Hometown: Franklin, TN
BA in Economics and Political Science (1990)
While at UM, Wynn Shuford received the Truman Scholarship, a prestigious national award for students with demonstrated leadership skills and public service. After receiving his law degree from Vanderbilt, Wynn’s legal career has been with a private law firm and with the government – the DEA and now with the US Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Tennessee.
Why did you choose to study economics and political science at UM?
I chose my majors because of my love for both subjects. I also believed that majoring in those subjects would be beneficial in preparing me for a career in the legal profession.
One of the reasons why I chose Ole Miss was the personal connection I would have with professors in the Honors Program. I was very impressed by the fact that the Chair of the Political Science Department and Honors Professor (Dr. John Winkle) called me at home while I was a senior in high school to tell me about the department, about the Honors Program in general, and how I would have the opportunity to work closely with highly-rated professors. That definitely proved to be the case.
Significant experiences at UM?
I was encouraged to apply for the Harry S. Truman Scholarship and got very valuable advice from several Honors professors through that process. I believe having that guidance was a big advantage in helping me to be selected as a Truman Scholar. My experience at Ole Miss not only met, but exceeded my expectations. I could not be more pleased with the level of instruction and the personal connection I was able to have with my professors.
Please describe your post-graduation educational and career path.
After UM, I went to Vanderbilt Law School. I practiced law in civil litigation at a firm in Birmingham, Alabama, for 25 years. I made the difficult decision to pursue a career in public service. For almost three years, I worked in the Office of Chief Counsel for the Drug Enforcement Administration at its headquarters in Arlington, VA. In October 2020, I accepted a position as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee in Nashville, TN, where I mostly work on health care fraud matters.
What is the value of studying economics in today’s world?
I believe a liberal arts education is very important in developing critical thinking and communication skills. At Ole Miss, I was fortunate enough to have professors who were interested in teaching those skills, rather than just passing on information or expecting students to adopt a particular viewpoint. They were more interested in teaching students how to think rather than what to think. That foundation was extremely helpful in preparing me for law school and my legal career.