Communications Specialist Designs Staff Appreciation Week T-shirt

Lyceum is focus of this year's design

This year’s Staff Appreciation Week T-shirt depicts the Lyceum and was designed by MacKenzie Ross, a communications specialist in the School of Journalism and New Media. Submitted photo

OXFORD, Miss. – Think of the University of Mississippi and you may envision the soaring columns fronting the historic Lyceum, an abundance of trees and, most importantly, the people.

MacKenzie Ross infused those iconic symbols into the design of the 2023 Staff Appreciation T-shirt. The communications specialist in the School of Journalism and New Media said she wanted to create a design that staff members would be proud to wear.

“It’s a little different, even though it’s still university branding,” Ross said. “I wanted something that really pops off the shirt and that people would want to wear.”

Ross, who has been working for the university as a graphic designer and communications specialist since 2022 after graduating from the journalism school, said she also wanted to use her art to give back to the university’s staff.

“Staff doesn’t always get the credit it deserves,” Ross said. “Staff are the ones who bring it all together, and the university wouldn’t be the same without them. I thought it would be really cool to give back in this way.”

Ross’s design stood out among those submitted, said Elisabeth Alexander, program manager for the School of Business Administration and Staff Council member. The council encouraged all staff to submit T-shirt designs earlier this year as a part of the annual design competition.

MacKenzie Ross

“We were looking for something that really encompassed the whole university,” Alexander said. “We wanted something simple but concise. We thought that this really played on the idea of old Oxford, and the Lyceum is the all-encompassing symbol of the university.”

While also making the T-shirt personal, Alexander said holding a contest design is a way for the university to recognize the expertise and strength of staff members.

“There is some real talent in this university,” Alexander said. “There are so many people who work at this university who are not only dedicated, but so talented. We want to highlight those talents.”