Dear students, faculty, and staff,
What a glorious day at the University of Mississippi! In an inspiring and rousing ceremony held earlier today, we marked the introduction of the newly renamed Martindale-Cole Student Services Center by honoring two extraordinary members of our university family — Don Cole and Larry Martindale.
In the ever-changing life of a flagship university, historical milestones present moments that illustrate who we are as an institution and what we stand for. Sometimes, the significance is revealed only after the moment has passed. At other times, we are blessed to recognize the magnitude of the moment as it is happening. Today’s renaming is one of those moments for our beloved university.
Our arrival at this moment was forged through two divergent paths. One is the 50-year dedication of Dr. Donald Cole, who served this university as a student, professor, and administrator and was a tireless and fearless advocate for diversity, equity, and students from all backgrounds.
The other is the commitment of the original namesake of the building, Mr. Larry Martindale, a distinguished alumnus from Atlanta, a former Ole Miss basketball player and longtime university supporter. During a campus visit, Larry was inspired to ask how he could help the university to project the powerful diversity he witnessed on campus.
The convergence of their stories, resulting in the renaming of the Martindale-Cole Student Services Center, serves a uniting and noble purpose in the life of our university. At its core, this renaming is a testament to two esteemed and courageous individuals, how they have helped to shape this place as a welcoming university, and how their investments of time, talents, and treasure will ensure that we continue to be a university where everyone succeeds. I encourage you to learn more about the remarkable and inspiring stories of these two men.
We’re so pleased that generations of current and future students will continue to have Dr. Cole’s example shaping their education. This tribute ensures his journey will always be remembered, will always be on display, and will always be celebrated by our university.
Glenn F. Boyce
As the Gulf Coast region faces the impending landfall of Hurricane Ida, we recognize that many in our university community and their loved ones will be impacted. We are deeply concerned and want to let our students, faculty, staff and alumni know that our thoughts and prayers are with all those who will be affected. The safety and well-being of the members of the Ole Miss family are of utmost importance and concern to us.
Please know we are here in this time of need and you can email email@example.com if we can assist you in any way. I know Ole Miss Rebels everywhere will display an overwhelming outpouring of love and support because it is a hallmark of the Ole Miss family to rally when people need support the most.
While Oxford is far removed from the coastal areas expected to feel the greatest impact of the storm, we may experience severe weather early this week as the remnants of the hurricane move inland. University and local authorities will keep close tabs on any local impact, so please stay alert for any severe weather updates.
As always, the university stands by ready to help in any way we can. Our thoughts will continue to be with all those impacted in the days to come.
Glenn F. Boyce
CHANCELLOR’S 3 THINGS TO KNOW
We’re so glad that you’re back! The start of a new academic year is here, and all the anticipation and energy that comes with it. Even though our campus is a spectacular sight, this place is transformed when all of you step onto campus. And this semester, we can be thankful that we are all back together. I know that these trying times can prompt a range of emotions from excitement to apprehension. At the same time, we’re ready for a great year of in-person classes, a slate of exciting athletic seasons, and a wide range of life-changing experiences and opportunities. And, of course, we are eager for our highly celebrated and beloved Ole Miss traditions like the second-to-none tailgating in The Grove, the “Holy Grail” for college football fans.
Whether you are a first-year student exploring campus for the first time, a sophomore or junior settling into a groove, or a senior with a few classes left to tackle, I know the year ahead will be defined by discovery, friendship and fun as well as the caring and kindness that permeates our campus culture. As always, I urge all of you to make personal wellness a priority by maintaining a balanced lifestyle. If you find yourself overextended or overwhelmed and feel the need to talk to someone about your physical or mental health, visit the Wellness Center or reach out to a faculty member, academic advisor, or the staff in the University Counseling Center. And be sure to tap into the countless academic support resources that are here to help you stay on track in your degree program and excel in all of your academic endeavors.
While we’re eager to put the challenges of the past year behind us, we’re still navigating the impact of COVID-19, including the Delta variant. It is why we are starting the semester with a temporary mask mandate. I wish we didn’t have to do this, but we have a responsibility to respond to the pressing situation at hand. I encourage you to review the Campus Plan for this fall.
The good news is that each of us can do our part to promote a healthy community. I’ve said it before (many times!), and I will say it again: Get vaccinated! Vaccination is our most direct path out of this. You can get vaccinated on campus quickly and easily. Thank you to all those who have already done this for yourself, your loved ones and your community. Those who are not vaccinated should expect to remain subject to increased public health protocols even after we get past this current spike in cases.
College is an amazing time in which you will work hard and play hard. There is no time like the present to be yourself, focus on your studies, and get involved. I’m really looking forward to all the ways each of our students will succeed this year and contribute to the vibrancy of our campus atmosphere. As we press forward together, I want to thank you for doing what it takes to be caring, kind, and compassionate to one another. Together, let’s make this year the most tremendous year yet for our campus.
All my best,
Glenn F. Boyce
Dear faculty and staff,
Let me start by sharing my overwhelming gratitude and admiration for everything our faculty and staff have selflessly contributed to navigate the numerous challenges we have weathered while, at the same time, fulfilling our vital mission and upholding our commitment to excellence in how we serve our students. I’m continually struck by the tremendous level of achievement and dedication that permeates our campus culture. In fact, as I visit with audiences near and far, I emphatically boast how I would put the performance, efforts and commitment of our faculty and staff up against any other university in the country — it is clear that our entire campus community fully embraces our integral role to shape aspiring and purposeful learners into creative and critical thinkers who will be the thoughtful, considerate leaders of tomorrow. And, as we continue to live, learn, and work through one of the toughest times in our history, I can’t thank and recognize our faculty and staff enough for the remarkable and incredible efforts we have accomplished and all we continue to do across every corner of our campus.
With the start of a new academic year, I know there is much anticipation that comes with it. This year, we’re thankful for the return of the full vibrancy of our campus, and we’re ready to deliver a great year of life-changing academics, experiences, and opportunities. At the same time, I know there is a range of emotions from excitement to apprehension in the midst of the ongoing pandemic. I want to share where we stand and provide information that will contribute to a successful and productive semester.
While we are in a very different place now with the prolific availability of effective vaccines and proven protocols, we must find ways to continue to co-exist with the virus now more than 18 months into the pandemic. To that end, we’re taking precautions to respond to the situation at hand and mitigate the spread of the virus in order to keep our semester and our students on track. This includes starting the semester with a temporary mask mandate. I strongly encourage you to review our fall Campus Plan and related FAQs.
Vaccination is our most direct path out of this. I strongly urge everyone to get vaccinated. Thank you to all who have already done this for yourself, your loved ones, and your community. The good news is that you can get vaccinated on campus quickly and easily. We’re hosting on-campus vaccine clinics, or you can visit Pharmacy Health Services on a walk-up basis.
I’m excited to see all the ways our students, faculty and staff will succeed this year and contribute to the incredible resiliency and vibrancy of our community. As we press forward together, I want to reiterate my deep appreciation for all your exceptional work to offer the best on-campus living, learning and working environment possible and for doing what it takes to be caring, kind, and compassionate to one another. Together, let’s make this year the most successful and accomplished year yet for our university.
Glenn F. Boyce