Leading the way
The state’s oldest public institution of higher learning, the University of Mississippi offers more than 100 fields of study, including several unique programs, on a campus named as the nation’s “Most Beautiful” by Newsweek. Known to thousands of passionate alumni, students and friends as Ole Miss, the university is recognized for producing leaders and for offering an exceptional educational value. For more than 165 years, Ole Miss faculty, staff and alumni have worked to strengthen the economic, social and cultural foundations of the state and region.
Outstanding academic programs
The university’s Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College is hailed as one of the nation’s best, and its home has been expanded to provide a better learning environment for more students. The Patterson School fi
of Accountancy has been ranked in the nation’s Top 10 for several years, and the School of Engineering’s program in geology and geological engineering is the nation’s largest. Home to one of only 12 Mandarin Chinese Language Flagship programs, Ole Miss has sent more students to the Flagship Capstone program China than any other for the past two years. The university also has a Center for Intelligence and Security Studies to train the next generation of intelligence analysts, an acclaimed Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program and the Croft Institute for International Studies, which prepares graduates to compete and work in a global market. The UM School of Pharmacy has been a leader in professional education for many years, and nearly 100 percent of Doctor of Pharmacy graduates pass the national licensure exam on their first attempt and have job offers before they graduate.
Research, scholarship and innovation at the University of Mississippi is accomplished by individual and collaborative efforts of its faculty, staff and students. Ole Miss is included in the elite group of R-1: Doctoral Universities – Highest Research Activity by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, the definitive list for the nation’s top doctoral research universities. UM is among 115 institutions, including Harvard, MIT and Johns Hopkins in the “highest research,” or R-1 category, which represents the top 2.5 percent of institutions of higher education. Continuously engaging in the discovery, creation and dissemination of knowledge for the benefit of society informs further inquiry, enhances educational experiences, improves the economic status of citizens in Mississippi and raises the quality of life for individuals throughout the world.
For example, scientists at the National Center for Physical Acoustics are developing better ways to detect and track tornadoes and are helping quiet the roar of jet engines. The university’s National Center for Natural Products Research is integral in developing the standards of identity and purity for botanical dietary supplements, helping ensure the safety of millions of dietary supplements taken daily, and are identifying new drug leads to fight cancer, tropical diseases, AIDS and other ailments.
A culturally rich environment
This vibrant community has been attracting national acclaim for decades, and Smithsonian magazine has named it one of the 20 Best Small Towns in America. It is home to exceptional fine dining by James Beard award-winning chefs, trendy shopping at local boutiques and one of the nation’s best independent bookstores, Square Books. And with offerings ranging from Greek and Roman antiquities to works by American folk artists, or from William Faulkner’s home, Rowan Oak, to the Walton-Young Historic House, the University Museums and Historic Houses add rich cultural dimensions to the community.
The Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts draws crowds from around the state to experience music, dance and drama in a one-of-a-kind setting. Ole Miss is internationally known as home of the world’s largest blues archive, Living Blues magazine and the “Highway 61” weekly radio show. A variety of unique programs, such as the annual Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference, Oxford Conference for the Book, and Blues and Southern Foodways symposiums, keep visitors coming from all over the world.
Economic development and service
UM has a diverse patent portfolio for such innovations as a novel drug-delivery system, immune stimulators and possible treatments for cancer, malaria, poison ivy and infections. Research means jobs, investment and growth, so the university has licensed several of these technologies to new businesses or multibillion-dollar companies.
The university’s research park, Insight Park, and its 62,000-square-foot gateway building, The Innovation Hub, provide a place where entrepreneurial, technology and research-based companies can work with the university’s researchers, faculty and students to take advantage of opportunities for collaboration. The director of economic development provides a ready point of contact to connect all the university’s knowledge assets to the businesses and communities in the state.
The McLean Institute for Public Service and Community Engagement is a resource for UM faculty, staff, students and alumni who want to make a difference to solve Mississippi’s problems relating to poverty. And through the Mississippi Teacher Corps, a two-year alternative teacher-certification program, Ole Miss has sent more than 500 teachers into the state’s poorest school districts.
Competing at the highest level
The Ole Miss Rebels have a long tradition of winning in the powerful Southeastern Conference, and the university’s six men’s and eight women’s squads continue to thrill fans with electric performances. The football team, which has claimed six SEC championships and three national championships, enjoyed its first 10-win season since 2003, capped by a rousing New Year’s Day win over Oklahoma State in the 2016 Sugar Bowl. In baseball, the Rebels won 43 games and hosted the program’s seventh NCAA Baseball Regional at Swayze Field.
Both the men’s and women’s tennis teams landed bids to the NCAA Championships. The women’s soccer team enjoyed one of its most successful seasons ever, advancing to the NCAA Sweet 16 with a defeat of host Clemson in regional play. In track and field, the Rebels had a record 13 athletes win All-American honors, produced an NCAA champion in the shot put and sent seven athletes to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The university and city of Oxford have partnered for generations to build a stronger community and achieve mutual cultural and economic goals. Its town-and-gown traditions include the Lafayette-Oxford-University Summer Sunset Series of free outdoor entertainment each Sunday in June, an old-fashioned Fourth of July celebration complete with a dazzling fireworks display, and Oxford’s Double Decker festival. Together, community and university leaders have helped preserve historic buildings, develop low-income housing and provide top-notch fire protection, public transportation and law enforcement services. w