Mississippi Family’s Tragedy Turned into Substance Misuse and Mental Health Support

Thomas Hayes Mayo

The lives of Cal Mayo (Alpha Upsilon–Mississippi ’83) and his family changed on April 14, 2022, when they received the news that their youngest son, Thomas Hayes Mayo, passed away from fentanyl poisoning. A 21-year-old student at the University of Mississippi, Thomas was described as “a great friend that lit up every room he entered” by fellow students.

“Thomas always wore a smile and appeared full of endless joy,” said Cal Mayo. “He never saw a half-empty glass. He never met a stranger. He brought laughter and smiles to every group. Thomas was intelligent and took pride in his grades and academic accomplishments.”

After going through the devastation of losing a child, Cal and Caroline Mayo became determined to do all they could to prevent other parents from going through what they experienced. They worked tirelessly to establish the Thomas Hayes Mayo Lab Fund, a part of the William Magee Institute for Student Wellbeing at the University of Mississippi. The Fund will pay tribute to Mayo’s life by helping those battling substance misuse and mental health issues, including depression and anxiety.

While Thomas was a member of Sigma Chi, the Mayos have deep connections to Kappa Alpha Order. The Alpha Upsilon Chapter at the University of Mississippi made one of the first contributions to the Mayo Lab Fund in the amount of $35,000.

In addition to the Fund, Cal has set out to speak to as many groups and individuals as possible regarding the dangers of fentanyl including at the Order’s Number I’s Leadership Institute. View a brief recap of Cal’s presentation.

Listen or watch Cal and Caroline sharing their son’s story on an episode of The Mayo Lab PodcastThe Mayo Lab Podcast.
To make a gift to the Thomas Hayes Mayo Lab Fund, send a check, with the fund’s name written in the memo line, to the University of Mississippi Foundation, 406 University Ave., Oxford, MS 38655; or online at https://nowandever.olemiss.edu.

Making a gift to the Thomas Hayes Mayo Lab Endowment are alumni and active members of Kappa Alpha fraternity. Parents Cal and Caroline Mayo (front row, center) are joined by KA alumni and actives (front row, from left) Pope Mallette, Andrew Cofield, Lee Baker, John Mayo, Clay Ivy, Nolan Farmer and Mike McGee; and (back row, from left) Andy Phillips, David Krouse, O’Keefe Graham, Ward Hubbell, Drew Mauldin and Randy Ivy. The KAs made a gift of $35,000 to the Mayo initiative, which will be part of the William