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The Ole Miss' "Mississippi Magnolia" Begins Distribution This Week

"Mississippi Magnolia"
Cover of the Ole Miss yearbook “Mississippi Magnolia”

The 121st volume of The Ole Miss has begun distribution today and will continue throughout the week.
A design process that began over a year ago has now been fully realized as students can begin to pick up their copy and thumb through the pages to remember the year that was at Ole Miss. Displayed prominently on the cover is the Magnolia flower, which as the state flower, was a perfect choice for the theme of the yearbook, which bears the name  “Mississippi Magnolia.”
“We thought the Magnolia was such a good symbol to represent Mississippi, Ole Miss. It shows who we are, who we’ve been, where we’ve come from and where we’re going,” said Cady Herring, executive editor of the yearbook. “It’s a beautiful flower that has withstood the test of time, and we think that’s representative of Ole Miss.” 
Herring went on to explain that the stories in this volume touch on a lot of cultural things. With examples of art, poetry, drawings, paintings, photography and even video, the goal was to make a “truly multimedia book.”
New for this year is an augmented reality portion featured throughout the yearbook. For anyone who remembers the “Pokemon Go” craze, you can hold your phone up while in the Ole Miss app and pictures will come to life. Photos of athletes trigger highlights, photos of new buildings on campus make way for video features of them and much more. As weeks go by, the yearbook staff will continue to add new AR elements to the book to keep readers coming back for more.
“We found that we had a lot more footage, so we are going to keep adding new surprises to the AR sections,” Herring said. 

In addition to the Magnolia theme throughout, the color scheme pays homage to the colors around the Ole Miss campus. Herring describes the colors of the blooming magnolias, bright greens and skies of both blue and gray throughout the yearbook. 
There are numerous feature stories throughout the yearbook, but writing editor William Wildman singles out one story in particular that he’s looking forward to readers getting the chance to get their hands on. A story titled “The Divine Nine” gives readers an in-depth look at the National Pan-Hellenic chapters at Ole Miss, and Wildman is excited to give these organizations a chance to tell their story like never before. 
“The NPHC has never been featured in The Ole Miss [yearbook] like this before, so we wanted to give them the spotlight that they deserve. I’m excited for people to learn about the traditions and the personality behind these organizations,” Wildman said.
Altogether, a staff of 40 people, including nine editors, worked on this edition of the Ole Miss yearbook. With so many hours put in and decisions made, it all paid off because of the memories it will conjure for years to come. 
“It’s like a time capsule of the year. It’s great to look at now, but especially in five, 10 or even 50 years, you can look back on the year and all of the great (or not so great) memories from the year that was,” said Elizabeth Ervin, managing editor. 
Students can receive their copy of The Ole Miss’ “Mississippi Magnolia” for free at the Pavilion today through Thursday. A table will be set up in the lobby from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Non-students, law school students or staff members can purchase their copy for $50. Students who are enrolled for just one semester can purchase one for $25. 
Photo courtesy of The Ole Miss/Twitter

Steven Gagliano is a writer for HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at steven.gagliano@hottytoddy.com
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