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University to Honor Diversity Excellence

By Edwin B. Smith

University of Mississippi

James Meredith (center) shares a moment with Shawnboda Mead (left), vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion; and Donald Cole, special assistant to the chancellor for multicultural affairs emeritus, following an event in the University of Mississippi’s observance of its 60th anniversary of integration. Meredith and his family will be on hand April 11 for the Honoring Excellence in Diversity Awards ceremony, one of the final events in the anniversary series. Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

As one of the final events in the University of Mississippi’s 60th anniversary of integration commemoration, the university will honor faculty and staff achievements in diversity and inclusion.

The Honoring Diversity Excellence ceremony and reception is set for 3 p.m. April 11 in the Ole Miss Student Union Ballroom.

“Throughout the year, we’ve challenged the UM community to consider how they might build upon the legacy of James Meredith,” said Shawnboda Mead, vice chancellor for diversity and community engagement.

“This event will highlight some of the ways members of our community have put those words into action through their professional and academic contributions and their work to advance diversity, equity and inclusion. Mr. Meredith will have an opportunity to see his legacy in action. We hope he’ll be proud of all of the progress that has been made to continue his mission.”

The ceremony will recognize faculty and staff members from historically underrepresented communities who have received tenure or been promoted. It will also honor recipients of the 2022-23 Diversity Innovator Award, Lift Every Voice Award, Achieving Equity Grant and Faculty Development Grant. 

Also, the College of Liberal Arts James Meredith Change Maker Award finalists will be recognized.

Chancellor Glenn Boyce will offer opening remarks for the ceremony, followed by Mead, who will share highlights from the many events commemorating the 60th anniversary and recognize Meredith, his wife, Judy, and each of the honorees.

Ray Mabus, an Ole Miss alumnus and former U.S. Secretary of the Navy and Mississippi governor, will speak about the importance of supporting diversity, equality and inclusion efforts. A native of Ackerman, he is vice chair of InStride, a public benefit education company; a director of Hilton; the founder of Mabus Group, a consulting organization; and a board member or adviser to several other companies.

Jasmine Meredith, UM alumna and the Merediths’ granddaughter, and Mead will make closing remarks before the reception.

For more information, contact 60years@olemiss.edu. RSVP using this Google form.

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