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University of Mississippi

University of Mississippi
(Ole Miss)
University of Mississippi Seal

Type:Public, Co-ed
Endowment:$495,000,000 as of 06-30-2007[2]
Chancellor:Robert Khayat
Students:17,323 [1]
LocationOxford, Mississippi

(34.3663° N -89.5368° WCoordinates: 34.3663° N -89.5368° W)
Campus:Rural 1,000+ acres
Sports teams:Rebels
Colors:Harvard Crimson and Yale Blue           
(adopted in 1893)[3]
Mascot:Colonel Reb

The University of Mississippi, also known as Ole Miss, is a public, coeducational research university located in Oxford, Mississippi. Founded in 1848, the school is composed of the main campus in Oxford and three branch campuses located in Booneville, Tupelo, and Southaven. UM maintains a field station in Bay Springs as well as the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. Additionally, it is both a sea-grant and space-grant institute.

Sixty-seven percent of undergraduates are from Mississippi, and nineteen percent of all students are minorities. International students come from sixty-six nations.

Additional recommended knowledge



The University got its nickname Ole Miss via a contest in 1897. That same year, the student year book was being published for the first time. As a way to find a name for the book, a contest was held to solicit suggestions from the student body. Elma Meek, a student at the time, submitted the winning entry of Ole Miss. This sobriquet was chosen not only for the yearbook, but also became the name by which the University is now affectionately known.[4]   The Lyceum, built in 1848, is the oldest building on campus. In its first year, it housed all of the classrooms and faculty offices of the university. The Lyceum is now the home of the university's administration offices. The columned facade of the Lyceum is represented on the official emblem of the university, along with the date of establishment.

The School of Medicine, which was originally located at the eastern gate of the campus, was used as a hospital during the Civil War for both Union and Confederate soldiers, especially those who were wounded at the battle of Shiloh. The School of Medicine is now located in Jackson, Mississippi and the original building, which served as a dormitory for male students in its last years before being condemned in the early 1970s, was replaced by a new Chemistry building in the mid 1970s. Soldiers who died in the campus hospital were buried in a mass grave located at the northeast corner of the Coliseum which was built nearly 100 years later as a venue for concerts and basketball games.

With the outbreak of the Civil War, classes were interrupted when the entire student body and many faculty from Ole Miss enlisted in the Confederate army. Their company, Company A, 11th Mississippi Infantry, was nicknamed the University Grays, and suffered a high casualty rate during The Civil War. A great number of those casualties occurred during Pickett's Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg on July 3, 1863, when the University Grays made the deepest encroachment into Union territory. Some of the soldiers actually crossed the Union defensive fortification wall, only to be killed, wounded or captured. On the very next day, July 4, Confederate forces surrendered at Vicksburg, Mississippi; the two battles together are commonly viewed as the turning point in the war. When Ole Miss re-opened, only one member of the University Greys was able to visit the university to address the student body. The university was led, during the post-war period, by former Confederate general A.P. Stewart, a Rogersville, Tennessee native, who was President from 1874-1886.

  The University of Mississippi was also the site of rioting during desegregation, when James Meredith of Kosciusko, Mississippi, attempted to enroll in the school to become the university's first black student. Thousands of students and citizens from the surrounding area, a number of whom were armed, swarmed the campus on September 30, 1962 in a riotous effort to prevent Meredith's enrollment. Meredith, thanks to the protection afforded by federal marshals, was able to enroll and attend his first class on October 2. Two people died during the race riots on campus. Following the riot, elements of an Army National Guard division were stationed in Oxford to preserve the peace. While most Ole Miss students did not riot prior to his official enrollment in the university, many harassed Meredith during his first two semesters on campus. Though the majority of students accepted Meredith's presence, according to first person accounts chronicled in Nadine Cohodas's book The Band Played Dixie, students living in Meredith's dorm bounced basketballs on the floor just above his room through all hours of the night. When Meredith walked into the cafeteria for meals, the students eating would all turn their backs. If Meredith sat at a table with other students, all of whom were white, the students would immediately get up and go to another table. Because of this incident, the university itself is mentioned in Billy Joel's history themed song "We Didn't Start the Fire" ("Ole Miss").


Divisions of the University

The degree-granting divisions located at the Main Campus:

  • School of Accountancy
  • School of Applied Sciences
  • School of Business Administration
  • School of Education
  • School of Engineering
  • College of Liberal Arts
  • School of Nursing (added 2006)
  • Graduate School
  • School of Law
  • School of Pharmacy

The colleges in the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson:

  • School of Dentistry
  • School of Health Related Professions
  • School of Nursing
  • School of Medicine


  • The University of Mississippi is among the top 30 public institutions with the largest endowments per student.
  • The University of Mississippi has produced 24 Rhodes Scholars and has also produced one Fulbright, one Marshall, five Truman, and seven Goldwater Scholars since 1998.
  • The University of Mississippi is ranked by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as one of the top 100 Research Extensive institutions in the nation.
  • The School of Pharmacy ranks 20th in the nation among schools of pharmacy for funding from the prestigious National Institutes of Health and 2nd among pharmacy schools for total federal funding.
  • The University of Mississippi's School of Accountancy is ranked 22nd in the nation.
  • The University of Mississippi's Sally McDonnell-Barksdale Honors College (founded and supported by Jim Barksdale in honor of his late wife) was ranked one of the top 3 honors colleges in the nation by Reader's Digest.
  • The University of Mississippi Medical Center was recently granted a secondary nursing program, which is a program for first semester nursing students who already have a degree. It is the only school in Mississippi with this type of grant.
  • In 2006, the average ACT score of entering freshmen was 23.0, second among the eight public universities in the state, and behind only the 23.3 average of Mississippi State.[1]

Student Media

  • The Daily Mississippian is the student-published newspaper of The University, established in 1937. Although The Daily Mississippian (DM) is located on the Ole Miss campus, it is operated largely as an independent newspaper run by students. The DM is the only college newpaper in Mississippi that is published five times a week. The editorial staff consists of approximately 15 students, along with a staff of 15-20 writers and 5 photographers, though these numbers vary from year to year and semester to semester. There is also an entire department devoted entirely to advertising sales and production. With a circulation of 15,000, it is one of the largest college newspapers in the country. The paper also runs The DM Online, one of the few online college newspapers that is independent of the print edition. With an independent staff and editor in chief, The DM Online is dedicated to strengthening the publications of Ole Miss through multimedia interaction.[5]
  • The Ole Miss student yearbook is a 415-page color book produced by students with faculty advice. It has won various awards including the Gold Crown.[6]
  • WUMS 92.1 Rebel Radio, operated by students, is a 6,000-watt FCC-commercially licensed radio station.[7]
  • NewsWatch is the only student-produced, live newscast in the state of Mississippi. Broadcast through the Vista III Media cable company, it is live at 5:30 Monday-Friday.[8]

These five publications are a part of the S. Gale Denley Student Media Center at Ole Miss.



  • The university houses the largest blues music archive in the United States. Some of the contributions to the collection were donated by BB King. The Mamie and Ellis Nassour Arts & Entertainment Collection, highlighted by a wealth of theater and film scripts, photographs and memorabilia, was dedicated in September, 2005.
  • Archie Manning's uniform number, 18, has become the official speed limit of the Oxford campus.
  • The school grows U.S. government cannabis. The National Institute on Drug Abuse [2] (NIDA) contracts to the university the production of cannabis for the use in the few approved research studies on the plant as well as for distribution to the seven surviving medical cannabis patients grandfathered into the Compassionate Investigational New Drug program (established in 1978 and cancelled in 1991).
  • University of Mississippi Medical Center surgeons performed the world's first lung transplant in man and transplanted the heart of a chimpanzee - man's closest genetic relation - into the chest of a dying man.
  • William Faulkner's estate, Rowan Oak, is owned by the university. Faulkner's Nobel Prize for Literature is kept in the Ole Miss Library. The town of Oxford surrounds the campus which is located in Lafayette County and inspired Faulkner and his imaginary town of Jefferson, the county seat of Yoknapatawpha County
  • In Star Trek, the character Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy attended the university.
  • In Designing Women, the character Suzanne Sugarbaker attended the university, where the character was a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority.
  • In the 1996 movie A Time to Kill, based on the novel by John Grisham, Sandra Bullock plays a stellar law student from Ole Miss named Ellen Roark.
  • Charlie's Angel Kate Jackson and long-time "As the World Turns" star Anthony Herrera attended the university.
  • The University has produced three Miss Americas: Mary Ann Mobley, Lynda Lee Mead, and Susan Akin.
  • The Mississippi Teacher Corps is based at the university.
  • The University was chosen to host the first presidential debate of 2008, to be held September 26, 2008. This is also the first ever presidential debate to be held in Mississippi.[9]


Main article: Ole Miss Rebels

Greek Life

Despite the relatively small number of Greek-letter organizations on campus, many students participate in Greek life at Ole Miss. The tradition of Greek life on the Oxford campus is a deep-seated one. In fact, the first fraternity founded in the South was the W.W.W. (or Rainbow Society), founded at Ole Miss in 1848, which went on to charter other chapters across the South. The fraternity merged with Delta Tau Delta in 1886.[10] Delta Gamma national sorority was founded in 1872 at the Lewis School for Girls in nearby Oxford. Today, sorority chapters are very large, with many boasting of around 250 active members. Recruitment is fiercely competitive and potential sorority members are encouraged to secure personal recommendations from Ole Miss sorority alumna in order to increase the chances of receiving an invitation to join one of the 9 NPC sororities on campus.

NPC Sororities

  • Alpha Delta Pi 1961, inactive since 1995
  • Alpha Omicron Pi 1958
  • Alpha Xi Delta 1971, inactive since 1976
  • Chi Omega 1899
  • Delta Delta Delta 1904
  • Delta Gamma 1873
  • Delta Zeta 1928, inactive since 1953
  • Kappa Alpha Theta 1979
  • Kappa Delta 1927
  • Kappa Kappa Gamma 1947
  • Phi Mu 1926
  • Pi Beta Phi 1962
  • Zeta Tau Alpha 1939, inactive since 1999

NPHC Organizations

  • Alpha Kappa Alpha 1974
  • Alpha Phi Alpha 1978
  • Delta Sigma Theta 1974
  • Kappa Alpha Psi 1983
  • Omega Psi Phi 1973
  • Phi Beta Sigma 1975
  • Sigma Gamma Rho 1994
  • Zeta Phi Beta 1976


  • Alpha Tau Omega 1927
  • Beta Theta Pi 1879 (on probation from October 2007 until December 2008 for alcohol-related violations)[11]
  • Chi Psi 1858, currently inactive
  • Delta Psi 1855
  • Delta Kappa Epsilon 1850 (suspended from September 2007 until June 2008 for alcohol-related violations and a verbal assault charge)[11]
  • Delta Tau Delta 1886-1912, 1926-1942, currently inactive
  • Kappa Alpha Order 1900 (on probation from September 2007 until May 2008 for alcohol-related violations)[11]
  • Kappa Sigma 1926
  • Phi Delta Theta 1877
  • Phi Gamma Delta 1855, 1868-1879, 1994-2000, currently inactive
  • Phi Kappa Psi 1857
  • Phi Kappa Tau 1969
  • Phi Kappa Theta 1971-1988, currently inactive
  • Phi Pi Phi 1927, merged with Alpha Sigma Phi in 1938, currently inactive
  • Pi Kappa Alpha 1927
  • Sigma Alpha Epsilon 1866
  • Sigma Chi 1857
  • Sigma Nu 1927
  • Sigma Phi Epsilon 1927
  • Sigma Pi 1957-1971, 1974-1991, currently inactive
  • Tau Kappa Epsilon Colonized in the 1980s, currently inactive
  • Zeta Beta Tau Colonized in the 1980s, currently inactive

Noteworthy alumni


  • Susan Akin, Miss America 1986
  • Glen Ballard, songwriter/producer
  • Haley Barbour, former Republican National Committee chairman and current Mississippi governor
  • Jim Barksdale, Netscape CEO
  • Anthony Boone, first black student-athlete to have jersey retired
  • Tom Bearden, Correspondent, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer
  • Larry Brown, author
  • Mickey Callaway, Major League Baseball player
  • Thad Cochran, U.S. Senator
  • Charlie Conerly, former N.Y. Giants QB
  • Wendell H. Cook, Jr., renowned attorney and history professor
  • Russ Dallen, editor-in-chief, The Daily Journal, Truman Scholarship recipient
  • Tony Dees, 1992 Olympic 110M Hurdles Silver Medalist
  • David Dellucci, Cleveland Indians outfielder
  • Jeff Fassero, Major League Baseball player
  • Scott Ferguson, Sr., Arkansas State Representative
  • Ken Franklin, Founder and President of the MS Law Research Institute
  • Ron Franklin, ESPN announcer
  • William F. Galtney, Jr., founder of Healthcare Insurance Services, Inc.
  • Jake Gibbs, former New York Yankees catcher
  • John Grisham, author
  • General Paul V. Hester, USAF
  • Dr. Edward Hill, Former American Medical Association President
  • Jim Hood, current attorney general of Mississippi
  • Guy Hovis, singer
  • Kate Jackson, actress, best known for Charlie's Angels
  • Josh Kelley, musician
  • Robert Khayat, former Washington Redskins kicker, currently the university's chancellor
  • Carl Edwin Lindgren, Secretary General to the Royal Crown of Rwanda and to King Kigeli V, and Advisor to the Imperial Family of Ethiopiaand Prince Sahle Selassie grandson of Emperor Haile Selassie
  • Trent Lott, U.S. Senator, Minority Whip and former Senate Majority Leader
  • Ray Mabus, former governor of Mississippi and former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia
  • Archie Manning, former New Orleans Saints QB
  • Cooper Manning, Archie Manning's oldest son.
  • Eli Manning, New York Giants QB (Archie's youngest son)
  • Deuce McAllister, New Orleans Saints running back
  • Admiral John S. McCain, Sr., USN; father of Senator John McCain
  • William Bonner McCarty, Founder, Jitney Jungle Stores of America
  • Gerald McRaney, actor
  • Scott McKinney, sports talk radio host, Southern Sports Tonight
  • James Meredith, first black student at Ole Miss and a leader in the American civil rights movement
  • Joseph Meredith, son of James Meredith, top doctoral graduate in the School of Business Administration
  • Mary Ann Mobley, actress and Miss America 1959
  • Justin B. Moore, public health scientist
  • Mike Moore, former Mississippi attorney general
  • Ronnie Musgrove, former governor of Mississippi and current UM Professor
  • Bill Parsons, director of NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center
  • Pat "Gravy" Patterson, Master's degree (1961), winningest college baseball coach in Louisiana sports history
  • Richard "Dickie" Scruggs, noted trial attorney
  • Lynda Mead Shea, Miss America 1960, owner and president of Shea-Moore Design
  • Shepard Smith, Host of The Fox Report
  • Roosevelt Skerrit, prime minister of Commonwealth of Dominica
  • Chris Snopek, retired Major League baseball player
  • Savanté Stringfellow, world champion and Olympic long jumper
  • Sean Tuohy, radio analyst for the Memphis Grizzlies and named to the All-Century SEC basketball team
  • Glennray Tutor, Famous Photorealist painter.
  • Wesley Walls, All-Pro NFL tight-end
  • Patrick Willis, San Francisco 49ers rookie linebacker

See also

  • Ole Miss Rebels


  1. ^ Official website
  2. ^ University of Mississippi Foundation Statistics
  3. ^ Ole Miss Traditions
  4. ^ The Ole Miss Student Yearbook
  5. ^ The DM
  6. ^ The Ole Miss
  7. ^ WUMS 92.1 Rebel Radio
  8. ^ NewsWatch
  9. ^ The Clarion-Ledger: University lands first of 3 debates; Accessed November 20, 2007
  10. ^ The New York Times: Two secret societies united, Delta Tau Delta and the Rainbow Society join hands; Published March 28, 1885; Accessed December 08, 2007
  11. ^ a b c Brown, LaRaye. "Ole Miss punishes fraternity", The Clarion-Ledger, 2007-04-04. Retrieved on 2007-04-04. 
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "University_of_Mississippi". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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