A native of Grenada, Mary Sharp Rayner graduated from Ole Miss in 1964 with a Bachelor of Arts in Education. She taught history, speech, and English for several years in the Jackson and Memphis public school systems. After she and her husband, Jim (MD 66), moved to Oxford she worked in his ophthalmology practice as a front office manager.
Since moving to Oxford in 1971, Rayner has been active in her community, church and the university. She was on the founding boards of Yoknapatawpha Arts Council and the first Oxford Little Theatre. She has served on the boards of the Chamber of Commerce, United Way, Baptist North Mississippi Advisory Board, Oxford University Bank and LOFT. She has been active in her collegiate sorority, Delta Delta Delta, serving in many advisory capacities locally and as a national officer. In her church, Oxford University United Methodist, she has served on various committees and the administrative board numerous terms. She served as president of the Ole Miss Alumni Association from 2002 to 2003 and as a member of the board for the campaign for the expansion and renovation of The Inn at Ole Miss. She was chair of the Ole Miss Women’s Council from 2007 to 2009.
Presently she volunteers her time with several local organizations, her church, the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation Board of Governors and the Ole Miss Women’s Council. She remains active in the Ole Miss Alumni Association as a member of the board of directors.
Rayner and her husband have three children: Roane (BAccy 90), Whitney, and Bradley (BBA 00, BBA 02). She loves spending time with her four grandchildren: Mary Morgan, Sharp, Lila and James.