We’re thrilled to get the 173rd academic year underway at Ole Miss! The energy and excitement of a new year is crackling across our campus. New friendships are taking hold, old friendships are being rekindled, and students and faculty alike are beginning the learning and discovery that defines our academic experience. It’s been a great summer (we are incredibly proud of our Ole Miss Olympians!), and we’re looking forward to the new academic year with a can-do spirit. Here are three things to know right now:
- Groundbreaking STEM Building: We’re looking forward to the construction work beginning this fall on our new 202,000-square-foot Jim and Thomas Duff Center for Science and Technology Innovation. The $160 million state-of-the-art facility will be the largest construction project in the history of the Oxford campus and will become one of the nation’s leading student-centered learning environments for STEM education. Without question this facility will be transformative for our students and our campus!
- Nation’s #1 College Town: The good folks at ESPN confirmed what all Ole Miss family members, friends and fans know: Oxford is America’s best college town! We’re thrilled that Oxford received this designation and are grateful to call Oxford our home and partner in so many ways. Along with the city’s legacy as a charming center for arts and culture, today’s Oxford is a thriving destination for dining, shopping, entertainment and so much more. Check out the “Looking Ahead’ special section at the bottom of this e-newsletter for details on some of the exciting events and important dates coming up this fall.
- Show Your Love for Ole Miss: Sometimes, you just need to freshen things up a bit, which is why we have a redesigned Ole Miss affinity license plate for Mississippi residents. The updated plate proclaims “Hotty Toddy” and features the “Ole Miss” script logo. For every plate purchased, more than $32 returns to the university to fund student scholarships and support the beautification of the Grove and Circle. Be sure to get one and showcase your pride in Ole Miss! And, what great promotion for our university across the state and wherever your journeys take you!
On a final note, I want to address the latest wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and the sharp spike in cases caused by the Delta variant. We’re optimistic that our temporary mask utilization indoors (regardless of vaccination status) will help ensure a successful start to the school year, in-person learning and a full on-campus experience with the least amount of disruption. Thank you for your commitment to our shared success — it will require all of us, working collectively and in alignment, to limit the spread of the virus. If you have not done so yet, please get vaccinated and make sure that everyone in your family who is eligible gets vaccinated as well. It’s the fastest path to putting this pandemic behind us.
Glenn F. Boyce