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The University of Mississippi, also known as Ole Miss, is a public, coeducational research university located in Oxfordmarker, Mississippimarker. Founded in 1848, the school is composed of the main campus in Oxford, three branch campuses located in Boonevillemarker, Tupelomarker, and Southavenmarker as well as the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jacksonmarker. It also operates the University of Mississippi Field Station in Abbevillemarker Additionally, it is both a sea-grant and space-grant institute. Sixty-nine percent of undergraduates are from Mississippi, and nineteen percent of all students are minorities. International students come from sixty-six nations.


The Lyceum
Civil Rights Monument (statue of James Meredith) on the Ole Miss campus.
The University got its nickname "Ole Miss" via a contest in 1897. That same year, the student yearbook 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. [10302] This sobriquet was chosen not only for the yearbook, but also became the name by which the University is now affectionately known.

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 crest 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 Shilohmarker. 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 Chargemarker at the Battle of Gettysburgmarker 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 surrenderedmarker at Vicksburg, Mississippimarker; 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, Tennesseemarker native, who was President from 1874-1886.

During the 1930s, an attempt by Mississippi Governor Theodore G. Bilbo to move the University of Mississippi to Jacksonmarker, was prevented by then Chancellor Alfred Hume by giving Mississippi legislators a grand tour of Ole Miss and the surrounding city of Oxford. It so impressed the legislators that the move was defeated.


Desegregation came to Ole Miss in the early 1960s with the activities of United States Air Force veteran James Meredith from Kosciusko, Mississippimarker. Even Meredith's initial efforts required great courage. All involved knew how violently Dr. William David McCain and the white political establishment of Mississippi had recently reacted to similar efforts by Clyde Kennard to enroll at Mississippi Southern College (now the University of Southern Mississippimarker).

Meredith won a lawsuit that allowed him admission to the University of Mississippi in September 1962 . He attempted to enter campus on September 20, on September 25, and again on September 26 , only to be blocked by Mississippi Governor Ross R. Barnett, who proclaimed that "no school will be integrated in Mississippi while I am your Governor. "

After the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held both Barnett and Lieutenant Governor Paul B. Johnson, Jr. in contempt , with fines of more than $10,000 for each day they refused to allow Meredith to enroll , Meredith, escorted by a force of U.S. Marshals, entered the campus on September 30, 1962 .

The enrollment of Meredith led to an anti-desegregation riot. Thousands of students, citizens from the surrounding area and many from out of state, many armed, were involved. There was a sense among a certain class of white Mississippi males that this was their battle against 'Catholic, Communist, Northern' intervention in Mississippi white people's business. The protesters swarmed the campus in a violent effort to prevent Meredith's enrollment, and thus save a part of their 'southern heritage.'

Two people died during the riot. Meredith, thanks to the protection afforded by federal marshals, was able to enroll and attend his first class on October 2. Following the riot, elements of an Army National Guard division were stationed in Oxford to prevent future similar violence. 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.

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.

The site of these riots was designated as a National Historic Landmark, the Lyceum-The Circle Historic Districtmarker, on October 7, 2008. The district includes:

Presidential debate

The University of Mississippi was also the site of the first presidential debate of the 2008 election. The event was hailed as a great success and was viewed as a sign of great progress for the university.
Obama-McCain debate at Ole Miss.


Divisions of the University

Ventress Hall
The degree-granting divisions located at the Main Campus:

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

The University of Mississippi Field Station located in Abbeville is a natural laboratory used to study, research and teach about sustainable freshwater ecosystems.


  • The University of Mississippi is among the top 30 public institutions with the largest endowments per student.
  • The University of Mississippi has produced 25 Rhodes Scholars and has also produced one Fulbright, one Marshall, six Truman, and seven Goldwater Scholars since 1998.
  • The School of Pharmacy ranks 20th in the nation among schools of pharmacy for funding from the National Institutes of Healthmarker and 2nd among pharmacy schools for total federal funding.
  • The University of Mississippi's School of Accountancy is ranked 15th 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 2007, the average ACT score of entering freshmen at the University of Mississippi (excluding the UM Medical Center) was 22.9.

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 newspaper in Mississippimarker 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.
  • The Ole Miss student yearbook is a 416-page color book produced by students with faculty advice. It has won various awards including the Gold Crown.
  • WUMS-FMmarker 92.1 Rebel Radio, operated by students, is a 3,000-watt FCC-commercially licensed radio station.
  • NewsWatch is the only student-produced, live newscast in the state of Mississippi. Broadcast through the Metrocast cable company, it is live at 5:30 Monday-Friday.

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

Odds and ends

  • 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 [10303] (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 canceled 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 Oakmarker, is owned by the university. His Nobel Prize for Literature is held in Archives and Special Collections at J. D. Williams Library on the Ole Miss campus. 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.
  • The Mississippi Teacher Corps is based at the university.
  • The University was chosen to host the first presidential debate of 2008, which was held September 26, 2008. This was the first ever presidential debate to be held in Mississippi.
  • The Princeton Review 2008-2009 rankings included Ole Miss as the #2 party school in the nation.
  • Ole Miss was rank the 23rd best Public College/University by Forbes Magazine in 2008.


Student Housing

Approximately 3500 students live on campus in the fourteen residence halls available. All freshmen (students with less than 30 credit hours) are required to live in campus housing their first year unless they meet certain commuter guidelines. The Department of Student Housing and Residence Life is an auxiliary, meaning that it is self-supporting and does not receive appropriations from state funds. All rent received from students pays for housing functions such as utilities, staff salaries, furniture, supplies, repairs, renovations and new buildings. Most of the residence staff members are students, including day-to-day management, conduct board members and maintenance personnel. Upon acceptance to The University of Mississippi, a housing application is submitted with a processing fee. On Campus Housing cost ranges from $1730 to over $5000(the highest price being that of the new residential college) per semester depending on the occupancy and suite type. Students (with more than 30 credit hours) have the option to live off campus in unaffiliated housing.

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. Delta Gamma national sorority was founded in 1873 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 alumnae in order to increase the chances of receiving an invitation to join one of the 9 NPC sororities on campus.

NPC Sororities

NPHC Organizations

IFC Fraternities

Other Fraternities

Associated Student Body

The Associated Student Body (ASB) is the Ole Miss student government organization.

Noteworthy alumni

See also


External links

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