University Offers Mobile Dining Options While Renovating Union

Meal plan users have variety of options

Students will continue to have dining options on campus while the Student Union undergoes renovation. Photo by Nathan Latil University Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – The Ole Miss Student Union is undergoing an expansion and renovation that will alter dining options at the University of Mississippi during the spring semester.

The Student Union Food Court will be closed during this transitional period. To accommodate dining for faculty and staff, Ole Miss Dining will extend hours of operation in all of its dining locations as well as adding temporary dining solutions – Chick-Fil-A Mobile, POD Mobile and Dodo Pizza – for the semester.

“We are excited about the impending changes to our campus portfolio and are confident in the steps we have taken to ensure the dining needs of our faculty, staff and students are met,” said Chip Burr, general manager of Ole Miss Dining Services. “Our great partnership with the university continues to drive our investment into making Ole Miss Dining an inclusive experience that is healthy, innovative and sustainable.”

Students, faculty and staff will not lose the value of their meal plans. Students with Rebel 100 will maintain a block of 100 meals. Students with Rebel 50 Plus 1, Spring Greek 50 and Upperclassmen 50 meal plans will have a block of 50 meals.

Block meals will be available at the Rebel Market, the Marketplace at the Residential College, breakfast or lunch at the Grill at 1810 or an $8 equivalent of menu items at Freshii, Einstein Brothers Bagels, Raising Cane’s, Steak ‘n Shake, Chick-fil-A Mobile and P.O.D. Mobile.

Rebel Unlimited Plus 1, faculty and staff meal plans, Spring Greek Plus 1, Upperclassmen Plus 1 and Upperclassmen Weekday Plus 1 will not be affected.

Food service will resume at the Ole Miss Student Union for the 2017 fall semester. Dining options in the new facility will include a full-service McAllister’s Deli, an expanded Chick-fil-A, Qdoba, Panda Express and Which-Wich, featuring premium sandwiches, vegan and vegetarian options.

Dyer Promoted to UM Associate Dean of Liberal Arts

Former modern languages chair joined faculty in 1988

Donald L. Dyer is the new associate dean for faculty and academic affairs for the College of Liberal Arts. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – Donald L. Dyer, longtime University of Mississippi professor and chair of modern languages, has been promoted to associate dean for faculty and academic affairs in the College of Liberal Arts

Dyer, who began teaching at UM in 1988, assumed his new role at the beginning of the spring semester. He has been a professor of Russian and linguistics, as well as honors classes, while leading the Department of Modern Languages. He has a bachelor’s degree in Russian from the University of North Carolina, as well as master’s and doctoral degrees in Slavic languages from the University of Chicago. 

He plans to continue teaching Honors 101 and 102 and an occasional linguistics course in his new position. 

“After 12 wonderful years as chair of the Department of Modern Languages, I look forward to working with colleagues in the office of the dean of the College of Liberal Arts and to being part of its continued success,” Dyer said. “I am particularly excited about developing strengthened relationships with the department chairs and faculty in the college and helping them confront the challenges they face.”

His research interests include Slavic and Balkan linguistics, Bulgarian and the Romanian of Moldova, as well as languages in contact. He has written or edited nine books and more than 25 journal articles on these topics. Dyer is editor of the journal Balkanistica and co-editor of Romance Monographs.

He serves as co-director of the university’s Chinese Language Flagship Program. He is also a member of the UM Strategic Planning Council and active with Ole Miss chapters of Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi. He is also vice president of the Bulgarian Studies Association.

Dyer has been the recipient of a number of awards for teaching, research and service during his time at UM. In 1992, he was awarded the Liberal Arts Outstanding Professor of the Year, and in 2004, he received the Mississippi Humanities Council Humanities Teacher of the Year.

He received the Nolan B. Shepard International Service Award in 2011 and in 2014 was recognized with the Mississippi Foreign Language Association Award of Distinction. In 2014, Dyer was recognized as the 17th Kenneth E. Naylor Memorial Lecturer in South Slavic Linguistics and in 2015 was given the title of Friend of CARTA Award by the Central American Russian Teachers Association.

The College of Liberal Arts is fortunate to add Dyer to its leadership team because of his great experience and professional success, said Lee Cohen, the college’s dean. 

“Dr. Dyer brings a great deal of administrative experience with him to this position,” Cohen said. “Most importantly, he has been a successful chair for modern languages for over a decade and knows very well the demands being placed on our departments.

“The Department of Modern Languages flourished under his leadership, and I hope he can help us to enable all our departments to flourish moving forward.”

Tickets Available for Jan. 28 TED Talk at UM

Second set of lectures features diverse collection of 'ideas worth spreading'

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi is gearing up to host its second-ever TEDxUniversityofMississippi, an event that features brief lectures from Ole Miss alumni, faculty members and others to showcase “ideas worth spreading.”

The event is slated for 1 p.m. Jan. 28 at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts.

Audience members will be engaged by a diverse group of speakers and onstage acts will entertain between talks, making for a lively afternoon, organizers said. The talks will be recorded and later posted on the TEDxUM Youtube channel. Tickets are $30 each and can be purchased online or in person at the UM Box Office. 

Each of the talks are inspirational in their own way and “help us envision what could be and what we are capable of,” said Georgia Norfleet, a senior marketing major from Chicago who is helping organize the event.

“Each of our speakers are bringing so much of themselves to their talks and making connections that our audience won’t expect,” Norfleet said. “It’s so important to seek out understandings outside of our own, and this event will give the UM community the chance to do just that.”

The event uses the TED Talks conference format, which brings together lecturers and other participants in a globally popular set of conferences run by the Sapling Foundation under the slogan “Ideas worth spreading.” At the university’s first TEDxUM in 2015, the crowd size was limited, but organizers were allowed to host a much larger event this year under the rules set by the Sapling Foundation. 

The event will allow students to discover “beyond the classrooms” and uncover growing communities and cultures that exist around the state and all over the world, said Shikha Shrestha, a sophomore integrated marketing communication major from Madison who is among the organizers.

“The diversity of our lineup is so interesting to me because we have speakers from our very own UM professors to Ole Miss alumni, each coming in with a different, unique perspectives and discussions but also interconnected in a way that will give the UM community a platform to start a conversation on these ideas worth spreading,” Shrestha said. 

Matthew R. Wilson, who spoke at UM’s first ever TEDx, will emcee this year’s event. The speakers for Jan. 28 include: 

  • Josh Mabus, a UM alumnus from Tupelo, who will discuss the difference between failing and quitting and how the difference affects how we judge ourselves. 
  • Patrick Woodyard, a UM alumnus and co-founder of the shoe and accessory company Nisolo, will discuss how consumers can get business to adopt measures consistent with their own values. 
  • Dr. Joe Campbell, a UM alumnus and Hattiesburg-based anesthesiologist, will discuss innovative techniques to reduce suicide ideation. 
  • Shannon Cohn, an Oxford-based filmmaker, will discuss endometriosis, a rarely discussed disease that affects millions of women. 
  • Sue Grayzel, UM professor of history, will discuss how the government convinces us to “Keep Calm and Carry On,” in effect becoming extra eyes and ears for the state. 
  • Anne Quinney, UM professor of modern languages, will discuss publisher- and editor-induced censorship that has changed the meaning of many of our favorite pieces of literature. 
  • Katherine Dooley, UM assistant professor of physics and astronomy, will discuss the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and how scientific discoveries are truly a team effort. 
  • Rory Ledbetter, UM associate professor of theatre arts, will discuss our inner monologue and how we can control our breathing to actually create better conversations and relationships.

 For more information, visit the TEDxUniversityofMississippi website

LeBron James Family Foundation Seeks Student Success Solutions at UM

Researcher recently spent time on campus to learn about Ole Miss programs

Paul Herold meets with a student panel in the Lyceum on a recent visit he made on behalf of the LeBron James Family Foundation. Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – There probably isn’t much more LeBron James can learn about basketball, but the sports megastar’s nonprofit foundation is looking for lessons from the University of Mississippi about ways to help students excel in college. 

The LeBron James Family Foundation has established the “I PROMISE Institute” as a resource for its future students on the University of Akron campus. James, who attended Akron public schools and is passionate about education, set up the foundation in October 2016 to work with kids there who are least likely to earn a high school diploma, much less attend college, to help them do both.

James, through a partnership between his foundation and the university, has guaranteed four-year, full-ride scholarships for all its eligible students. 

The original class of I Promise students is about to enter high school, and in four years will be college students, many of them the first in their families to do so. The I PROMISE Institute at Akron will be dedicated to researching best practices, implementing academic interventions and providing around-the-clock support for Akron college students. 

“When we first started this program, I wanted my kids to graduate from high school,” James said. “But the more we grow as a foundation, the more we find can be done to give our kids the best chance to be successful.

“We don’t just want our kids to get to college; we want them to graduate from college. And we want to make sure we are doing everything we can to help them do that.”

Paul Herold, who recently retired from the University of Akron, is doing research on behalf of the foundation at universities to learn about ways to maximize the I Promise program’s impact. Herold recently visited Ole Miss to learn more about the student success programs in place.

After a day-and-a-half of meeting with students, faculty and administrators, he was impressed with the university’s programs as well as its students.

“They’re lucky to go to school here,” Herold said. “This university has its act together and is very student-centered. The student affairs structure is exceptional, as is the way everyone across campus buys into it. 

“Any university in the country would be pleased to serve students as well as Ole Miss does.”

There is a close Ole Miss connection to the I Promise Network. Herold and Brandi Hephner LaBanc, UM vice chancellor for student affairs and a University of Akron graduate, are on the I Promise Institute Bureau, a governing board of higher education professionals.

“It is a true honor that the LeBron James Family Foundation identified our campus as having aspirational practices with respect to access and student support,” Hephner LaBanc said. “I am proud of the work of our campus community and thrilled to be a part of telling our stories so other students can benefit from similar programs.”

LJFF’s Wheels for Education and Akron I PROMISE Network programs were created to help raise graduation rates in Akron public schools over the long term.

“LeBron’s focus is on increasing graduation rates among the kids who are least likely to graduate,” Herold said. “His program reaches out to Akron kids who are like him, facing serious challenges as they try to complete their education.” 

With the addition of the I PROMISE Institute, that commitment continues through college graduation rates for LJFF’s inner-city students at Akron.

The I PROMISE Institute will be a home base for all future high school Akron I PROMISE Network students, acclimating them to life on a college campus while offering programming for students, parents and their families about navigating the college experience. The creation of the I PROMISE Institute is funded in part by Sprite, which James has worked with since 2003.

The process of formulating the I PROMISE Institute is urgent now, as students will be enrolled in college in just a few short years, said Michele Campbell, the foundation’s executive director. 

“For many of our kids, they are the first in their families to attend college, so we want to create a familiar, encouraging environment on campus where they feel safe and supported,” Campbell said. “We believe we have the academics and the experts in place to ensure the I PROMISE Institute will be a valuable and impactful resource for our students.”

Herold met with a group of Ole Miss students in the Lyceum. They discussed experiences on campus with several programs, some of which could shape programs I Promise creates over the next few years.

Ieshia Mosley, a junior accounting major from Horn Lake, pointed to her experience with UM’s Students First, which is for first-generation students. The organization helps students create friendships, improve interpersonal skills, hone study habits and learn other keys to a successful college experience.

She said the community atmosphere within the group, as well as her mentor there, helped her succeed.

“Because I was the first person in my family to go to college, I wasn’t able to go to my family with some of the questions that I had,” Mosley said. “But in the organization, I was able to relate to other students who were going through things similar to what I was going through. I was able to get a mentor to go to when I didn’t understand something. I still have those relationships.”

Rashad Newsom, a senior integrated marketing communications major from Senatobia, was involved with Students First. He was also involved in the Mississippi Outreach to Scholastic Talent when he was in high school, and after coming to Ole Miss, he became a MOST mentor to a high school student.

Newsom also was in the university’s Foundations for Academic Success Track program, which helps first-year students transition from high school to college. He later became a FASTrack mentor.

He credits his involvement in many student organizations with helping him make the grade, but also with helping him handle the pressures of being a college student.

“Different organizations have kept me both humble and well-grounded while I’ve been here,” Newsom said.

Ford Center’s Gingerbread Village Open Through Dec. 16

Annual event features about 20 whimsical holiday landscapes

The annual Gingerbread Village at the University of Mississippi's Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts is on display through Dec. 16. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Communications

The annual Gingerbread Village at the University of Mississippi’s Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts is on display through Dec. 16. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – Graham cracker mansions with snow-frosted rooftops, candy castles, peppermint bridges and other feats of confectionery construction are on display through Dec. 16 at the University of Mississippi’s Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts

The Ford Center hosts the annual Gingerbread Village. The much-anticipated holiday event attracts the university and Oxford community to both build the houses and also marvel at the intricate work that goes into the miniature candy houses and landscapes.

“This is an opportunity for civic and university groups to build a gingerbread house and have it on display for all to enjoy,” said Julia Aubrey, Ford Center director. “Each year, the imaginative themes and designs provide delight for all ages.”

The event began in 2010 with just four houses. This year, local groups including Holli’s Sweet Tooth, UM’s Willie Price Lab School, the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council and others have built some of the approximately 20 sweet structures on display. 

The massive effort to set up the village isn’t intended just to delight those who walk through it. As part of the traditional giving spirit of the holiday season, attendees are encouraged to bring canned goods or make a donation to The Pantry or university’s food bank.

The village opened Thursday (Dec. 1) and will be open from 1 to 5 p.m. weekdays and also during Ford Center performances through Dec. 16. The full schedule of both weekday and weekend hours is available here

On Monday (Dec. 5), the village will be open to visitors for an after party following the Oxford Lions Club Annual Christmas Parade, which begins at the Mid Town Shopping Center on North Lamar Boulevard at 6:30 p.m. The parade route should end at the Ford Center about 7:30 p.m.

And on Saturday (Dec. 10), the Gingerbread Village will host Santa Claus from 1 to 4 p.m., giving locals a chance to take their children’s pictures with the man from the North Pole.

“The Gingerbread Village is one of my favorite Ford Center events because it truly brings the community together,” said Kate Meacham, Ford Center marketing director. “The house creators come from all parts of the community. There are families, individuals, businesses, schools and community groups that participate. They are very creative. I am always excited to see the designs.” 

UM Community Called to Bless Books and Bears

19th annual event provides Christmas joy to Facilities Management employees and families

Jackie Certion helps distribute toys during 2015 Books and Bears event. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Communications

Jackie Certion helps distribute toys during 2015 Books and Bears event. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Communications

‘Tis the season to be good, not naughty. It’s time to add a little “ho-ho-ho!” to your “Hotty Toddy.”

Donations for the 19th annual Books and Bears program will be accepted Nov. 28 through Dec. 14. All the collected toys and books will be given away Dec. 16 to the children of employees in the University of Mississippi Facilities Management Department. The distribution site will be either the university’s Jackson Avenue Center or the Gertrude Ford Ballroom of the Inn at Ole Miss.

Donations can be dropped off at the following locations: third floor of the School of Law; Graduate School; second floor of Vardaman Hall; first floor of Ventress Hall; Office of the Provost in the Lyceum; ticket office in the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts; Howry Hall, Room 308; Hume Hall, Room 305; Farley Hall; Yerby Center; Career Center in Martindale Hall; Powers Hall; and the Lucky Day Residential College.

“Help spread the word,” said Donald Cole, associate provost and assistant to the chancellor for multicultural affairs. “Thank you for having a big, big caring heart and a burning desire to be a blessing to others in your UM family as we enter the holiday season!”

For more information, contact Jackie Certion at 662-202-2932.

So be a Santa and not a Scrooge this Christmas. While you’re rushing out to Wal-Mart, Toys ‘R Us, Target or wherever you do your Christmas shopping, pick up an extra bike, doll, teddy bear, computer or board game, or a book (or two). Knowing some child’s Christmas morning will be a lot brighter because you cared enough to support the Bears and Books program should make you feel really good.

Q&A: Meet Katrina Caldwell, UM’s New Vice Chancellor for Diversity

Katrina Caldwell

Katrina Caldwell

OXFORD, Miss. – Katrina Caldwell will become the University of Mississippi’s first-ever vice chancellor for diversity and community engagement when she joins the administrative staff Jan. 1. 

Named to her UM post in October, Caldwell is assistant vice president for diversity and equity at Northern Illinois University.

The Memphis, Tennessee, native is widely recognized in the field of diversity and inclusion in higher education. She holds master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a bachelor’s degree from Spelman College. She was also a Diversifying Faculty in Illinois fellow.

Caldwell served eight years at DePaul University, where she created cultural programs that celebrated the values of the university’s diverse communities. As director of the Center for Intercultural Programs, she also served on the President’s Diversity Council.

At the University of Illinois at Chicago, Caldwell served as assistant dean of minority affairs, developing and successfully implementing a strategic plan to increase outreach to prospective students, improve retention and graduation of graduate fellowship students, and expand professional development programs.

She recently answered some questions for Inside Ole Miss about her new role. 

IOM: Tell me about your background and how you got into this kind of work.

Caldwell: I was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, in the 1970s and ’80s. I attended Spelman College, a historically black women’s college, which is where I was introduced to diversity and social justice work. I learned later that our curriculum was a lot like any curriculum you would find at other institutions, because they wanted us to be able to compete post-graduation; however, many of the professors and staff had been involved in social movements in the 1960s and ’70s. They were willing to integrate their lived experiences in their teaching, research and service. I learned many of the foundational concepts that I use today in my work.

I became interested in professional diversity work while in graduate school. I had planned to become an English professor, which is why my three degrees are in English literature. During the summer after my first year in graduate school at the University of Illinois at Chicago, I got a job teaching English composition to students in the TRIO/Bridge program. I used the skills that I had been taught at Spelman to make my course relevant to the experiences of these first-generation, low-income entering college students. The course title was “Representations of Race, Gender and Class in American Media.” After this experience, I was hooked. I knew that I wanted to work in multicultural student affairs in some capacity. 

I have had 20 plus years of experience in diversity, equity and inclusion work and I have watched the field evolve and progress in positive ways during that time. The increased demand for chief diversity officers in institutions like the University of Mississippi is a key indicator of the need for strategic diversity leadership and the value of diversity in higher education. 

IOM: Talk about your role as the university’s first vice chancellor for diversity and community engagement and your vision for the job.

Caldwell: The University of Mississippi is in a unique position to serve as a leader in the strategic diversity movement in higher education. The institution’s complicated history is an intriguing backdrop to its current commitment to coordinating and elevating its diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. The university could serve as a campus for innovation where other local, regional and national institutions come to create, develop and test best practices that will move the needle on diversifying higher education.

I plan to continue and expand the bold steps towards repositioning the university as a place that will generate new perspectives and approaches to addressing the individual, structural and institutional inequities that continue to deny access to marginalized groups in the state and region. My vision for the position includes reclaiming the past by acknowledging, in very tangible ways, the harm and pain that was created, restoring confidence in the commitment to move beyond that past and reinforcing UM’s promise of creating sustainable change. 

IOM: Tell us who in the campus community that you serve and who you’ll mainly be working with.

Caldwell: As a member of the university’s executive team, my job will be to serve everyone on campus and all external partners and stakeholders. Diversity, equity and inclusion work is expansion and can cross program, departmental and divisional boundaries. It can also cross local, state, regional and national boundaries. 

IOM: What kinds of services will your office provide to the UM community?

Caldwell: Beyond the general language in the job description, we are still working on these details. Most of the specifics will not become clear until after I have been on campus for at least six months.

IOM: People might wonder about whether they should come to you with an issue. Is there anything you could tell people when they are considering whether they should come see you that might be helpful?

Caldwell: People should feel free to approach me to discuss any issue. I am always willing to listen, offer advice when appropriate, brainstorm solutions, share resources and my story, connect people to the office or program that might help them address the issue more directly and inform the executive leadership when an issue might need to be addressed campuswide.

IOM: What made you decide to come to Ole Miss?

Caldwell: As a native Southerner, I was extremely intrigued by the steps that the University of Mississippi has taken towards reconciliation and healing, which is an important and necessary process to help position the campus to contribute to the contemporary discourse underscoring the strong correlation between educating an increasingly more diverse student body and excellence in local, regional and national leadership.

The vice chancellor for diversity and community engagement position highlights three important criteria that I look for when evaluating a new professional opportunity. First, the demonstrated mission of the institution is extremely important. There must be evidence that the campus values diversity as essential to its success. The University of Mississippi could have continued to thrive and grow without developing a chief diversity officer position, so the commitment to this effort is impressive and signals its readiness to make significant progress.

Second, I look for fit with my experience and interests. I have had a 20-plus-year professional track record of building the type of strong, impactful diversity initiatives and programs that are outlined in the job description.

Thirdly, the decision to elevate diversity to the VC level will ensure that the individual has the visibility, resources, access and symbolic and institutional impact she will need to be successful

IOM: What are some immediate goals you hope to accomplish?

Caldwell: In the short term, I will spend a lot of time listening and learning about the various communities that are represented on the campus, in the city of Oxford, the region and the state. I want to better understand the histories, unique needs, challenges and opportunities for collaboration. In the first few months, I will develop a transitional plan that is transparent, inclusive and adaptable so members of all communities – both internal and external – can follow the progress that we are making as we build a strong diversity portfolio. 

IOM: Is there anything else you’d like to say to the Ole Miss community?

Caldwell: I am extremely excited about this opportunity and I want to thank everyone involved in this process for trusting me to serve the Ole Miss community in this way.

Library launches Summon discovery system

Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Communications

Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Communications

Beginning June 29, the J.D. Williams Library launched a new discovery system, Summon, which runs the One Search tool. Summon allows students to more efficiently search for resources through the J.D. Williams Library website.

One Search provides a much broader search,” said Kristin Rogers, electronic resources and discovery librarian. “You can put in one search term, and it will search everything we have access to and not (just) one journal or one database.”

From a user standpoint, the One Search tool allows students to search almost everything the library has access to with a single search. One Search not only searches online resources but also includes local print titles and journals. Summon, via One Search, offers students a more versatile approach to research.

A committee was formed to decide whether to move back to Summon, which the library had used before, or choose a different discovery system.

Summon’s user feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with comments such as Summon “seemed to be more accessible” and the “refined search filters are easier to use.”

“Summon provides an easy way for library users to discover research resources,” said Gail Herrera, assistant dean for technical services and automation and professor of library science. “In reviewing discovery services, the library committee charged with reviewing products scored Summon as the top product.”

As for One Search, it has been enhanced so students will be able to see how many times a resource has been read or shared through social media platforms. This will allow students to browse feedback on the sources they are using so as to better choose articles or journals for their academic work. One Search also features a pop-up chat box for students to communicate with librarians if an issue arises.

Library launches Summon discovery system

Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Communications

Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Communications

Beginning June 29, the J.D. Williams Library launched a new discovery system, Summon, which runs the One Search tool. Summon allows students to more efficiently search for resources through the J.D. Williams Library website.

One Search provides a much broader search,” said Kristin Rogers, electronic resources and discovery librarian. “You can put in one search term, and it will search everything we have access to and not (just) one journal or one database.”

From a user standpoint, the One Search tool allows students to search almost everything the library has access to with a single search. One Search not only searches online resources but also includes our local print titles and journals. Summon, via One Search, offers students a more versatile approach to research.

A committee was formed to decide whether to move back to Summon, which the library had used before, or choose a different discovery system.

Summon’s user feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with comments such as Summon “seemed to be more accessible” and the “refined search filters are easier to use.”

“Summon provides an easy way for library users to discover research resources,” said Gail Herrera, assistant dean for technical services and automation and professor of library science. “In reviewing discovery services, the library committee charged with reviewing products scored Summon as the top product.”

As for One Search, it has been enhanced so students will be able to see how many times a resource has been read or shared through social media platforms. This will allow students to browse feedback on the sources they are using so as to better choose articles or journals for their academic work. One Search also features a pop-up chat box for students to communicate with librarians if an issue arises.

Library acquires historic volume of Shakespeare’s Second Folio

Jennifer Ford shows Shakespeare’s Second Folio to Jesse L. White, Associate Provost Noel Wilkin and Provost Morris Stocks. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Communications

Jennifer Ford shows Shakespeare’s Second Folio to Jesse L. White, Associate Provost Noel Wilkin and Provost Morris Stocks. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Communications

Thanks to a gift from the Gertrude C. Ford Foundation, the university has acquired a rare volume of William Shakespeare’s Second Folio, making it a permanent part of the university’s collection. It is on display in the Department of Archives and Special Collections in the University of Mississippi’s J.D. Williams Library.

The Second Folio, published in 1632, is an updated version of Shakespeare’s First Folio. The First Folio is a collection of 36 plays published in 1623, and 18 of those plays were previously unpublished, including “Macbeth,” “Julius Caesar” and “Twelfth Night.”

This rare copy belonged to Edwin Booth, one of history’s most illustrious Shakespearean actors. His brother was John Wilkes Booth, who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln.

The acquisition was completed thanks to the efforts of Rene Pulliam, theatre arts associate professor; Rhona Justice-Malloy, theatre arts professor; Morris Stocks, provost; and Noel Wilkin, associate provost, said Jennifer Ford, head of archives and special collections and associate professor.

“This copy of the Second Folio, owned by one of history’s foremost Shakespearean actors, is a tremendous acquisition,” Ford said. “It will be an enduring resource for the entire university, as well as the general public.”

Edwin Booth was known for a more textually accurate use of Shakespeare’s works in his theatrical performances, a practice which was unusual for the 19th century. It is likely the actor consulted this volume in preparation for his lauded portrayals of characters such as Hamlet, historians say.

The Second Folio was purchased from the collections of New York’s Players Club, a social group for actors founded by Booth, which had engaged the auction house Sotheby’s to negotiate on its behalf. The book, purchased with a $150,000 donation from the Ford Foundation, had an original estimate between $300,000 and $500,000.

Justice-Malloy notified Pulliam that the copy was going to auction while visiting the Players Club in December.

“I am overjoyed that the University of Mississippi will now be a resource for theatre researchers nationwide,” Pulliam said. “This fulfills a vision of Dr. Rhona Justice-Malloy and myself.”

Pulliam and Justice-Malloy put together literature and images to begin the fundraising process to purchase the book. In January, Wilkin contacted Pulliam with news that the Ford Foundation would be a major donor and the acquisition would move forward.

“They were excited about the idea of it being at a public institution where someone would really be able to enjoy it,” Justice-Malloy said. “I am so proud to be a faculty member at Ole Miss and know that they value the importance of such a book.”

The folio will be valuable to help recruit students and scholars interested in the arts, history and literature research, Justice-Malloy said.

“It’s a big deal to be able to say we have not only the Second Folio but Edwin Booth’s copy,” she said. “It will be a point of pride for us, and scholars and students can actually use this. I would like to extend an enormous ‘thank you’ to the Ford Foundation for making this possible.”

The J.D. Williams Library Second Folio exhibit is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, call 662-915-7091.