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
July 2, 2021
Summer Greetings! Hope you’re staying cool and enjoying some summer fun. Although we don’t usually publish summer issues of the @ The Flagship newsletter, I want to take a moment as we head into the Fourth of July weekend to share a few recent developments. Even in the summer, our forward momentum does not stop! And by the way, the undergraduate admissions application for fall 2022 is now open — encourage students near and far to apply for admission so they can begin to build their legacies at Ole Miss!
SERVING THOSE WHO SERVE
For For the fourth year in a row, we increased our Military Friendly rating, achieving a Gold rating (second-highest level awarded to colleges and universities). And just a few weeks ago, we were ranked #21 in the nation by Military Times resource guide in its “Best for Vets: Colleges 2021 Rankings” — this ranking places us second in the SEC. Also, congrats to Andrew Newby for his selection as a George W. Bush Institute Scholar for the Bush Presidential Center’s Veteran Leadership Program. His selection for this prestigious fellowship is quite an honor and will help take the remarkable efforts of our Veteran and Military Services team to a new level.
MORE STUDENT SUCCESSES
For the second time in three years, seven accomplished students at Ole Miss are recipients of the prestigious David L. Boren Scholarship from the National Security Education Program. Boren Scholars engage in an immersive experience focusing on geographic areas, languages, and fields of study that are critical to U.S. national security. We rank third nationally in 2021 Boren Scholarship recipients, behind only the University of Chicago and UT-Austin.
NEXT-GEN HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS
We’re excited to celebrate 862 new graduates from the University of Mississippi Medical Center. These students, who earned bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from the Medical Center’s six schools, represent a new generation of health care providers, researchers, and leaders in their communities. The future is bright for a healthier Mississippi!
INCREASING OPPORTUNITY AND ACCESS
We have launched several new initiatives recently. The Path4 initiative is a partnership with Northeast Mississippi Community College to give area students a streamlined journey through their college education. Also, a new dual-degree program with Rust College enables successful students to graduate with a mathematics degree from Rust and an engineering degree from Ole Miss. This outstanding partnership with Rust is an important initiative for our state and region to produce more STEM majors. I’m excited to see how these programs will provide students more opportunities while preparing them to thrive professionally.
We all have reason to be incredibly proud of these five Rebel athletes for punching their tickets to the Summer Olympics in Tokyo later this summer including:
- Sam Kendricks – Men’s Pole Vault (second Olympic Games)
- Brittney Reese – Women’s Long Jump (fourth Olympic Games)
- Raven Saunders – Women’s Shot Put (second Olympic Games)
- Rafaelle Souza – Brazilian Women’s Soccer team (second Olympic Games)
- Ali Weisz – 10m Air Rifle / Mixed Team Air Rifle (first Olympic Games)
Likun Zhang, assistant professor of physics and astronomy and researcher at the National Center for Physical Acoustics, won the R. Bruce Lindsay Award from the Acoustical Society of America. The annual award is presented to the society member who contributed substantially, through published papers, to the advancement of theoretical or applied acoustics, or both. Congrats, Dr. Zhang!
Thanks to generous private support and higher investment returns, our endowment has grown to more than $825 million— the largest endowment for any Mississippi public university! We recently celebrated the new naming of our state-of-the-art basketball and event arena as the Sandy and John Black Pavilion at Ole Miss in recognition of their $10 million gift. Thanks to Sandy and John for your generosity and love of Ole Miss!
NURTURING FUTURE LEADERS
We were thrilled to host the 2021 American Legion Boys State this summer with approximately 400 young men from across the state. The university is proud of its long-standing partnership with American Legion Boys State because Ole Miss is dedicated to providing extraordinary learning opportunities like Boys State that develop future leaders in Mississippi.
Looking for some summer reading? How about a selection from our very own Professor of English, Aimee Nezhukumatathil? As Yahoo! Life recently shared: “Aimee Nezhukumatathil is impressive. She’s a New York Times best-selling author, an award-winning poet, a successful essay and nonfiction writer, and a professor of English at the University of Mississippi. Barnes & Noble awarded her most recent book, World of Wonders, the 2020 book of the year. Her perceptive outlook on nature and growth throughout life pushes this remarkable illustrated essay collection to the top of our list.” World of Wonders is also our 2021 Common Reading Experience for our incoming freshmen, and Dr. Nezhukumatathil will deliver the address at our Freshman Convocation in late August.
I hope you’re able to take time this summer to recharge and make some lasting memories with family and friends. We can’t wait to see everyone back on campus in person in the fall — in classrooms, in the Grove and the Vaught, and all over campus. The energy, enthusiasm and vitality that defines our campus experience will be back and better than ever!
Happy Fourth of July! And, Hotty Toddy!
Glenn F. Boyce
- EEO 1, Executive: Blair McElroy, senior international officer and director of study abroad
- EEO 3, Professional Non-Faculty: Penny Rice, manager of instructional technologies and the faculty technology data center
- EEO 4, Secretarial/Clerical: Monika Rudd, ID Center coordinator
- EEO 5, Technical/Paraprofessional: Hope Herren, computer support specialist II
- EEO 6, Skilled Crafts: Charles “Bo” Thompson, carpenter II
- EEO 7, Service & Maintenance: Rod Wilson, custodial supervisor
- Outstanding Staff Member Overall: Shannon Richardson, assistant director of Campus Recreation
- Dan W. Jones Outstanding Team Service Award: Department of Student Housing (John Yaun, Jeannie Hopper, Don Rogers, Chris Thornton, Tracey Vaughn, Danielle Meyer, Claire Lowe, Emily Styles, Abigail Justice, Deborah Dunn)
Glenn F. Boyce
CHANCELLOR’S 3 THINGS TO KNOW