Alumna Returns to Manage Events at Ole Miss Student Union

Carole Webb brings 14 years in hospitality industry to new campus role

Carole Webb, a 2007 UM graduate with 14 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, is the new assistant director of event management and services in the Gertrude C. Ford Ole Miss Student Union. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

OXFORD, Miss. – After spending 14 years in the hospitality industry, Carole Webb, a 2007 University of Mississippi graduate, has returned to campus to take on the role of assistant director of event management and services in the Gertrude C. Ford Ole Miss Student Union.

Webb is responsible for overseeing the events and reservation process for the Student Union, Grove, Circle, Quad and Tad Smith Coliseum.

“I am enjoying every minute of being back at my alma mater and being able to give back to the institution that I love,” Webb said. “This has been my most fulfilling role in my career thus far.

“I love working with students everyday while still getting to use my customer service and event planning skills.”

Jim Taylor, an associate professor in the Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management and one of Webb’s former teachers, praised her skills and approach to the field.

“Carole was a great student who not only had and continues to have a natural passion for the hospitality industry, but she was the type of learner that always seemed to ask the right questions,” Taylor said. 

After receiving her undergraduate degree in family and consumer sciences with an emphasis in hospitality management, Webb moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where she worked three years as an events banquet manager for The Hermitage Hotel, getting hands-on experience and training at the only five-star hotel in Tennessee.

Following her work with the Hermitage, Webb worked three years for a family-owned restaurant, Boxwood Bistro, in Franklin, Tennessee, where she got experience in event catering and planning. In fall 2012, Webb moved back to Oxford to be closer to family and began working as events manager for Magnolia Rentals and Sales.

“In my position, I planned and executed events ranging from weddings and rehearsal dinners to University of Mississippi events and countless more,” she said.

Webb was drawn to hospitality management because she was interested in a career that could provide a creative outlet while allowing her to help others.

“No two days are alike in this industry, and that intrigued me,” she explained. “The hospitality field has given me the opportunity to work in several different areas and develop managerial skills that I have been able to build upon in each position that I have had.”

Webb believes her education was influential in showing her that the hospitality industry can have many different types of outlets.

“There are endless career options in the hospitality industry, and being able to study several different aspects prepared me to feel comfortable in the industry no matter what path I took,” she said.

For Webb, the class that prepared her most for her career was NHM 462, Quantity Foods. Participants in that course are responsible for running the student-led Lenoir Dining.

“During this class, you alternate positions between front and back of the house in a real restaurant in Lenoir Hall,” she said. “The experience opened my eyes further to restaurant procedures and customer service.

“The hands-on approach to this class was something that I have never forgotten. It in part took me out of my comfort zone, and that was needed in order for me to succeed after graduation.”

Webb also credits her success, in part, to her parents.

“I was shown from a very early age where hard work and determination can get you,” Webb said. “Hard work has never scared me off, and in my opinion, that is a trait that is needed to succeed in this industry.”