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Ole Miss Alum Plans to Live Rest of His Life in Oxford

Derek Stephens
Derek Stephens

The saying goes that one never leaves Ole Miss, and while many students are graduating from the university, a lot of them are starting their early post-graduate lives in the city of Oxford.

Oxford boasts a wealth of activities and establishments that would have young graduates ready to stay in the city for the early portion of their professional life whether its for jobs, graduate school or the benefits that living in a college town provide to its residents.

Derek Stephens came to Oxford and Ole Miss in 2010 for his undergraduate degree, and he never left. After starting off school at a junior college, Stephens fell in love with the city and six years later he has no plans in ever leaving the city where he got his undergraduate degree. He currently works for Mississippi Federal Credit Union.

“The number one thing here is the quality of life of the town,” Stephens said. “If you’re looking at a town offers good quality of life, and you’re thinking about raising a family, I don’t think there’s a better place than in Oxford in Mississippi. You’re talking about great school districts. You have all sorts of different activities going on. You have the Ford Center, and you have the arts here. “

The allure of the city isn’t lost on Stephens. He said that he and his wife wanted to begin their lives in Mississippi, and they couldn’t think of a better place to do so than Oxford.

“We wanted to stick around in Mississippi and lay our foundation in this state,” Stephens said. “Oxford was definitely top on our list because of how flexible and how many opportunities there are out there.”

Stephens said that the number of college graduates that are sticking around in Oxford has definitely gone up over the years.

“They said that Oxford has almost doubled in size the last few years, and it could possibly double again in the next ten years,” Stephens said. “A lot of it is when your enrollment increases, a lot of these kids are out of state, and they see how great of a town Oxford is, and how much its growing and booming.”

Oxford’s population grew from 13,572 to 18,916 from 2000 to 2010, good for a 40 percent increase in people in the city. While growth in the city definitely has its benefits, Stephens says that the city needs to be careful and strategically plan things to avoid an overflow within Oxford.

“I think that the town has to be strategic in how they grew and we need to be looking at how we grow,” Stephens said. “We’re going to have start looking at ways to handle population growth.”

Stephens received his degree in 2012, and has been living in Oxford ever since. He doesn’t plan on going anywhere, either

“It’s great to be in the town with what I consider the best school district in the state,” Stephens said. “Having all the opportunities and being around Ole Miss athletics, I definitely see myself staying here for life.”

Collin Brister is the staff writer for HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at collin.brister@hottytoddy.com.

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