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