MARCH 13, 1965

Dr. Marion Myles accepted a position at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Three months later, the vice chancellor appointed her an assistant professor of pharmacology and research, the first Black American on the faculty. Her appointment came over the objections of some members of the board of trustees of the State Institutions of Higher Learning. 

Prior to accepting the appointment, Myles  taught biology, botany, agronomy and zoology at several universities. An expert in plant physiology, she studied the effects of drugs and hormones on plant growth. She received a Carnegie Foundation Research Grant and was awarded research fellowships at the California Institute of Technology and at the Institute of Nuclear Studies at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. The same year the medical center appointed her, the center offered a residency slot to Dr. Aaron Shirley, the first Black resident.

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Jerry MitchellInvestigative Reporter

The stories of investigative reporter Jerry Mitchell have helped put four Klansmen and a serial killer behind bars. His stories have also helped free two people from death row, exposed injustices and corruption, prompting investigations and reforms as well as the firings of boards and officials. He is a Pulitzer Prize finalist, a longtime member of Investigative Reporters & Editors, and a winner of more than 30 other national awards, including a $500,000 MacArthur “genius” grant. After working for three decades for the statewide Clarion-Ledger, Mitchell left in 2019 and founded the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting.