Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Ole Miss Grove, Circle Have Symbolic “38” Tree Types

Grove-300x173How many different types of trees do you think are in the Grove and the Circle at Ole Miss?

According to The University of Mississippi Landscape Services, there are 38 tree types among the Grove and Circle. From pecan to Japanese magnolia to white oak trees, the variety of tree types might surprise Rebel fans.

Another eye-catching fact about the number of tree types in the Grove and Circle is the fact that “38” is the same number Ole Miss legend, Chucky Mullins, wore when he played football in the 1980s before being injured in a Ole Miss homecoming game.

“No, not to my knowledge,” said Bonnie Black, landscape services administrative coordinator II, on if the number of tree types was planned to be 38 to honor Mullins. Coincidence or not, the Chucky Mullins legacy lives on in the Grove and the Circle forever.

Chucky Mullins and Coach Billy Brewer before 1989 homecoming game. Photo courtesy of AL.com
Chucky Mullins and Coach Billy Brewer before 1989 homecoming game. Photo courtesy of AL.com

Chucky Mullins at Ole Miss

Every true Ole Miss Rebel knows the legacy of Chucky Mullins, a former Ole Miss Football player in the 1980s. Mullins began his football career as a defensive back for the team and was becoming a top player in the SEC.

Tragically, on October 28, 1989, Mullins was injured in the homecoming football game against Vanderbilt and was paralyzed. Though Mullins faced a grueling recovery, it was the football star’s determination to rejoin Ole Miss and finish his degree. Over one million dollars were donated through the Chucky Mullins Trust Fund for Mullins to return to Oxford and live in a specially equipped home.

Chucky Mullins and  Madison Kilgore Drake, circa 1990. It's Time!
Chucky Mullins and Madison Kilgore Drake, circa 1990. It’s Time!

In 1991, Mullins returned to Oxford, but never finished his degree. On May 1, 1991, as Mullins was getting ready for class, he stopped breathing and was rushed to the hospital. After five days of unconsciousness, Mullins passed away of a blood clot.

The Ole Miss family never forgot about Mullins positive attitude and determination. The Chucky Mullins Courage Award was set up in his honor. Each year, a banquet is held in memory of Chucky Mullins and the money is donated to Ole Miss students who are involved in a serious accident.

The award is presented to a defensive player on the Ole Miss football team. The player gets a framed Chucky Mullins jersey and is allowed to wear Mullins number, 38, that season. Ole Miss also honored Mullins by renaming Coliseum Drive to Chucky Mullins Drive in 2014.

Ole Miss Ladies Forum stops by to visit the Chucky Mullins memorial at the Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
Ole Miss Ladies Forum stops by to visit the Chucky Mullins memorial at the Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

38 Grove, Circle Tree Types

The Grove and the Circle are two popular places to tailgate, hang out and have events, to name a few activities, at Ole Miss. Here is a complete list of the 38 tree types that can be found in the Grove and Circle.

 

American Ash
American Elm
American Holly
Black Gum
Black Jack Oak
Black Oak
Black Walnut
Burr Oak
Chapman Oak
Eastern RedBud
Flowering Dogwood
Ginko Biloba
Japanese Magnolia
Japanese Snowball
Leyland Cypress
Longleaf Pine
Northern Red Oak
Nuttall Oak
Pin Oak
Post Oak
Red Maple
Sand Hickory
Sawtooth Oak
Scarlet Oak
Shumard Oak
Southern Catalpa
Southern Magnolia
Southern Red Oak
Sugar Maple
Sweetgum
Sycamore
Umbrella Tree
Water Oak
Western Pine
White Ash
White Oak
Willow Oak
Yellow Pine

Emily Newton is a staff writer for hottytoddy.com and the editor of Experience Oxford magazine. Emily can be reached at emily.newton@hottytoddy.com.

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