
Farris also said the one-on-one attention that students get from the school’s faculty is especially impressive.
“I have been fortunate enough to be instructed by Jimmy Davis, J Shaw and Mark Wilder, all of whom accepted nothing less than excellence and invested their time and energy in helping me succeed.
“I got to know Dr. Jimmy Davis especially well during his summer section of advanced accounting. He is the type of professor you want to do your best for. His stories and sense of humor are legendary, and I am honored to have been one of his students. I also have a close relationship with the accountancy school’s adviser, Erin Miller, who goes above and beyond her job description to care about the students.”
Farris’ many achievements include membership in Alpha Lambda Delta, Beta Alpha Psi, Lambda Sigma, Mortar Board, Order of Omega, Omicron Delta Kappa, Gamma Beta Phi and Who’s Who Among the Class of 2008. She was awarded the Academic Excellence Scholarship, Jones Foundation Scholarship, James W. Davis Scholarship in Accountancy and Mississippi Eminent Scholar’s Grant.
Her extracurricular activities include serving on the Student Alumni Council, ASB Judicial Council, ASB Finance Committee and Senior Class Executive Committee. She has been an orientation leader, ASB senator, ASB Cabinet executive assistant, president of Chi Omega and School of Accountancy Vice President for Publicity. She also is a member of Campus Crusade.
She has volunteered for Make-A-Wish Foundation, Food Pantry and North Mississippi Regional Center, and helped raise funds for Gardner Simmons Home.
Reflecting on her four years at UM, Farris said, “Ole Miss has brought me many wonderful memories, most importantly the friendships I’ve gained. Being named Miss Ole Miss was definitely a highlight, not to mention a bigger honor than I ever thought I’d receive. This entire school year has been a highlight because I got to be here for my brother Hardy’s freshman year. It has been so much fun to go to college with him and watch him experience and love Ole Miss the way I have.”
Farris plans to stay at Ole Miss for her master’s degree in accountancy and then to pursue a career in public accounting.
“My internship has been a huge learning experience, and I’m excited to see where my career in public accounting takes me,” she said.