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Vassallo: Jake Gibbs Letterwinner Walk Gaining Momentum

Jake Gibbs at the 1960 Sugar Bowl (courtesy of Ole Miss Athletics)
Jake Gibbs at the 1960 Sugar Bowl (courtesy of Ole Miss Athletics)

The Ole Miss Athletics Foundation has just announced a major commitment from the M-Club Alumni Chapter of the Ole Miss Alumni Association to the Forward Together Campaign.

The most generous gift of $1.5 million will be divided in half between baseball and football initiatives with $500,000 specifically earmarked towards the Jake Gibbs Letterwinner Walk.

Per the Foundation’s press release: “The Letterwinner Walk will honor every Ole Miss athlete who ever earned a letter competing for Ole Miss and will also be part of the Walk of Champions, which will connect to the new entrance to Vaught-Hemingway Stadium’s north end zone. The Letterwinner Walk and associated plaza will be unveiled in late 2016.”

This large donation by the M-Club assists the Foundation greatly in their goal to raise $1 million in honoring Jake for the Letterwinner Walk. The Foundation’s objective is to reach the project goal by March 2016.

The announcement of the M-Club’s gift truly gives the Letterwinner Walk a tremendous boost and hopefully will inspire other donors to contribute to this great initiative honoring Jake and the countless athletes who all have contributed to Ole Miss’ greatness. The website for additional information is www.givetoathletics.com or individuals can call 662-915-7159 should they prefer.

Having this project come to fruition in the same year that Ole Miss wins the Sugar Bowl after a 46-year sabbatical is even more gratifying. Every time I hear someone mention Jake’s name, two things that come to mind immediately are championships and the Sugar Bowl. These even take precedence in my thought process over Jake’s outstanding major league career with the Yankees and his baseball résumé here at Ole Miss.

Jake is a winner in every respect and honoring him in this way is a tribute to one of the finest individuals and athletes in Ole Miss history. The day when the dedication of the Letterwinner Walk arrives will be also one of the finest moments in the history of the campus and to those who sacrificed and contributed so much in establishing Ole Miss as a major force in collegiate athletics!

Steve Vassallo

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. Currently, Steve is a highly successful leader in the real estate business who lives in Oxford with his wife Rosie. You can contact Steve at sovassallo@gmail.com or call him at 985-852-7745.

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