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Vassallo Celebrates 50th Rebel Year

Photo by Jim Hendrix
Photo by Jim Hendrix

This year completes my 50th anniversary of association with Ole Miss. Reflecting back on these incredible years, there were many individuals who left a lasting impression.
Actually, the list is too lengthy to contemplate, however, there are twenty something who definitely stand out. Some of these folks I never met or could not possibly have since we were from different eras. Others I knew well, while some were only from a distance.
In each instance these talented and passionate people made an impact on me and more importantly, Ole Miss. To write their bios would be too lengthy for this column, but naming them with a brief explanation is doable. There is no order of importance in how their name appears. It is strictly random. Here goes and as Bob said once upon a time, “Thanks for the memories.”
Warner Alford: One of the nicest, kindest, good-hearted individuals ever.
Billy Brewer: A great football coach; A great human being. The contributions to his alma mater are many and superb.
Former Ole Miss kicker and chancellor Robert Khayat
Former Ole Miss kicker and chancellor Robert Khayat

Robert Khayat: The right individual at the right time. One of the greatest speakers ever!
Michael F. Metcalf: An individual who took Ole Miss to a new level of excellence.
Shepard Smith: The greatest cheerleader Ole Miss could ever want to have!
Dickie Scruggs: One of the most generous and caring individuals on earth.
Frederick Augustus Porter Barnard: Someone we can all be thankful for.
Charlie Conerly: This American hero got “the ball started.”
The University Greys: No greater individuals ever set foot at Ole Miss.
Gloria Kellum: Leadership galore. This lady’s middle name is “Results.”
Meek School of Journalism and New Media namesake Ed Meek
Meek School of Journalism and New Media namesake Ed Meek

Ed Meek: The many students he has inspired and encouraged is off the charts.
Jimmy Davis: I was fortunate to arrive at Ole Miss when he began teaching. The greatest professor I ever knew. He’s the Mickey Mantle of the faculty outfield.
Jake Gibbs: The greatest athlete and finest human being combined of all time.
Archie Manning: Excitement every time he touched the ball. Number 18 will live forever.
Johnny Neumann: No Ole Miss athlete had more natural ability.
Dean Will Norton Jr.: A genius who has the common sense to accompany the gift.
Legendary Ole Miss football coach John Vaught
Legendary Ole Miss football coach John Vaught

Hugh Freeze: He could inspire a turn of turtles to outrun a leash of Greyhounds.
Johnny Vaught: The Godfather of it all. The “straw who stirred the drink.”
Hoppy Langley: Service to others above self. “Class” is his middle name.
Chester Trent Lott Sr.: The Senate Majority Leader made us all proud!
Kenneth L. Wooten: Thanking you for the opportunity!


Steve Vassallo is a HottyToddy.com contributor. Steve writes on Ole Miss athletics, Oxford business, politics and other subjects. He is an Ole Miss grad and former radio announcer for the basketball team. In addition, he is a certified economic and community developer and currently, a highly successful leader in the real estate business with Premier Properties of Oxford.You can contact Steve at sovassallo@gmail.com or call him at 985-852-7745.

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