Welcome to the start of the 172nd academic year at the University of Mississippi, including a special welcome to those embarking on the college experience – the Class of 2023. Thank you all for choosing Ole Miss to pursue your higher education.
I must acknowledge the sorrow I know you share with the loss in July of Ole Miss student Ally Kostial. Ally was an engaged member of our community with a bright future ahead of her. We are here to support Ally’s family, friends and classmates, and we hope they find some solace in the wake of this tragic loss that has shaken our campus community.
You will find several campus enhancements to explore. It’s great to have the expanded Student Union in the heart of campus as a revitalized gathering place and hub of student life. Another major upgrade is the new South Campus Recreation Center, which adds 98,000 square feet of recreational, fitness and wellness capacity to our campus. The SCRC includes an indoor climbing wall and one of the nation’s only collegiate recreational high-ropes courses, and it is also home to the new William Magee Center for Wellness Education. In addition, the School of Applied Sciences moved into a new home in the renovated Garland Hedleston Mayes complex, just west of Rebel Market.
A new year brings the opportunity to renew your commitment to make the most of your college years. This is an important stage in your lives to learn about yourself – knowing your likes and dislikes, what makes you tick, how to balance and prioritize. From study abroad, internships, and volunteering to attending challenging lectures or a show at the Ford Center, now is your time to learn how to lead and serve in powerful ways. Along the way, I believe you will discover an abiding affection for this place that binds Ole Miss students and alumni for life.
I also hope you will embrace the principles and values – integrity, respect, accountability, fairness, civility and commitment to excellence – that contribute to our caring and inclusive community.
Sometime this fall, we expect to learn who will serve as our university’s next chancellor. You can add your voice to the search process during a Campus Listening Session on Thursday, September 5, at The Inn at Ole Miss. For more details, visit http://www.mississippi.edu/ieo/um/
I look forward to seeing you around campus. Have a great year!
Larry D. Sparks