By Caroline Helms
Oxford can expect twice as much fun for graduation this year, with both the 2020 and 2021 Ole Miss graduating classes scheduled to celebrate their academic achievements in May.
Tyler Wolford, general manager of the Chancellor’s House, is eager to have the hotel full again.
“The moment they announced that, we sold out within 24 hours,” Wolford said.
All 38 rooms of the hotel will be full for graduation ceremonies on May 1 and 8. The staff is currently preparing for the influx of people the hotel will be hosting for both weekends.
“It’s just one of those things we’re going to have to monitor,” Wolford said. “We’ll probably have sort of, you know, people at the door kind of monitoring occupancy and things like that, just so we don’t exceed anything and kind of put anybody in any kind of danger.”
Just up the road from the hotel is another Oxford business gearing up for graduation. Sierra Dexter, catering director at The Main Event Oxford, has been preparing for commencement weekends for about three months now.
“Even back in December, before they even released the graduation and commencement, schedule,” Dexter said. “But now that it has been released, [we’ve] gotten even more calls.”
This year will be different in many ways in comparison to past graduations, and Dexter and her staff have created a new menu especially for the occasion.
“We’ve heard from a lot of different people, as far as what they’re going to be doing, like an Airbnb, where they invite some family members over and have a celebration without it being at a restaurant full of people,”
According to Dexter, many families have indicated they will celebrate with small gatherings at locations like an Airbnb or family home, rather than in crowded restaurant dining environments.
“So, we’re hoping to get and cater to those individuals and create those family-style meals again,” Dexter said.