By JB Clark
University of Mississippi Communications
University of Mississippi administrators are hosting a public reception celebrating the newly named Martindale-Cole Student Services Center and honoring of the building’s newest namesake, Donald R. Cole.
Cole is a student activist-turned-student advocate and longtime educator and administrator who has served the UM community for more than five decades.
“We eagerly look forward to celebrating Don Cole and Larry Martindale on this momentous occasion of the renaming to the Martindale-Cole Student Services Center,” Chancellor Glenn Boyce said. “Dr. Cole’s legacy is seen, heard and felt all across this university, so it’s very fitting that his name will adorn the building that so many students go to for support on our campus.”
Boyce, Cole and original donor and namesake Larry Martindale will gather with friends, family and community members on the quad side of the student services building for a brief ceremony at 9 a.m. Friday (Sept. 10).
Anyone who cannot celebrate in person is invited to join the ceremony through an online live stream.
The idea to rename the building occurred to Martindale, who was the lead donor of its 1995 renovation, as he tagged along for a campus tour. After spending time with members of the newest incoming class, he decided the student services building should better represent the diversity of the student body it serves.
The university’s resolution to renamed the building reads: “Believing that education is the ‘great equalizer’ and the central feature in the prevailing endurance of mankind, Dr. Cole is a stern advocate for education, particularly for minority students. He devotes his time and energy to projects and causes that promote the schooling, teaching, training and guidance opportunities of our children – particularly toward advanced degrees. Dr. Cole dedicated his life to portraying UM as a 21st-century institution and he is a stern advocate for the institution.”
The renaming was approved by the IHL in 2019, and the new lettering was completed Thursday.
Cole’s recognition is hard-earned. Besides his roles as program director, grant writer, mentor and mathematics professor, Cole served as a university administrator. Under Chancellor Emeritus Robert Khayat, he was named assistant to the chancellor for multicultural affairs.
He chaired the Chancellor’s Standing Committee on Sensitivity and Respect until last year; co-chaired the Extended Sensitivity and Respect Committee in 2013, which was initiated after an election night incident in 2012; and co-chaired the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on History and Context the last couple years.
Anyone interested in attending online or in person can RSVP at OleMissEvents.live/Martindale-ColeRSVP.