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Vassallo: Ole Miss – The Attraction

Photo by Robert Jordan, Ole Miss Communications
Photo by Robert Jordan, Ole Miss Communications

Have you ever stopped to consider why so many people are interested in enrolling here?

Observing the countless orientation families this summer arriving in Oxford from all across the country, here’s an assessment summary as to the magnet bringing all these individuals to this small southern town.

1. The Value

In-state public colleges and universities compare favorably to their private counterparts in annual tuition and fees. As of 2015, these costs measured $11,930 for the public side versus $32,405 for the private. Families with more than one child can do the math quickly, multiplying by four or a larger integer. Ole Miss has always compared favorably cost wise even against the other great public universities.

2. The Natural Beauty of the Campus

All of us seldom agree on anything unanimously, but this is one topic where we do. Anyone who ever takes the time to walk the campus leave with the same view and that is “this place is simply beautiful.” Beauty attracts and always will.

3. The Central Location

Have you ever felt confined by your locale? I did once upon a time in two major cities I was employed because of their extreme location to the rest of the world. From Oxford, you can get to a lot of other places quickly even by driving. Starting with Memphis, Little Rock, Nashville, Birmingham, New Orleans, the Gulf Coast and even Atlanta are all well within reach.

4. The Diverse Academic Offerings

Ole Miss is not everything to everybody, but it’s close. To highlight just a few of the majors offered by the university, Hospitality Management; Accounting; Pharmacy; Education; International Business; Civil Engineering and Journalism are all bringing students here. The quality of the education received along with the size of the classes are most appealing.

5. An Arm’s Length from A Major Metro

The security and safety of their children are paramount in the thinking of parents in this turbulent world we find ourselves. Ole Miss has a great reputation in this regard and the Police Department in Oxford is one of the very best in the nation, bar none. It’s a privilege to live here as the respect the citizenry has for its public officials is significant. True college towns are few and far between. Have you ever visited an inner city college or university where it was difficult to determine where the campus started and stopped?

6. Traditions

Ole Miss is all about tradition and history. How many other universities are best known by their nickname? Answer: few if any. This place is special and unique. Those of us who don’t possess a ‘cookie cutter mentality’ find this refreshing. All one has to do to validate this statement is just look at the numbers of alumni investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in primary and secondary homes here. Condos and houses in the $500,000 and above range are commonplace.

7. Hospitality

Probably the most important reason and the recurring theme of Oxford, Ole Miss and our state at large. People here are genuinely friendly and reflect an outward respect for those different from us southerners and Mississippians. Our culture invites others. Seldom do you ever hear a horn blowing from a vehicle. Common courtesy is alive and well. We are a model for the world which we’re proud!

There you have it. Yes, there are numerous others, but the point has been made. All it takes is just one visit to be influenced for a lifetime. I know, I’m the perfect example!

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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