Saturday, August 13, 2022

Overby Center Begins Seventh Year of Programs

Photo by Nathan Latil / Ole Miss Communications
Photo by Nathan Latil / Ole Miss Communications

The Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics at Ole Miss will open its fall schedule of programs next Tuesday (Sept. 17) with a conversation featuring John Hailman, a veteran prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s office for North Mississippi who has written a book about his experiences.

During the course of the semester, five more events – which are all free and open to the public – will be sponsored by the Overby Center, ranging from an appearance by former Ole Miss Chancellor Robert Khayat talking about his new memoir to a discussion of sports marketing, a multi-billion dollar industry that has changed the game at Ole Miss and every other institution represented by sports teams.

The schedule represents the start of the seventh year of programs at the Overby Center, which opened in 2007. All programs will be held in the center’s auditorium on the Ole Miss campus.

“Our fall programs offer a wide variety of interesting speakers on compelling topics,” Overby Center chairman Charles Overby said. “It is a great opportunity for people to see accomplished experts up close and to learn from them.”

The first program, set for Tuesday at 5:30 p.m., highlights Hailman and his fascinating repertory of “true crime stories” from this area that are included in his recent book, “From Midnight to Guntown.” Hailman, who served earlier as a fellow at the Overby Center following his retirement as a Federal prosecutor, will be joined in the conversation by Overby.

A reception will be held afterwards, and free parking on campus should be available after 5 p.m.

In a renewal of the “Gatherings before the Grove” format, Khayat will be a special guest on the eve of the Ole Miss-Texas A & M game. Khayat will be on hand on Friday, Oct. 11, at 5:30 p.m., to talk about “The Education of a Lifetime,” his book that reflects on his long association with the school he led for 14 years.

Drawing upon nearly 70 years of experience — from the time he lived on campus as a young boy to his years as an outstanding student-athlete in the late 1950s to the leadership role that kept him here into the 21st century – Khayat will cover the controversies he faced and the progress he believes Ole Miss achieved. Overby Fellow Curtis Wilkie, who was a student with Khayat and later a faculty member during his administration, will take part in the conversation.

“Game Changers,” a discussion of sports marketing, will be the subject of a program Thursday, Oct. 17, at 9:30 a.m. that features Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork and a high-powered panel that includes three Ole Miss alumni. Joining Bjork will be Renie Anderson (Ole Miss ’97), vice president of business development for the NFL; Mike Glenn (Ole Miss ’77), executive vice president, market development and corporate communications for FedEx; Charlie Hussey (Ole Miss ’99), associate commissioner, SEC Network relations; and Ben Sutton, president, IMG College marketing company.

The group discussion will be moderated by Michael Thompson, a 2001 Ole Miss graduate and senior associate athletic director for communications and marketing.

The fall schedule will also feature the following programs:

Monday, Oct. 28, 5:30 p.m. – Yazoo Revisited, a screening of a documentary being prepared by David Rae Morris that deals with the social change confronting Yazoo City in the years following school integration in the hometown of the filmmaker’s father, the late writer Willie Morris. Afterwards, Ole Miss historian emeritus David Sansing and Charles Ross, director of the school’s African-American Studies program, will share their observations with Morris.

Monday, Nov. 4, 8 a.m. – Delta Cooking, the subject of the forthcoming magazine produced by Ole Miss journalism students under the direction of Overby Fellow Bill Rose and Susan Puckett, author of “Eat Drink Delta. The group will discuss the latest in the national prize-winning series of publications from the Meek School of Journalism and New Media.

Thursday, Nov. 7, 5:30 p.m. – The ground-breaking Kennedy administration’s impact on politics and journalism in America will be considered, 50 years after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy by a panel of journalists, including long-time Boston Globe columnist and commentator Tom Oliphant and Susan Spencer of CBS News.

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