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Vassallo: Contrasting Two Ole Miss Eras – Super Bowl I vs. Super Bowl 50

Mia Sims
Mia Sims

I asked Ole Miss junior, Mia Sims from Wren, to describe seven areas of student life today in order that we could make a comparison to what Ole Miss was like at the time of Super Bowl I, way back in 1966. Fifty years later, the journalism major provides insights into the Ole Miss of 2016.

Technology Today: Ole Miss is very tech savvy. Computers are in nearly every building and most homework is web based. The library even provides phone chargers.
Technology in 1966: Social media described ABC; NBC; and CBS. There were no computers and cell phones were not even in comic books. Pay telephones were popular in dorms.

Housing Today: Housing is a headache. After your freshman year, start looking for an off-campus place to live. Living on campus is much simpler.
Housing in 1966: Dorms were antiquated with a few exceptions. Living off campus was a luxury with few options to choose from. Trailer parks were popular.

Picture courtesy Ole Miss Annual (1966)
Picture courtesy Ole Miss Annual (1966)

Curriculum Today: Students are required to take review classes from high school. Ole Miss is amazing academically with great teachers and tutors all playing key roles.
Curriculum in 1966: The freshman year covered a great deal of material previously completed in High School. The sophomore year challenged students to determine who was serious.

Social Aspects Today: The ultimate social kingdom for young and old. Ole Miss is one of the leading party schools in America. “Groving” is a party within itself.
Social Aspects 1966: Fraternity parties, Holly Springs, trips to Memphis and being creative basically summed it up. The Square had not been born yet. Three one screen theaters and pool halls complemented Kiami’s. The Grove was in name only.

HottyToddy.com file photo
HottyToddy.com file photo

Dating Today: Differs for everyone. While some go on traditional dates, some choose to live their dating life very discreetly.
Dating 1966: Ladies had to return to dorms by 10:30 on weeknights and 12:30 on weekends. The drive-in theater was one of the few local options. Dating was the exception, not the norm.

Weekend Alternatives Today: Bowling at the Oxford Commons, Sardis, the local bar scene and so much more. Oxford’s growth is continuing to create more opportunities.
Weekend Alternatives 1966: Ole Miss was basically a return to home environment when the fraternities were void of parties. Memphis was always an alternative or simply hanging out in the dorms for those too far from home to get back.

Photo courtesy Ole Miss Annual (1966)
Photo courtesy Ole Miss Annual (1966)

Campus Activities Today: There are a number of campus activities to get involved. Communications are an integral part of campus life. There are multiple nonprofit organizations and clubs to fit the social and future occupation interests of students.
Campus Activities 1966: Although much more limited, fraternities and sororities played a larger role than even now. ROTC consumed a great deal of campus life due to the ongoing war in Southeast Asia.

The Ole Miss student of 1966 was primarily an instate one with exceptions originating from Memphis, west Tennessee or Alabama. Other out of state areas were few and far in between. A foreign student was someone from New York or New Jersey. This week while driving through just one dorm parking lot, we counted license plates from 18 different states! Ole Miss has also become an international destination.

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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