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50th Anniversary Newsletter

50th Anniversary Newsletter

We're social distance partying like it's our birthday! (Because it is!)

By UPM Staff Date: May 01, 2020


On May 1, 1970, the University Press of Mississippi started with two employees, Dr. Robert Cecil Cook, our founding director, and a secretary. Its first budget was $25,000, and that first fiscal year it hoped to publish ten new books from its offices in the Student Union Building on the USM campus in Hattiesburg.  

Today the Press employs twenty full-time staff. Its sales annually approach or exceed $2 million. From its offices in Jackson, the press acquires, edits, designs, and markets over 220 author creations each year in traditional print, print-on-demand, and electronic book forms.  

Then and now, the Press is sustainably supported by and represents all of Mississippi’s eight public universities, Alcorn State University, Delta State University, Jackson State University, Mississippi State University, Mississippi Valley State University, Mississippi University for Women, University of Mississippi, and University of Southern Mississippi.

50th party


As the only not-for-profit publisher in Mississippi, the Press tells stories of scholarly and social importance that impact our state, region, nation, and world. We are committed to equality, inclusivity, and diversity. Working at the forefront of publishing and cultural trends, we publish books that enhance and extend the reputation of our state and its universities.  

An anniversary, especially one as momentous as the fiftieth, is an opportunity to look to the future, to plan for the next fifty years. That planning is well underway at UPM with new series, new endowed funds, and a focus on growth. Focusing on our mission, and working closely with our authors, customers, booksellers, universities, and all our partners, we are building a press for our region and the world. We look forward to the next fifty years of growth, change, and success. 

Although our festivities look a bit different today than we had planned, we invite everyone to join us in this year’s celebration and in the excitement of years to come.  

—Craig W. Gill, Director



Time to Party! Even while working from home, we are still celebrating! Check out some of the ways Press staff (and their pets) are marking the Press’s 50th at home.

Press Celebrates


Thanks to everyone who joined our virtual celebration on Twitter! We hope you learned something about the Press, our process, and publishing in general. If you missed the Q&A, you can view the thread here. Browse our Twitter feed.


We are offering 30% off and free freight on domestic website orders now through May 31. Learn more here.


See our playlist.


We appreciate your support over the last fifty years, and we look forward to sharing our future with you. Continue to support UPM by purchasing books, following us on social media, and attending events like author signings, conferences, and the annual Mississippi Book Festival. Here are some more ways you can support the press.