Meet Martina Brewer, April’s Staff Member of the Month

Martina Brewer

Martina Brewer, associate director of admissions, has been selected as Staff Council’s Staff Member of the Month for April. To help us get to know her better, Brewer answered a few questions for Inside Ole Miss.

IOM: How long have you worked at Ole Miss? 

Brewer: Fourteen years. I started in April 2004.

IOM: What is your hometown?

Brewer: Cleveland, Mississippi. 

IOM: Talk about your favorite Ole Miss memory. 

Brewer: My favorite Ole Miss memory was receiving my acceptance letter.

IOM: What do you enjoy most about your position or the department in which you work?

Brewer: What I enjoy most about my position is the staff I work with, The A-Team, and the relationships I build with prospective students, parents and other colleagues.

IOM: What do you like to do when you are not at work?

Brewer: When I am not at work, I enjoy spending time with my family – husband and two sons, 14 years old and 3 years old.

IOM: What is one thing on your bucket list?

Brewer: One thing on my bucket list is to visit Paris, France.

IOM: What is your favorite movie?

Brewer: My favorite movie is “Fireproof.”

IOM: What is your favorite Ole Miss tradition?

Brewer: My favorite Ole Miss tradition is to do House Call. I enjoy meeting the students and hearing their stories.

IOM: What is a fun fact about you?

Brewer: A fun fact about me is I enjoy outdoor activities: gardening, fishing and hunting.

IOM: If you could have lunch with anyone alive or dead/fictional or real, who would it be and why?

Brewer: If I could have lunch with anyone, it would be Mr. Barack Obama. I would love to hear how he overcame the barriers he faced while serving as the commander in chief.

IOM: What are three words you would use to describe yourself?

Brewer: Honest, compassionate and strong-minded

IOM: If you could visit one time or place in world history – past, present, or future – what would it be?

Brewer: Africa

IOM: If you could be an animal for a day you would be _____.

Brewer: An eagle

To nominate a colleague for the Staff Member of the Month, email with the name of the individual you’d like to nominate as well as why you feel he or she should be recognized.

Professor Establishes Plantinga Reading Group at UM

Funding from Society of Christian Philosophers runs through end of April

Neil A. Manson, UM professor of philosophy, has established a reading group on the works of Alvin Plantinga, one of the world’s most influential philosophers of religion. Photo courtesy of Neil A. Manson

OXFORD, Miss. – Neil A. Manson, University of Mississippi professor of philosophy, has used a grant from the Society of Christian Philosophers to establish a reading group on the works of one of the world’s most influential philosophers of religion. 

In 2017, Alvin Plantinga, professor emeritus at Calvin College, won the prestigious Templeton Prize, which came with a $1.4 million award. Past winners of the prize, which honors a living person who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension, include Mother Teresa, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama.

In honor of Plantinga’s achievement, the Society of Christian Philosophers awarded 25 colleges and universities $3,000 grants for 2017-18 for undergraduate reading groups on his works. The fund covers books, food and expenses. 

Manson applied for and received one of the grants to establish an Ole Miss reading group, which convened last fall and will continue through April.

“Alvin Plantinga is perhaps the most influential living philosopher of religion,” Manson said. “The offer of a chance to read Plantinga’s works elicited a tremendous and enthusiastic response, with nearly 30 students across the University of Mississippi signing up.”

Select graduate students and other community members were allowed to participate in the group.

The group began with Plantinga’s “Warranted Christian Belief.” Manson said the book is Plantinga’s most thorough statement of the position that has come to be called “Reformed epistemology.” In October, the group also had lunch with Christopher Weaver, assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Illinois, who discussed some central objections to Plantinga’s position.

Neil Manson

This semester, the group is reading “Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, and Naturalism,” in which Plantinga argues, contrary to popular conceptions, that it is atheism, not theism, that is at odds with modern science. 

“The Plantinga reading group has been incredibly informative, thought-provoking and fun,” said Aaron Graham, a recent graduate of the philosophy master’s program from Jackson. “We have enjoyed a guided tour of some of the principal arguments against the rationality of theistic belief, and against theistic belief’s compatibility with science.

“At each turn, Plantinga gave powerful rejoinders to those arguments.”

Manson agrees with Graham’s assessment and added that the university is fortunate to be able to have the experience with Plantinga’s works, thanks to the grant. 

“Alvin Plantinga is a bold and brilliant thinker, a trenchant writer, an impeccable practitioner of analytic philosophy and one of the kindest people I have ever met,” Manson said. “He provides a model for how to address profound religious and philosophical disagreements in a civil manner. Reading his work is always enriching and enlightening.”

The reading group will conclude its work at the end of the month. Unused funds will go toward getting students additional books on related topics in the philosophy of religion, Manson said. 

South Section of Chucky Mullins Drive to Close for Construction

Public will be able to access South Campus Trails throughout project

OXFORD, Miss. – A portion of Chucky Mullins Drive south of Highway 6 will close to through traffic April 16 to allow for ongoing construction of the University of Mississippi’s South Campus Recreation Facility and Transportation Hub.

The public will still be able to access the South Campus Trails, and Oxford-University Transit bus routes will continue in the area. The closure, which is for the area from Old Taylor Road north to the former Whirlpool site, is expected to remain in effect until January.

The university owns the 500,000-square-foot manufacturing plant, the old Whirlpool factory, on 68 acres on the southwest edge of campus. Portions of the existing building are being repurposed to provide space for fitness activities, departmental offices, classrooms, food service and a hub for Ole Miss Campus Recreation and the Department of Parking and Transportation.

Renovations to the exterior will transform the manufacturing plant into an active destination for students. This project is ongoing and expected to open in early 2019.

Traffic restriction points will be installed during the road closure. Roadblocks will be placed north of the old Whirlpool site at the South Campus Trails, east of the construction site at Whirlpool Drive and south of the site at the intersection of Old Taylor Road. Traffic restriction arms will be placed, which will allow the OUT bus Green Route to be redirected around the site through the old Whirlpool parking lot. 

Until the gates are finished, the Green Route will be temporarily rerouted through Old Taylor Road to University Avenue to All-American Drive. 

Once the projects are substantially complete in January, traffic will return to normal, with one addition. Early next year, the university and the city will work together to add a traffic light at the intersection of Chucky Mullins Drive and Old Taylor Road. 

Professor’s Graphic Essays on Fatherhood a 10-Year Labor of Love

Dustin Parsons uses diagrams and text to explore parental experiences

Dustin Parsons

OXFORD, Miss. – The product of 10 years of work and a lifetime of observations, “Exploded View: Essays on Fatherhood, with Diagrams” is immensely important for author Dustin Parsons, partially because it’s his first book, but also because it’s about his own father and his own experiences as a parent.

A book launch and signing for the volume, published in March by the University of Georgia Press, is set for 5 p.m. Tuesday (April 10) at Off Square Books in Oxford. 

Parsons, a University of Mississippi senior lecturer in English, holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Bowling Green State University. The work grew out of his own worries about fatherhood, which makes his connection to the book deep and particularly meaningful, he said. 

“My dad was the peak, in many ways, of what I thought a father was supposed to be,” said Parsons, who joined the Ole Miss faculty last year. “He supported us, suffered some jobs he’d frankly rather not have had, and still had something in the tank for us after such long days in the Kansas oilfields. 

“I guess this book was trying to figure out how to do that too, but with a completely different kind of life.”

The book uses “graphic” essays, a nonconventional way of telling a life story, and the illustrations and text work together in print. Much like a graphic novel, the narrative is formed not only through text, but in the way the text works with the many images that accompany it. 

Parsons’ father was an oilfield mechanic, as well as a woodworker, auto mechanic, welder and artist in his spare time, so diagrams were everywhere during Parsons’ childhood. His father, Max Parsons, had diagrams all around his shop, including manuals that had “exploded views” of parts, that Parsons was constantly studying.

His father always had a visual guide to help him perform any task, from rebuilding a transmission or putting together a diesel engine to assembling a baby cradle. In “Exploded View” Parsons uses his father’s approach to understanding the man himself, as he navigates his own life as he raises his two young, biracial sons. 

He said his wife, poet and essayist Aimee Nezhukumatathil, was immensely supportive on his literary odyssey through parenthood. 

“We are a house full of writers and we do a good job of trying to give each other time to write, but without her support and help, I’d never have finished the book,” Parsons said. “She was always there reminding me that what I had to say was important.

“Most of the early ideas about how the images fit into the essays were her suggestions. It really wouldn’t be a book without her encouragement and support along the way.”

Ivo Kamps, UM chair of English, said the department congratulates Parsons on his work. The university is also fortunate to have someone the caliber of Parsons teaching its students, he said.

“Dustin is an extraordinary writer as well as a superb and dedicated teacher of literature and creative writing,” Kamps said. “He has taught large-lecture sections of the American literature survey and upper division contemporary literature classes.

“His students appreciate his expertise and infectious enthusiasm for his subject. His new book with Georgia University Press is a truly original collection of poetic essays accompanied by many intriguing and wonderful illustrations.”

Walter Isaacson to Deliver UM’s 165th Commencement Address

Acclaimed biographer and journalist to speak May 12 in the Grove

Walter Isaacson will deliver the University of Mississippi’s 165th Commencement address May 12. Photo by Patrice Gilbert courtesy of the Aspen Institute

OXFORD, Miss. – Walter Isaacson, acclaimed biographer and historian who also was head of both CNN and Time magazine, will deliver the University of Mississippi’s 165th Commencement address May 12 in the Grove.

Isaacson is a professor of history at Tulane University in New Orleans, where he grew up. He’s also a graduate of Harvard College and also Pembroke College of Oxford University, in Oxford, England, where he was a Rhodes scholar.

He said he’s honored to be giving the Commencement address, as well as coming back to a place he loves. 

“I’m pleased because the university has been at the forefront of making Mississippi and the South a better place,” Isaacson said. “I admire the innovation the university is doing in cross-disciplinary studies. And I enjoy spending time in the real Oxford.”

Isaacson played a major role in the success of the university’s inaugural Tech Summit in 2016, and UM officials are honored to welcome him back to campus as this year’s speaker, Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter said.

“I am delighted our campus community will once again have the extraordinary opportunity to hear Mr. Isaacson share his exceptional knowledge and unique insight from his accomplished career as a journalist, scholar, author and so much more,” Vitter said. “We are pleased to count Mr. Isaacson among the distinguished Commencement speakers we have featured over the years for our graduating students and their families.” 

Isaacson began his career at The Sunday Times of London and then the New Orleans Times-Picayune. He joined Time in 1978, where he worked as a political correspondent, national editor and editor of digital media before becoming the magazine’s editor in 1996.

In 2001, he became chairman and CEO of CNN, and then president and CEO of the Aspen Institute in 2003.

Besides having headed two of the most important media organizations in the world, Isaacson is a prolific biographer and nonfiction writer. He is the author of the best-seller “Steve Jobs” in 2011, as well as “The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution,” “Einstein: His Life and Universe,” “Benjamin Franklin: An American Life” and “Kissinger: A Biography.” He also coauthored “The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made.”

His most recent work, “Leonardo da Vinci” (Simon & Schuster), released in October, offers new discoveries about the artist’s life and work, weaving a narrative that connects his art to his science. Isaacson plans to stress the importance of this kind of connection to Ole Miss graduates.

“I want to stress the importance of creativity and the need to connect the arts with the sciences, the humanities with engineering,” he said. “Also, I hope to celebrate the diverse backgrounds and interests of the student body and say why I believe that creativity comes from being in such an environment.”

Isaacson is also chair emeritus of Teach for America. From 2005 to ’07, he was vice chair of the Louisiana Recovery Authority, which oversaw the rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina.

President Barack Obama appointed him to serve as the chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which runs Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, and other international broadcasts of the United States. He held that post from 2009 to 2012.

He is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and serves on the board of United Airlines, Tulane University, the New Orleans City Planning Commission, the New Orleans Tricentennial Commission, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Society of American Historians, the Carnegie Institution for Science and My Brother’s Keeper Alliance. He is also an advisory partner at Perella Weinberg, a bank and financial firm based in New York.

Isaacson holds honorary degrees from Tufts University, Cooper Union, Franklin College in Switzerland, University of New Orleans, University of South Carolina, City University of New York (Hunter College), Pomona College, Lehigh University, Washington College and Duke University.

UM Provost Noel Wilkin said he is pleased someone with the experience and wisdom of Isaacson will address graduates on such an important day. 

“He is an accomplished journalist and author whose work has helped us to more fully know and appreciate icons in American and world history: icons such as Leonardo da Vinci, Steve Jobs, Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein and Henry Kissinger,” Wilkin said. “His success, and his work to outline the lives and successes of these individuals, will help all of us appreciate the roles that human effort and creativity play in great accomplishments.”

Accountancy Students Post Strong Showing at Regional Tax Competition

UM team takes second place in finals

Three graduate students from the UM Patterson School of Accountancy, (from left) Grayson Giles, Freda Sun and Hannah Farmer, won second place in the Southeastern Regional Tax Challenge Competition. Submitted photo

OXFORD, Miss. – Three graduate students from the University of Mississippi Patterson School of Accountancy recently won second place in the Southeastern Regional Tax Challenge Competition. 

The competition, which was hosted by the University of Alabama, included 19 teams, including teams from all Southeastern Conference schools. The team from Ole Miss – Hannah Farmer, Grayson Giles and Freda Sun – made it to the final round to compete against two teams from the University of Tennessee and one from the University of Missouri. 

J Shaw, associate professor of accountancy instruction, served as the team’s faculty adviser. 

“I am proud of these students,” Shaw said. “They worked very hard to research and understand the case and they did an excellent job of presenting their findings.

“I am grateful to have such high-quality students in the Patterson School of Accountancy. Hannah, Grayson and Sun are very smart and were impressive representatives of the University of Mississippi.” 

The students gave presentations about how to tackle complicated tax problems, and a panel of judges selected the winners. The team was excited to finish second in a very strong field, said Farmer, a master’s student in taxation from Tupelo. 

“The competition was a really great way for us to get more involved in tax research,” Farmer said. “While tax is considered a part of accounting, tax relates more to law, since the all tax law derives from the Internal Revenue code.

“The main point of the competition was being able to find the issue in the law, properly interpret the law in order to provide the best answer, then communicate this answer to the client.”

Giles, a master’s student in taxation from Madison, said the experience should serve the students well in their careers. 

“The competition was an excellent opportunity for us to gain real-world, practical experience,” Giles said. “Our success wouldn’t have been possible without the support from our adviser, J Shaw, and the Patterson School of Accountancy.

“It was an honor to be given the opportunity to compete and represent the School of Accountancy.”

Sun, a Master of Accountancy student from Chengdu, China, said the tax situation was open-ended and required a lot of research and understanding.

“It helped me build my critical thinking skills and analysis skills, as well,” Sun said. “I felt honored to represent Ole Miss at the competition, especially when the judge announced that we won second place and participants from other schools came to say congratulations to us.”

Robust Approach to Campus Safety Places UM in National Rankings

Ole Miss comes in second among SEC universities

The University of Mississippi Police Department has several programs in place that have helped the university become one of the nation’s safest campuses, according to the National Council for Home Safety and Security. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi, which has a mobile app, training and other programs aimed at preventing crime, has been named one of the nation’s safest college campuses.

The National Council for Home Safety and Security ranked Ole Miss, which has an enrollment of more than 23,000, No. 64 nationally among public universities. UM placed second on the list among Southeastern Conference schools, trailing only Texas A&M University.

The safest campus on the list is Brigham Young University-Idaho in Rexburg, Idaho. The only other Magnolia State campus on the list is Mississippi State University, which comes in at No. 121 among public universities.

UM ranks among the top 28 percent of college campuses on the list of 243 public and private higher education institutions with enrollments of more than 10,000.

“The men and women of the University Police Department are committed to providing the best safety services possible,” said Ray Hawkins, assistant university police chief. “We have a group of creative, proactive problem-solvers who take pride in serving this campus community.

“They are a well-rounded group who are committed to patrolling the campus, conducting crime prevention programs and thoroughly investigating crimes when they occur.”

Hawkins said personal safety resources such as the LiveSafe app, a mobile safety communications platform for students, faculty and staff; the “Deny, Apply, Amplify” or “DA2” personal safety program; as well Rebel Patrol safe walk program and training to prepare for an active shooter incident for all incoming freshmen, have helped. He also notes that UPD undertakes customized security assessments ahead of most campus events and the university has installed security cameras throughout campus.

The National Council for Home Safety and Security used the most recent data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reporting and the U.S. Department of Education’s Campus Safety Security Survey to determine where schools ranked.

The highest-ranked campuses boast low total campus and local area crime. University campuses with a significant lack of reported data were excluded, as well as all nonaccredited universities offering four-year degrees.

The NCHSS is a trade association made up of home security professionals across the United States. It advocates for safe communities and home safety with a strong focus on community involvement.

Jeff Kellum, UPD’s crime prevention coordinator, said rankings are a good place to start when evaluating a campus’ security. He also advises seeking out answers from the institutions about how the campus cultivates a culture of safety, how it communicates with students during an emergency, whether police are stationed on campus and who investigates allegations of sexual assault and harassment.

He also suggests asking about prevention programs in place to educate students.

The UPD program with the most participation is the active shooter response training, but UPD’s personal safety classes have seen the largest growth, Kellum said. Several semesters ago, he began working with student leaders to develop classes that address the specific needs of the campus community.

The end product is the DA2 class, a personal safety program that promotes campus risk-reduction strategies while building recognition and response skills through weekly classes. UPD officers and student instructors give training on developing justified responses to multiple threat levels.

UPD has students who serve as lead instructors for its weekly classes, and more are training to become assistant instructors.

“We developed an instructor manual so we can continue to train student instructors for the future,” Kellum said. “Student leaders have made a huge impact on participation. In the past, we would average 24-30 participants annually. We now train 40-45 weekly.”

Brandi Hephner LaBanc, UM vice chancellor for student affairs, said she’s pleased that UPD officers and the campus community are receiving recognition for efforts to keep students safe.

“I am extremely proud of the service and 24/7 commitment provided by the men and women of UPD to keeping faculty, staff and students safe,” Hephner LaBanc said. “I am most impressed with their responsiveness and level of care for every person they serve.

“I am proud to work with UPD and will continue to advocate for ways to keep our campus safe.”

Employee Health Center Adds Dr. Hubert Spears as Staff Physician

New doctor brings surgical skills to boost patient services

Dr. Hubert Spears

OXFORD, Miss. – Dr. Hubert Spears has joined the physician staff of the University of Mississippi Employee Health Center, bringing more than 30 years of medical experience, new areas of expertise and his “careful and kind” approach to serving patients.

Spears, a native of Grenada who earned his M.D. from UM in 1980, has a surgical background, which adds to the services offered at the health center for employees. He joins Dr. Jean Gispen at the health center, which gives the center two doctors to see patients. Spears, who joined the staff in January, said he’s excited to be on campus. 

“I’m an Ole Miss grad and I’ve always thought the Ole Miss campus is one of the best places in the world,” Spears said. “I’m enjoying being here.”

He said he’s also looking forward to working with and learning from a doctor the caliber of Gispen, who has been a staff physician at the health center since 2005.

Before coming to the Oxford campus, Spears was a general surgeon with the UM Medical Center at Grenada, and he also had a general surgery practice in Grenada. Before he moved there, he practiced general surgery in Oxford for more than 20 years.

“A good portion of my practice has always been surgery,” Spears said. “I won’t be doing much surgery here, but I can do some things that Dr. Gispen hasn’t been doing, little minor procedures like removing skin cancers, ingrown toenails, and things like that will be beneficial.”

The employee health center, part of the V.B. Harrison Health Center on Rebel Drive, offers care for acute medical problems, general wellness examinations, laboratory testing, radiology services, immunizations and, now, some light surgical services. 

Gispen said she’s happy to have Spears at the center.

“Because Dr. Spears has surgical training, he can do skin biopsies, incise and drain abscesses, and sew lacerations,” Gispen said. “This broadens the scope of what Employee Health Services can offer, as I do not biopsy skin lesions or sew. He also has excellent skills in family practice and internal medicine, learned from years of pre-op and post-op care of his surgical patients.

“He is a careful and kind physician.”

Having a second doctor has improved patient service, said Dr. Travis Yates, director of the University Health Services. 

“I am very pleased to have Dr. Spears on board in Employee Health, as he offers an additional source of compassionate and competent care that our faculty and staff have become accustomed to,” Yates said. “He has already had an impact in reducing the number of delayed appointments as compared to last fall, prior to his arrival.”

Yates expects Spears to be an asset to the health center for years to come. 

“I anticipate that our staff and faculty will develop an appreciation for his care and expertise,” Yates said. “I feel fortunate to have attracted a physician with his experience to our staff and look forward to enjoying a long term relationship with him.”

Fulbright Scholarship Program Director Visits UM

Goal is to raise awareness of opportunities for study and research abroad, encourage nominations

Daniel Kramer, director of the Fulbright Scholarship program, visits UM Thursday. Submitted photo

OXFORD, Miss. – Daniel Kramer, director of the Fulbright Scholarship program, will visit the University of Mississippi on Thursday (March 1) to speak with students and faculty members. 

Kramer will meet with students and faculty members as part of an overall effort by UM to raise awareness about scholarship opportunities through Fulbright and also other programs. The visit will also help students and faculty, who nominate applicants, learn more about what is expected to be accepted into the program. 

A workshop for potential Fulbright Student Program applicants is set for 3-4:30 p.m. at the Honors College, Room 331.

Oliver Dinius, director of the Croft Institute for International Studies, has been working to bring Kramer to campus. Administrators want more Croft students to apply for Fulbright scholarships, he said. 

“Dr. Kramer’s visit is a unique opportunity for our students to learn directly from someone overseeing the selection process what makes for a strong application,” Dinius said. “This is also an opportunity for faculty and administrators to learn more about how the Fulbright program can help us to strengthen the University of Mississippi’s international profile more generally.”

The Fulbright program is one of the most prestigious and generous aid programs available to students and professionals for an international exchange. The scholarship is named for the late Arkansas U.S. Sen. J. William Fulbright, who served more than 30 years in Washington. 

Fulbright earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Arkansas in 1925 and went on to Oxford University, where he earned a master’s degree. He was profoundly affected by the experience of learning overseas. In the U.S. Senate, he sponsored the legislation that created the Fulbright program in 1946.

The U.S. government supports the program, which also has partnerships with foreign governments to help sponsor U.S. and foreign participants for exchanges. They come from sciences, business, academe, public service, government and the arts. The goal is for them to continue to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and those of other countries. 

To date, there have been more than 250,000 Fulbright students, scholars and teachers. 

Each year, 15-20 Ole Miss students submit grant applications to conduct research, teach English or pursue graduate degrees supported by the Fulbright US Student program, said Tim Dolan, director of the Office of National Scholarship Advisement in the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College

“We feel like we have many more qualified students who simply don’t yet know about the Fulbright and we’d like to encourage them to apply,” Dolan said. “Dr. Kramer will provide valuable insight into the mission of the Fulbright and how students can create competitive applications.

“Current students who are Fulbright semifinalists will be on hand to talk about the process they went through in choosing a grant and putting together their applications. We hope to build enthusiasm among University of Mississippi students so that more will take advantage of the opportunity to go abroad and promote peace and mutual understanding between people with different cultural traditions.”

University to Unveil History and Context Plaques March 2

Six markers offer history and insight into campus sites

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi will hold a ceremony Friday (March 2) to unveil six history and context plaques, which contain wording recommended by the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on History and Context following months of study and feedback from hundreds of stakeholders.

The ceremony begins at 11 a.m. at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts. Plaques will be unveiled for Barnard Observatory, Lamar Hall, Longstreet Hall and George Hall; another recognizing the university’s enslaved laborers in the construction of Barnard Observatory, the Old Chapel (now Croft), the Lyceum and the Hilgard Cut; and a plaque for the stained-glass Tiffany windows in Ventress Hall recognizing the University Greys, a company of primarily UM students during the Civil War that suffered 100 percent casualties – killed, wounded or captured.

The ceremony will include:

  • Welcome remarks by Chancellor Jeffrey S. Vitter
  • Keynote address by John R. Neff, associate professor of history and director, Center for Civil War Research
  • Introduction of plaque readings by Katrina Caldwell, vice chancellor for diversity and community engagement
  • Reading of the plaques by student ambassadors
  • Closing remarks by Alice M. Clark, interim vice chancellor for university relations
  • A reception will be held in the lobby following the ceremony. Shuttles from the Ford Center to the plaque sites will be available after the ceremony. Student docents and a member of the CACHC will be located at each plaque.

Shuttles from the Ford Center to the plaque sites will be available after the ceremony.

Logistics and planning for the March 2 event are being led by a committee of members of the Oxford campus community:

  • Katrina Caldwell, co-chair, vice chancellor for diversity and community engagement
  • Alice Clark, co-chair, interim vice chancellor for university relations
  • Don Cole, assistant provost and associate professor of mathematics
  • Jennifer Ford, head of archives and special collections and professor, J.D. Williams Library
  • Jeff Jackson, associate professor of sociology
  • Dion Kevin III, Associated Student Body president
  • Amy Lewis, external affairs director, University Relations
  • John Neff, associate professor of history
  • Ethel Young Scurlock, associate professor of English and African American studies and senior fellow of Luckyday Residential College
  • Deetra Wiley, applications analyst and business communications specialist, Office of Information Technology, and marketing coordinator for UM Staff Council

Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter established the CACHC in the summer of 2016 to address Recommendation 5 of the university’s 2014 Action Plan, which urged the university to “offer more history, putting the past into context” and to do so “without attempts to erase history, even some difficult history.” The university’s contextualization efforts were an academically- and fact-focused process.

The CACHC’s full recommendations, its final report, and renderings and map locations of the plaques can be found here.