Porteras’ contribution strengthens
Allen Scholarships

During his 30 year career, professor Tip H. Allen Jr. inspired students and peers alike. A devoted faculty member in political science and public administration, he had a profound impact on many lives, including that of former Mississippi State University President Malcolm Portera.

After Allen’s passing in 2010, his family and academic department established the Tip Allen Undergraduate Scholarships in his memory. One individual eager to generously contribute was Portera.

MSU’s 16th president and his wife, Olivia, both West Point natives and 1969 graduates, have been loyal supporters of MSU for many years, contributing to numerous areas and establishing multiple scholarships. The Tuscaloosa couple’s most recent gift of $250,000 will benefit the Tip Allen Endowed Memorial Scholarship in acknowledgment of the valuable impact Allen made on Malcolm’s life.

Portera, initially graduated from Mississippi State with a Bachelor of Science, but decided that he wanted to pursue a career in higher education. Remembering how much he had enjoyed the political science and public administration class from his undergraduate studies, Portera sought advice from the instructor, Allen.

With Allen’s encouragement, Portera earned a Master of Science in political science from Mississippi State in 1971 and followed his mentor’s post-graduate path to the University of Alabama. Allen had earlier earned a doctorate in political science from the school in 1961, and readily provided a strong recommendation for Portera’s application to the same program.

After gaining acceptance to the program and graduating from the UA with a doctoral degree in 1977, Portera enjoyed progressive administrative roles at the school for more than two decades. In 1998, he returned to Mississippi State and served as its president through 2001. He concluded his successful career as chancellor of the UA system.

Thanks to support from alumni and friends like the Porteras, Allen’s legacy of leadership will continue for generations. The Porteras’ contribution serves as a tribute to an investment that was once made in Malcolm, and affords investments in the lives of other students aspiring to make a difference through public service.

At Mississippi State, the Tip Allen Endowed Memorial Scholarship provides financial assistance to undergraduate students participating in a public service internship. Recipients must demonstrate the potential for making contributions in some area of public service, engaging the spirit of Allen’s instrumental guidance.

As an open fund in the MSU Foundation, the Tip Allen Undergraduate Scholarships may be increased through additional contributions. For more information, contact Alex McIntosh, director of development for the College of Arts and Sciences, at 662.325.3240 or amcintosh@foundation.msstate.edu.


Malcolm and Olivia Portera


Tip H. Allen Jr.