OXFORD — Two brothers who served in World War II, graduated from the University of Mississippi with business degrees and followed their father in the family business are being honored with a scholarship at their alma mater.
Named for Raiford N. Long Sr. of Ripley and the late Erst Long Jr. of Corinth, the business scholarship endowment was created with a $125,000 gift from Randall G. “Randy” Long of Long Wholesale Distributors Inc. in Corinth, and Raiford N. “Ray” Long Jr. and Samuel E. “Sam” Long III of Long Wholesale Inc. of Meridian.
With the help of its employees, the Long distribution centers have evolved from a general store supplier, delivering orders with a horse and wagon, to one of the largest convenience store suppliers in the South, according to the company. The Long family likewise has extensive history at Ole Miss and, in particular, with the School of Business Administration. Among degrees that family members have earned on the Oxford campus are seven in business, three in law, two in education, two in accountancy and one in music. When Erst Long Jr. attended Ole Miss, his wife, Velma, was the secretary to the business dean.
“The generosity and commitment of the Long family is very inspiring, and we greatly appreciate this gift,” said Ken Cyree, business school dean. “Through this family’s philanthropy, Ole Miss students will benefit for years to come. It is truly moving to see the family’s passion for the School of Business Administration represented through multiple generations. We are grateful for their support and dedication to the business school and the University of Mississippi.”
The Long Scholarship will be open to full-time business students who maintain a minimum 3.0 grade-point average. Selection will be made by the School of Business Administration selection committee with approval by the dean. The Long Scholarship Endowment is open to receive gifts from individuals and organizations.