Former Chancellor to Discuss New Memoir

'Thacker Mountain Radio Hour' to host Robert Khayat lecture event

Chancellor Emeritus Robert Khayat (center) spends time with Ole Miss Women’s Council for Philanthropy members Karen Moore (left) and Mary Donnelly Haskell. Khayat is set to discuss his new book, ’60: A Year of Sports, Race & Politics,’ on ‘Thacker Mountain Radio Hour’ at 6 p.m. Thursday (Nov. 18) as part of the new Robert C. Khayat Lecture Series, which was founded this year by the OMWC. Photo by Bill Dabney/UM Foundation

OXFORD, Miss. – Robert Khayat, chancellor emeritus of the University of Mississippi, discusses his new memoir, “60: A Year of Sports, Race & Politics,” at 6 p.m. Thursday (Nov. 18) at The Lyric in Oxford.

Khayat will be the featured author at the fall season finale of the “Thacker Mountain Radio Hour.” The former chancellor’s appearance is also part of the Robert C. Khayat Lecture Series.

The lecture series, founded earlier this year by the Ole Miss Women’s Council for Philanthropy, brings speakers to UM and Oxford who will inspire students and other audience members through thought-provoking topics and conversations.

“The Thacker crew is very excited about our season finale at The Lyric on Thursday,” said Jim Dees, host of the “Thacker Mountain Radio Hour.” “We’re particularly honored to have Robert Khayat as our literary guest. I can’t think of a better person to help us wrap up what has been a very community-oriented year.

“Although Thursday marks the final live radio performance of the year, the Thacker crew will return to The Lyric on Friday, Dec. 3, for our annual holiday membership fundraiser. Live radio performances resume Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022.”

Ole Miss chancellor from 1995 to 2009, Khayat released his latest memoir, “60: A Year of Sports, Race & Politics,” in September. In his book, published by Nautilus Publishing Co. in Oxford, Khayat chronicles 1960, a turbulent year nationally and locally for the then-22-year-old. 

A remarkable academic student and student-athlete, Khayat played baseball and football for the Rebels, and later that year, he was playing in the NFL. The year marked several dramatic developments in the world of politics with the election of John F. Kennedy as president as well as in the civil rights movement within the state and across the nation.

Khayat’s first memoir, “The Education of a Lifetime,” was published to national acclaim in 2013 and named as a “Best-Selling Education Book” by The New York Times.

Besides Khayat, this edition of “Thacker Mountain Radio Hour” will welcome classical musician Jiwon Lee and indie-rockers Olympic Music. Music will also be provided by Thacker Mountain’s house band, The Yalobushwhackers.

Born in Daejeon, South Korea, Lee arrived in Oxford as an infant in the 1990s, moved back to South Korea in 2000 and returned to attend Oxford High School and Ole Miss.

Lee was a drum major for the Ole Miss “Pride of the South” marching band, principal flutist of the UM Wind Ensemble and ensemble violinist for the local symphony orchestra. She graduated in 2018 and was named to the university’s student Hall of Fame. She is assistant band director at Homewood High School in Homewood, Alabama.

Olympic Music is the recording project of Oxford-based singer, writer and musician Andy Guinn. The newest album, “Olympic Music,” includes the single “Dream for a Minute.”

The Khayat Lecture Series, an initiative named in honor of the former UM leader, most recently featured a family discussion about alcohol and drug misuse and recovery and Grammy Award-winning music. That lecture series event marked the national launch of the book “Dear William” by David Magee and included an acoustic performance by Charles Kelley, of the popular trio Lady A.

The Women’s Council, described as one of the most innovative scholarship programs in America, provides significant guidance and training in leadership skills, exceptional life and career development, meaningful personal growth through cultural and travel opportunities, and beneficial alumni networking throughout the students’ tenure at the university and beyond.

The Robert C. Khayat Lecture Series is part of the Women’s Council’s Global Leadership Circle, an international studies and internship initiative.

Those who want to support the series will be able to buy tickets to one lecture, a series of related speakers and/or topics or the whole season of lectures. Additionally, the lecture series can be supported by sponsorships or financial pledges to the program.

For more information or to support the Robert C. Khayat Lecture Series and/or the Global Leadership Circle, contact Suzanne Helveston, development associate for the OMWC, at or 662-915-2956.

Thacker Mountain Radio, a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization, hosts a weekly live radio show broadcast online and on-air at 6 p.m. Thursdays in the fall and spring on WUMS-University of Mississippi and repeated on Mississippi Public Broadcasting at 7 p.m. Saturdays. Featuring author readings and musical performances, the show will celebrate its 25th anniversary next year.