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|Motto||Pro scientia et sapientia (Latin)|
Motto in English
|For knowledge and wisdom|
|Type||Public flagship research university|
|Endowment||$674.2 million (2020)|
|Budget||$2.448 billion (2016)|
|Provost||Noel E. Wilkin|
|Students||23,258 (fall 2017)|
|Campus||Rural (small college town) 2,000+ acres|
|Colors||Cardinal red and Navy blue|
|NCAA Division I FBS - SEC|
The University of Mississippi (colloquially known as Ole Miss) is a public research university in Oxford, Mississippi. Including the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, it is the state's largest university by enrollment and promotes itself as the state's flagship university. The university was chartered by the Mississippi Legislature on February 24, 1844, and four years later admitted its first enrollment of 80 students. The university is classified among "R1: Doctoral Universities - Very high research activity". According to the National Science Foundation, Ole Miss spent $137 million on research and development in 2018, ranking it 142nd in the nation.
Across all its campuses, the university comprises some 23,258 students. In addition to the main campus in Oxford and the medical school in Jackson, the university also has campuses in Tupelo, Booneville, Grenada, and Southaven, as well as an accredited online high school. About 55 percent of its undergraduates and 60 percent overall come from Mississippi, and 23 percent are minorities; international students respectively represent 90 different nations. It is one of the 33 colleges and universities participating in the National Sea Grant Program and a participant in the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program.
Ole Miss was a center of activity during the American civil rights movement when a race riot erupted in 1962 following the attempted admission of James Meredith, an African-American, to the segregated campus. Although the university was integrated that year, the use of Confederate symbols and motifs has remained a controversial aspect of the school's identity and culture. In response the university has taken measures to rebrand its image, including effectively banning the display of Confederate flags in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in 1997, officially abandoning the Colonel Reb mascot in 2003, and removing "Dixie" from the Pride of the South marching band's repertoire in 2016. In 2018, following a racially charged rant on social media by an alumnus and academic building namesake, former Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter reaffirmed the university's commitment to "honest and open dialogue about its history", and in making its campuses "more welcoming and inclusive".[failed verification]
The Mississippi Legislature chartered the University of Mississippi on February 24, 1844. The university opened its doors to its first class of 80 students four years later in 1848. For 23 years, the university was Mississippi's only public institution of higher learning, and for 110 years it was the state's only comprehensive university. Politician Pryor Lea was a founding trustee.
When the university opened, the campus consisted of six buildings: two dormitories, two faculty houses, a steward's hall, and the Lyceum at the center. Constructed from 1846 to 1848, the Lyceum is the oldest building on campus. Originally, the Lyceum housed all of the classrooms and faculty offices of the university. The building's north and south wings were added in 1903, and the Class of 1927 donated the clock above the eastern portico. 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.
In 1854, the university established the fourth state-supported, public law school in the United States, and also began offering engineering education.
With the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, classes were interrupted and almost the entire student body (135 out of 139 students) enlisted in Company A of the 11th Mississippi regiment of the Confederate army. This company, nicknamed the University Greys, suffered a 100% casualty rate in Pickett's Charge.
The Lyceum 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. Two hundred-fifty soldiers who died in the campus hospital were buried in a cemetery on the grounds of the university.
The nickname "Ole Miss" dates to 1897, when the student yearbook was first published. A contest was held to solicit suggestions for a yearbook title from the student body, and Elma Meek submitted the winning entry. Interviewed by the student newspaper, The Mississippian, in 1939, Meek stated: "I had often heard old 'darkies' on Southern plantations address the lady in the 'big house' as 'Ole Miss'... the name appealed to me, so I suggested it to the committee and they adopted it."  Some historians concur that she derived the term from "ol' missus," an African-American term for a plantation's "old mistresss", while others have alternatively theorized Meek may have made a diminutive of "old Mississippi". This sobriquet was not only chosen for the yearbook, but also became the name by which the university was informally known. "Ole Miss" is defined as the school's intangible spirit, which is separate from the tangible aspects of the university.
The university began medical education in 1903, when the University of Mississippi School of Medicine was established on the Oxford campus. In that era, the university provided two-year pre-clinical education certificates, and graduates went out of state to complete doctor of medicine degrees. In 1950, the Mississippi Legislature voted to create a four-year medical school. On July 1, 1955, the University Medical Center opened in the capital of Jackson, Mississippi, as a four-year medical school. The University of Mississippi Medical Center, as it is now called, is the health sciences campus of the University of Mississippi. It houses the University of Mississippi School of Medicine along with five other health science schools: nursing, dentistry, health-related professions, graduate studies and pharmacy (The School of Pharmacy is split between the Oxford and University of Mississippi Medical Center campuses).
Several attempts were made via the executive and legislative branches of the Mississippi state government to relocate or otherwise close the University of Mississippi. The Mississippi Legislature between 1900 and 1930 introduced several bills aiming to accomplish this, but no legislation was ever passed by either house. One such bill was introduced in 1912 by Senator William Ellis of Carthage, Mississippi, which would have merged the college with then-Mississippi A&M. However, this measure was soundly defeated, despite the bill only seeking to form an exploratory committee.
In February 1920, 56 members of the legislature arrived on campus and discussed with students and faculty the idea of consolidating MS A&M, MS College of Women and Ole Miss to be in Jackson, rather than appropriate $750,000.00 of funds requested by then-Chancellor Joseph Powers which were needed to repair dilapidated and structurally unsound buildings on the campus, which was discovered following the partial collapse of a dormitory in 1917 and a scathing review of other buildings later that same year by the state architect. These funds, plus an additional $300,000.00 were given to the school, which was used to build 4 male dormitories, a female dormitory - which partially resolved a longstanding issue of inadequate dormitory space for students - and a pharmacy building. During the 1930s, Mississippi Governor Theodore G. Bilbo, a populist, tried to move the university to Jackson. Chancellor Alfred Hume gave the state legislators a grand tour of Ole Miss and the surrounding historic city of Oxford, persuading them to keep it in its original setting.
Desegregation came to Ole Miss in the early 1960s with the activities of United States Air Force veteran James Meredith from Kosciusko, Mississippi. Even Meredith's initial efforts required great courage. All involved knew how 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 Mississippi).
Meredith won a lawsuit that allowed him admission to the University of Mississippi in September 1962. He attempted to enter campus on September 20, September 25, and again on September 26, only to be blocked by Mississippi Governor Ross R. Barnett, who proclaimed "...No school in our state will be integrated while I am your Governor. I shall do everything in my power to prevent integration in our schools."
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, President John F. Kennedy dispatched 127 U.S. Marshals, 316 deputized U.S. Border Patrol agents, and 97 federalized Federal Bureau of Prisons personnel to escort Meredith to the campus on September 30, 1962.
Two civilians were killed by gunfire during the riot, French journalist Paul Guihard and Oxford repairman Ray Gunter. Eventually, 3,000 United States Army and federalized Mississippi National Guard troops quickly arrived in Oxford that helped quell the riot and brought the situation under control. One-third of the federal officers, 166 men, were injured, as were 40 federal soldiers and National Guardsmen.
After control was re-established by federal-led forces, Meredith was able to enroll and attend his first class on October 1. Following the riot, Army and National Guard troops were stationed in Oxford to prevent future similar violence. While most Ole Miss students did not riot prior to his enrollment in the university, many harassed Meredith during his first two semesters on campus.
According to first-person accounts, 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, they would immediately move to another table. Many of these events are featured in the 2012 ESPN documentary film Ghosts of Ole Miss.
In 2002 the university marked the 40th anniversary of integration with a yearlong series of events titled "Open Doors: Building on 40 Years of Opportunity in Higher Education." These included an oral history of Ole Miss, various symposiums, the April unveiling of a $130,000 memorial, and a reunion of federal marshals who had served at the campus. In September 2003, the university completed the year's events with an international conference on race. By that year, 13% of the student body identified as African American. Meredith's son Joseph graduated as the top doctoral student at the School of Business Administration.
Additionally, on April 14, 2010, the university campus was declared a National Historic Site by the Society of Professional Journalists to honor reporters who covered the 1962 riot, including the late French reporter Paul Guihard, a victim of the riot.
From September 2012 to May 2013, the university marked its 50th anniversary of integration with a program called Opening the Closed Society, referring to Mississippi: The Closed Society, a 1964 book by James W. Silver, a history professor at the university. The events included lectures by figures such as Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and the singer and activist Harry Belafonte, movie screenings, panel discussions, and a "walk of reconciliation and redemption."Myrlie Evers-Williams, widow of Medgar Evers, slain civil rights leader and late president of the state NAACP, closed the observance on May 11, 2013, by delivering the address at the university's 160th commencement.
The university was chosen to host the first presidential debate of 2008, between Senator John McCain and then-Senator Barack Obama which was held September 26, 2008. This was the first presidential debate to be held in Mississippi.
The university adopted a new on-field mascot for athletic events in the fall of 2010.Colonel Reb, retired from the sidelines of sporting events in 2003, was officially replaced by Rebel the Black Bear, which was then replaced by Tony the Landshark in 2018. All university sports teams are still officially referred to as the Rebels.
The university's 25th Rhodes Scholar was named in 2008. Since 1998, it has produced two Rhodes Scholars, as well as 10 Goldwater Scholars, seven Truman Scholars, 18 Fulbright Scholars, a Marshall Scholar, three Udall Scholars, two Gates Cambridge Scholars, one Mitchell Scholar, 19 Boren Scholars, one Boren fellow and one German Chancellor Fellowship.
In 2015, "Students Against Social Injustice" (SASI) started a movement to remove Confederate iconography from the campus, such as the Mississippi State Flag (which at that time showed the Confederate flag). The university stopped flying the flag in 2019. In 2018, SASI asked that the Confederate Monument located at The Center be removed from campus. In 2019, during Black History Month, student activists marched twice to support moving the monument. In March 2019, the Faculty Senate, Graduate Student Council, and the Associated Student Body voted to relocate the monument, and in June 2020, the university relocated the Confederate Monument to the University Cemetery.
The student-faculty ratio at University of Mississippi is 19:1, and the school has 47.4 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at University of Mississippi include: Integrated Marketing Communications, Elementary Education and Teaching; Marketing/Marketing Management, General; Accountancy, Finance, General; Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Administration, Other; Biology, Psychology and Criminal Justice; and Business Administration and Management, General. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student success and satisfaction, is 85.3 percent.
The degree-granting divisions at the main campus in Oxford are:
The schools at the University of Mississippi Medical Center campus in Jackson are:
University of Mississippi Medical Center surgeons, led by James Hardy, performed the world's first human lung transplant, in 1963, and the world's first animal-to-human heart transplant, in 1964. The heart of a chimpanzee was used for the heart transplant because of Hardy's research on transplantation, consisting of primate studies during the previous nine years.
The University of Mississippi Field Station in Abbeville is a natural laboratory used to study, research and teach about sustainable freshwater ecosystems.
Since 1968, the school operates the only legal marijuana farm and production facility in the United States. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) contracts to the university the production of cannabis for use in 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).
The university houses one of the largest blues music archives in the United States. Some of the contributions to the collection were donated by BB King who donated his personal record collection. The archive includes the first ever commercial blues recording, a song called "Crazy Blues" recorded by Mamie Smith in 1920. 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.
The Center for Intelligence and Security Studies (CISS) delivers academic programming to prepare outstanding students for careers in intelligence analysis in both the public and private sectors. In addition, CISS personnel engage in applied research and consortium building with government, private and academic partners. In late 2012, the United States Director of National Intelligence designated CISS as an Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence (CAE). CISS is one of only 29 college programs in the United States with this distinction.
The Haley Barbour Center for Manufacturing Excellence (CME) was established in June 2008.
The university offers the Chinese Language Flagship Program (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: ), a study program aiming to provide Americans with an advanced knowledge of Chinese.
The Croft Institute for International Studies at the University of Mississippi is a privately funded, select-admissions, undergraduate program for high achieving students who pursue a B.A. degree in international studies. Croft students combine a regional concentration in Europe, East Asia, Latin America, or the Middle East with a thematic concentration in global economics and business, international governance and politics, global health or social and cultural identity.
The University of Mississippi has several student organizations. One organization is the International Student Organization (ISO), which organizes activities and events for international students. Notable events of the ISO include a cultural night, date auction and international sports tournament.
Named in honor of distinguished Ole Miss alumnus, former U.S. Sen. Trent Lott, the Lott Leadership Institute offers a wide range of leadership and outreach programs.
UM is a collaborator in the Mississippi Excellence in Teaching Program, designed to attract top students to teacher education programs with full scholarships and professional incentives. The goal is to attract the top high school seniors who want to become mathematics and English teachers in Mississippi. Funded by the Robert M. Hearin Support Foundation.
The World Class Teaching Program
The World Class Teaching Program is a special program at the University of Mississippi School of Education designed to provide support to teachers going through the National Board Certification process.
The Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College was established in 1997 through a gift from the Jim Barksdale family.
The University of Mississippi is a member of the SEC Academic Consortium. Now renamed the SECU, the initiative was a collaborative endeavor designed to promote research, scholarship and achievement among the member universities in the Southeastern Conference. The SECU formed to serve as a means to bolster collaborative academic endeavors of Southeastern Conference universities. Its goals include highlighting the endeavors and achievements of SEC faculty, students and its universities and advancing the academic reputation of SEC universities.
In 2013, the University of Mississippi participated in the SEC Symposium in Atlanta, Georgia which was organized and led by the University of Georgia and the UGA Bioenergy Systems Research Institute. The topic of the symposium was titled "Impact of the Southeast in the World's Renewable Energy Future."
The university offers students assistance with writing through the Department of Writing and Rhetoric. The department's writing center functions out of Lamar Hall, and the center employs undergraduate students who are certified through the College Reading & Learning Association as tutors and consultants.
|U.S. News & World Report||162|
|U.S. News & World Report||364|
For the last 10 years, the Chronicle of Higher Education named the University of Mississippi as one of the "Great Colleges to Work For", putting the institution in elite company. The 2018 results, released in the Chronicles annual report on "The Academic Workplace", Ole Miss was among 84 institutions honored from the 253 colleges and universities surveyed. In 2018, the Ole Miss campus was ranked the second safest in the SEC and one of the safest in nation.U.S. News & World Report ranks the Professional MBA program at the UM School of Business Administration in the top 50 among American public universities, and the online MBA program ranks in the top 25. All three degree programs at the University of Mississippi's Patterson School of Accountancy are among the top 10 in the 2018 annual national rankings of accounting programs published by the journal Public Accounting Report. The undergraduate and doctoral programs are No. 7, while the master's program is No. 9. The undergraduate and doctoral programs lead the Southeastern Conference in the rankings, and the master's program is second in the SEC. One or more Ole Miss programs have led the SEC in each of the past eight years.
The University of Mississippi's main campus is in Oxford. There are also regional campuses in Booneville, DeSoto, Grenada, and Tupelo.
The University of Mississippi in Oxford is the original campus, beginning with only one square-mile of land. The main campus today contains around 1,200 acres of land (1.875 square-miles). Also, the University of Mississippi owns a golf course and airport in Oxford. The golf course and airport are also considered part of the University of Mississippi, Oxford campus.
The buildings on the main University of Mississippi campus come from the Georgian age of architecture; however, some of the newer buildings today have a more contemporary architecture. The first building built on the Oxford campus is the Lyceum, and is the only original building remaining. The construction of the Lyceum began in 1846 and was completed in 1848. The Lyceum served as a hospital to soldiers in the Civil War. Also on the campus, the Croft Institute for International Studies and Barnard Observatory were used for soldiers during the civil war. The Oxford campus of the University of Mississippi contains a lot of history with the Civil War. The campus was used as a hospital, but also after soldiers died, the campus served as a morgue. Where Farley Hall is now, the prior building was referred to as the "Dead House" where the bodies of deceased soldiers were stored.
Architect Frank P. Gates designed 18 buildings on campus in 1929-1930, mostly in the Georgian Revival architectural style, including (Old) University High School, Barr Hall, Bondurant Hall, Farley Hall (also known as Lamar Hall), Faulkner Hall, Hill Hall, Howry Hall, Isom Hall, Longstreet Hall, Martindale Hall, Vardaman Hall, the Cafeteria/Union Building, and the Wesley Knight Field House.
Today on the University of Mississippi campus, most of the buildings have been completely renovated or newly constructed. There are currently at least 15 residential buildings on the Oxford campus, with more being built. The Oxford campus is also home to eleven sorority houses and fourteen fraternity houses. The chancellor of The University of Mississippi also lives on the edge of campus.
The University of Mississippi campus in Oxford is known for the beauty of the campus. The campus has been recognized multiple years, but most recently, in 2016, USA Today recognized Ole Miss as the "Most Beautiful Campus". The campus grounds are kept up through the University of Mississippi's personal landscape service.
The University of Mississippi's satellite campuses are much smaller than the Oxford campus. The satellite campus in Tupelo started running in a larger space in 1972, the DeSoto campus opened in 1996, and the Grenada campus has been operated on the Holmes Community College campus since 2008. The University of Mississippi campus and satellite campuses continue to grow. There will continue to be progress in construction to accommodate for the large growth in student population.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (July 2014)
Varsity athletic teams at the University of Mississippi are offered for women in the sports of basketball, cross country, golf, rifle (this sport is sponsored by the Great America Rifle Conference, a special conference within the NCAA), soccer, softball, tennis, track & field, and volleyball. Men's varsity teams are offered in baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, tennis, and track & field.
The University of Mississippi athletic teams have collected numerous championships including:
There are hundreds of students organizations, including 25 religious organizations.
These publications and broadcasts are part of the S. Gale Denley Student Media Center at Ole Miss.
Approximately 5,300 students live on campus in 13 residence halls, 2 residential colleges, and 2 apartment complexes.
|Residence hall||Year built / renovation||Type|
|Brown||Built 1961 / renovated NA||Traditional|
|Burns||Built 2011 / renovated NA||Contemporary|
|Crosby||Built 1971 / renovated NA||Traditional|
|Campus Walk||Built 2001 / renovated NA||Apartment|
|Deaton||Built 1952 / renovated 2001||Traditional|
|Hefley||Built 1959 / renovated 2001||Traditional|
|Kincannon||Closed fall 2016||Traditional|
|Luckyday Residential College||Built 2010 / renovated NA||Contemporary|
|Martin||Built 1969 / renovated NA||Traditional|
|Minor||Built 2011 / renovated NA||Contemporary|
|Northgate||Built 1950s / renovated unknown||Apartment|
|Pittman||Built 2011 / renovated NA||Contemporary|
|Residential Hall 1||Built 2015 / renovated NA||Contemporary|
|Residential Hall 2||Built 2016 / renovated NA||Contemporary|
|Residential Hall 3||Built 2016 / renovated NA||Contemporary|
|Residential College South||Built 2009 / renovated NA||Contemporary|
|Stewart||Built 1963 / renovated NA||Traditional|
|Stockard||Built 1969 / renovated NA||Traditional|
Graduate students, undergraduate students aged 25 or older, students who are married, and students with families may live in the Village Apartments. The complex consists of six two-story buildings, and is adjacent to the University of Mississippi Law School. Undergraduates over 25, married students, and graduate students may live in the one-bedroom apartments. Graduate students and students over 25 may live in studio style apartments. Students with children may live in the two-bedroom apartments. Children living in the Village Apartments are zoned to the Oxford School District. Residents are zoned to Bramlett Elementary School (PreK-1), Oxford Elementary School (2-3), Della Davidson Elementary School (4-5), Oxford Middle School (6-8), and Oxford High School (9-12).
Despite the relatively small number of Greek-letter organizations on campus, a third of all undergraduates 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 Rainbow Fraternity, founded at Ole Miss in 1848. The fraternity merged with Delta Tau Delta in 1886.Delta Kappa Epsilon followed shortly after at Ole Miss in 1850, as the first to have a house on campus in Mississippi. Delta Gamma Women's Fraternity was founded in 1873 at the Lewis School for Girls in nearby Oxford. All Greek life at Ole Miss was suspended from 1912 to 1926 due to statewide anti-fraternity legislation.
Today, sorority chapters are very large, with some having over 400 active members. Recruitment is fiercely competitive and potential sorority members are encouraged to secure personal recommendations from Ole Miss sorority alumnae to increase the chances of receiving an invitation to join one of the eleven NPC sororities on campus. Fraternity recruitment is also fierce, with only 14 active IFC chapters on campus.
The Associated Student Body (ASB) is the Ole Miss student government organization. Students are elected to the ASB Senate in the spring semester, with leftover seats voted on in the fall by open-seat elections. Senators can represent RSOs (Registered-Student Organizations) such as the Greek councils and sports clubs, or they can run to represent their academic school (i.e., College of Liberal Arts or School of Engineering). The ASB officers are also elected in the spring semester, following two weeks of campaigning. Following the elections, newly sworn-in ASB officers release applications, conduct interviews, and eventually choose their cabinet members for the coming school year. The student body, excluding the Medical Center, includes 18,121 undergraduates, 2,089 graduate students, 357 law students and 323 students in the Doctor of Pharmacy program. African-Americans comprise 12.8 percent of the student body.
Tennis player and winner of 4 Grand Slam doubles titles.
Nobel Prize-winning novelist, who attended the university but did not graduate.
First African American to attend the University in 1962.