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Green Week Activities Include Variety of Events to Educate and Motivate Participants

Green Week logoOXFORD,
Miss. – A panel discussion on climate change, the annual WorldFest
celebration and a keynote address by Toyota’s chief environmental
officer are among the highlights of Green Week, hosted next week by the
University of Mississippi and city of Oxford.

Green Week 2009,
which begins Monday (April 20), includes a series of free lectures,
forums, interactive activities and displays to educate participants
about environmental sustainability and conservation efforts. Most of
the events are set for the Student Union Plaza and Grove, but several
displays are planned for the Oxford Square near City Hall. All
activities are free and open to the public.

“As a community, we
are committed to being good stewards of the Earth,” UM Chancellor
Robert Khayat said. “It is important that the educational experience of
our students includes a keen awareness of the responsibilities of each
of us to protect, preserve and enhance our world.”

Likewise, the
city is committed to sustainability efforts and is working with UM
officials to maximize the impact of the week’s activities, Mayor
Richard Howorth said.

Read the story …

UM, Oxford Partner for ‘Green Week’ Spotlighting Environmental Awareness and Action

Miss. – The University of Mississippi and city of Oxford are partnering
for a week of activities later this month to raise environmental
awareness throughout the community.

Green Week 2009, set for
April 20-24, includes a series of free lectures, forums, interactive
activities and displays to educate participants about environmental
sustainability and conservation efforts. Everyone will be challenged to
get involved in local recycling, energy conservation and other
sustainability efforts, said Jim Morrison, UM director of strategic
planning and campus sustainability coordinator.

Read the story …

Overby Events this Week Include Brokaw, Barbour, Ford

Discussions to provide perspective, reactions to presidential campaigns

The Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics at the University of Mississippi will host notables figures in national politics and journalism to discuss the 2016 presidential race.

The Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics at the University of Mississippi will host notable figures in national politics and journalism to discuss the 2016 presidential race.

OXFORD, Miss. – The Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics at the University of Mississippi will host Tom Brokaw, former Gov. Haley Barbour and a Mississippian who ran Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, among other notables, for spirited political reactions to Monday’s presidential debate.

At 6 p.m. Tuesday (Sept. 27) at the Overby Center, Stuart Stevens, who managed Romney’s presidential campaign, hosts “A Critical Eye on the Campaign.” Tom Brokaw, longtime NBC correspondent and former “NBC Nightly News” anchor; Andy Lack, president of NBC News; and political notables Barbour and Harold Ford Jr., former Democratic congressman from Memphis, will participate in a discussion titled “Election Countdown” at 6 p.m. Friday (Sept. 30) at Nutt Auditorium.

The two events are part of the Overby Center’s fall series lineup. Overby fellow Curtis Wilkie notes this week’s panels are perfectly timed since the first presidential debate of 2016 is set for 8 p.m. Monday at Hofstra University.

“This may be the best lineup of programs we’ve had in the 10-year history of the Overby Center,” Wilkie said. “Coming on the same week as the first presidential debate, we hope the programs will bring some of the political drama back to Oxford that we enjoyed in 2008 when Ole Miss hosted the first presidential debate.”

Stevens, a Jackson native, has been a force in GOP politics for decades. In addition to leading Romney’s 2012 efforts, he’s managed senate and gubernatorial campaigns and was involved in President George W. Bush’s campaign. He’s offered sometimes biting commentary on Republican nominee Donald Trump’s candidacy in some of his frequent national TV appearances.

Two years ago, “The Last Season,” Stevens’ affectionate book about attending Ole Miss football games with his aging father, was released. Stevens has released a new novel about a political insider; “The Innocent Have Nothing to Fear” is available in bookstores.

Lack and Brokaw are no strangers to Ole Miss. Lack, who has ancestors from Greenville, is one of the founders of Mississippi Today, an online news source launched earlier this year that is also cosponsor of the event. He is a strong supporter of UM’s Meek School of Journalism and New Media.

Brokaw, one of the best-known faces on TV, was UM’s 2016 Commencement speaker. He first came to Ole Miss 16 years ago – for a friend’s birthday party in connection with an Ole Miss game – and he and members of his family have returned repeatedly over the years.

Barbour, a two-term governor of Mississippi, remains one of the dominant figures on the national GOP scene. Before winning office in 2003, he served as national chairman of the party and worked in President Ronald Reagan’s White House. He is a lobbyist in Washington and Jackson.

Ford, a member of the most prominent Democratic family in Memphis, served five terms in Congress. Though he works on Wall Street, Ford – like Barbour – still holds major clout in his party and often appears as a guest commentator on national TV programs.

The fall series began Sept. 16 with an appearance by U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. Other events on the schedule will feature discussions on the civil rights movement, UM students who worked on projects in Africa and also among Mississippi’s Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes, and other topics.

Here’s a rundown of the remaining Overby fall series events:

– Oct. 11, 6 p.m. – “Mississippi Freelance” an irreverent monthly that poked fun at Mississippi politicians and exposed many irregularities 50 years ago, will be fondly remembered by its founders, Lew Powell and Ed Williams, Ole Miss graduates who went on to careers at the Charlotte Observer.

– Oct. 14, 9 a.m. – “The Embassy,” a new book about earlier turmoil in Liberia, will be discussed by its author, Dante Paradiso, an American Foreign Service officer posted to its capital, Monrovia, at the time.

– Oct. 19, 8 p.m. – “The Last Debate” will be shown on the Overby Center screen, to be followed by a public discussion.

– Oct. 27, 2:30 p.m. – “Mississippi Indians” will be discussed by Overby fellow Bill Rose and students on his team in the latest in-depth reporting assignment, an annual course that has produced a series of prize-winning magazines.

– Nov. 1, 6 p.m. – “The March Against Fear,” James Meredith’s idea that led to an assassination attempt on him and a fractious finish by competing civil rights leaders in 1966, will be recalled on its 50th anniversary by Aram Goudsouzian, author of “Down to the Crossroads” a book about the march, UM political science professor Marvin King, Overby and Wilkie.

– Nov. 2, 6 p.m. – “Ole Miss in Africa” will feature UM journalism students who traveled earlier this year to Zimbabwe and Namibia on a photo expedition and study of wildlife management.

– Nov. 15, 6 p.m. – “The Outcome” of the 2016 presidential campaign – and its impact on the future of the two major parties – will be the subject for a final discussion.

Ole Miss Market Days Start This Week

Green Fund project brings fresh produce, local foods to campus

Leonard Brown, owner of Brown's Farm helps Ole Miss student Katie Flannigan select a cactus plant at the Food Day Festival sponsored by the Office of sustainability. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

Leonard Brown, owner of Brown’s Farm, helps Ole Miss student Katie Flannigan select a cactus plant at the Food Day festival sponsored by the Office of Sustainability. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

Fresh produce and other local goods will be available for purchase during Ole Miss Market Days, a series of events scheduled throughout the fall semester at the University of Mississippi.

The markets, set for Aug. 25, Sept. 8 and Oct. 6, will take place from noon to 3:30 p.m. on the Student Union plaza.

Funded by the UM Green Fund, the project was proposed by senior civil engineering student Sarah O’Brien.

“Farmers’ markets are such a great way for people to buy locally grown food,” O’Brien said. “There are so many benefits from eating local. It’s a chance for the Ole Miss community to get a unique personal interaction with the farmers that grow their food.”

Ole Miss Market Days will feature local farmers selling a variety of produce, as well as vendors offering local honey, fresh bread and Gulf seafood. The October market coincides with the university’s annual Food Day festival.

The UM Green Fund committee selected the project because of its positive potential contribution to campus sustainability.

“As a member of the Green Fund committee, I’ve been asked several times about a campus farmers’ market by my peers who have trouble making it to the community markets,” said Grace Sullivan, a senior social work major from Madison who served on the Green Fund last year as the Associated Student Body sustainability representative.

“Since we have started following up with this proposal, it has been exciting to answer my peers with an enthusiastic, ‘Yes, it’s in the works!'”

In O’Brien’s Green Fund proposal, she noted an environmental, health and economic case for supporting farmers’ markets. The distribution and transportation of conventionally grown food is responsible for five to 17 times more carbon dioxide emissions than local or regionally produced food, according to the C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems.

Farmers’ markets have been proven to contribute positively to the economy, O’Brien said, citing a 2009 survey conducted by the Mississippi State University Department of Agricultural Economics and the National Agricultural Marketing Association. The national survey indicated that communities that hosted farmers’ markets saw a 70 percent increase in sales, a 66 percent increase in employment and a 29 percent increase in wages.

Ole Miss Market Days are open to all members of the Oxford and UM community. For more information, visit

UM Restaurants Going Green

Rebel Market, Catering first in state to achieve GRA certification; Lenoir Dining also in process

UM students sample menu in the Rebel Market restaurant on campus.Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Communications

UM students sample the offerings in the Rebel Market restaurant on campus. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – A restaurant and a catering service at the University of Mississippi are the only Certified Green restaurants in the state of Mississippi.

Catering at UM and Rebel Market, both managed by Aramark, began the process last March and achieved Level 1 Certification from the Green Restaurant Association in mid-June.

“It has been a pleasure working together to help the University of Mississippi to this point,” said Kim Stama, GRA restaurant sustainability consultant. “Rebel Market completed 42 steps and 119.5 GreenPoints. Catering at the University of Mississippi completed 28 steps and 81.61 GreenPoints.”

An Aramark official described the criteria for certification.

“The Green Restaurant Association measures levels in environmental categories such as disposables, energy conservation, furnishing and building design, food and menu items, chemicals and pollution, waste and water conservation,” said Valerie Schultz, residential food service director for Aramark.

“The in-depth process consisted of communication with Ole Miss Dining vendors and an examination of menu options. Additionally, GRA conducted a comprehensive walkthrough of the building to determine water flow, automatic lighting and various types of light bulbs in use, energy efficiencies of all equipment, proximity to various modes of transportation and reusable takeout options.

“The biggest change will be the increase of vegetarian and vegan options on the menus at the Rebel Market,” Schultz said. “The facilities will also undergo annual inspections to renew GRA certification and conduct education training to its staff.

“We will continue to research and implement various changes to move to a 2 Star Certified Green Restaurant,” she said. “Additionally, we will move toward reducing our chemical footprint by implementing eco-friendly cleaning products. Our goal is to bring awareness of our sustainability efforts to our customers and the Oxford-University community.”

Meanwhile, the Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management’s Lenoir Dining restaurant has received funding from the UM Green Fund to help it also gain GRA certification.

The project, which is a collaboration between the department, the Green Fund, Facilities Management and the Office of Sustainability, involves the installation of new toilets, light fixtures, fans and other items that are energy efficient and aid in water conservation. Water conservation, composting and recycling also will be implemented at the facility.

“We have Dr. James Taylor, associate professor in NHM, to thank for this achievement,” said David Holben, chair and professor of nutrition and hospitality management. “He helped with the process of getting this funding from the Green Fund.”

Lenoir Dining is a nonprofit, educational operation and offers UM students hands-on experiences in all facets of restaurant operations. Students rotate to various positions within the operation such as server, cook and manager. The restaurant is open in fall, spring and summer sessions, offering weekly dining options and using diverse, international recipes.

The UM Green Fund provides funding for the implementation of sustainable projects, programs and policies on the UM campus. Past projects include the installation of hydration stations and the establishment of the UM composting program. Any UM student, or faculty or staff member can propose a project.

“After the Green Fund Committee votes to fund a project, Office of Sustainability staff act as liaisons to facilitate the implementation of this project, so we are excited to be involved throughout the process,” said Lindsey Abernathy, project manager in the Office of Sustainability and chair of the UM Green Fund Committee.

As part of the certification-seeking process, the Office of Sustainability is also expanding its composting program to include Lenoir Dining.

“This will help reduce Lenoir Dining’s landfill waste and will provide yet another educational opportunity to the students who are collecting the compostable materials in the kitchen,” Abernathy said. “Many nutrition and hospitality management students work in Lenoir Dining as part of their required course work. Being trained in a facility that is conscious of sustainable practices and why they are important will produce graduates who can take this knowledge and firsthand experience to their new workplaces and implement it there.”


Staff Appreciation Week Offers a Variety of Fun Events

Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

The University of Mississippi Staff Council will celebrate Ole Miss staff members May 16-20 with Staff Appreciation Week.

The weeklong celebration will include learning opportunities, fun and active events and social gatherings. Staff members are also invited to access the Turner Center facilities free of charge during the entire week, just by showing a staff ID card.

Here is a full schedule of events:


“Plants that Work Well in Your Yard” – 10-11 a.m., Student Union, Room 404. Jeff McManus, director of Landscape Services, will present a fun and informative lecture on home landscaping, followed by a Q&A session.

Kick Off to a Healthy Staff Appreciation Week – 11 a.m.-noon, Manning Center. RebelWell will host light yoga in the Manning Center. Staff will exercise with some members of the Ole Miss athletics staff.

Maintenance Monday 4-5 p.m., Ole Miss Bike Shop. The UM bike mechanic will teach participants how to keep their bikes in working order to improve safety, comfort and speed. To register for the workshop, email

Aqua Aerobics 5:15-6:15 p.m., Turner Center pool. Staff members are invited to bring their swimsuits for this fun, high-resistance workout. This cardio workout, in deep or shallow water, will support the body to reduce the risk of muscle and joint injury.



Mississippi Blood Services Blood Drive 9 a.m.-4 p.m., the Circle. Mississippi Blood Services will have their coach bus in the Circle throughout the day for anyone that wants to give life and donate blood. All donors get a T-shirt and great prizes and giveaways will be available. To donate, bring a form of identification.

Learn First Aid and CPR 10-11 a.m., Yerby Center Conference Room. Learn the basics of first aid and CPR through a demonstration of safety procedures.

Zumba 4-5 p.m., Grove Stage (Rain location: Student Union, Room 405). Get in your exercise while dancing by participating in this group fitness event in the Grove. All you need is workout clothes and tennis shoes to join in on one of the most popular workout routines.

Aqua Aerobics 5:15-6:15 p.m., Turner Center pool. Come back to the Turner Center for round two of aqua aerobics to get some more cardio in before the end of the day.



Mississippi Blood Services Blood Drive 9 a.m.-4 p.m., the Circle. Mississippi Blood Services will be back for a second day, for anyone wanting to donate blood.

Music and Meditation – 10-11 a.m., Paris-Yates Chapel. Join the Staff Council for “The UM Family: A Celebration of Togetherness” that will include inspirational messages and music from talented staff members.

Belly Dancing 2-3 p.m., Student Union, Room 405. Learn a fun and quick choreographed belly dance with fellow staff members to stay active and increase confidence. Staff members will learn foundational moves of the Middle Eastern dance, including shimmies, hip drops, turns and traveling movements. You’ll laugh and sweat a lot!



Plant Swap 10-11:30 a.m., Student Union porch (Rain location: Union Lobby). Bring a plant (or three) and swap them with friends to add variety to homes with duplicate plants. To participate, make sure the plants you wish to swap are rooted and have a card with the common name and planting directions. This year, seeds can also be swapped by placing them in a labeled envelope or closed plastic bag for exchange.

Yoga and Yogurt 12:30-1:30 p.m., Student Union, Room 404. At this RebelWell event, a fitness instructor will teach participants “desk yoga,” which will help refresh you throughout the workday for those short on time. This 20-minute yoga instruction session will be followed by a complimentary yogurt retreat.

Aqua Aerobics 5:15-6:15 p.m., Turner Center pool. Join the Staff Council once again for core, arm and leg exercises at the Turner Center.



Staff Recognition Awards Ceremony 9 a.m., Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts. Chancellor Jeff Vitter, Director of Admissions Whitman Smith and the Staff Council honor employees who have served the university from five years to 47 years, as well as recognizing outstanding staff members. Door prizes will be awarded at the conclusion, but you must be present to win!

Staff Lunch 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Rebel Market. Join the Staff Council for lunch at the Rebel Market, inside Paul B. Johnson Commons.

Basketball Tournament 1-3:30 p.m., Turner Center. A three-on-three basketball tournament for staff members. To register, contact Sovent Taylor at by Wednesday (May 18).

Kickball 1-3:30 p.m., Intramural Fields. Throwback to your childhood with an exciting game of kickball. There will be two teams, with 10 members per team, but the winner will have all the bragging rights. Deadline to register is Tuesday (May 10). Email the registration form to

Karaoke 1-3:30 p.m., Student Union Lobby. Show off your talents and mingle with fellow staff members by belting out those tunes! A wide variety of musical selections is available, so don’t be shy. Prizes will also be awarded.

Bingo 1-3:30 p.m., Student Union Food Court. Everyone will receive one card for each unwrapped white elephant gift you bring, which is something you have at home that’s usable, but that you no longer need or want. Additional bingo cards can be purchased for $1, which proceeds benefitting the Children of Staff Scholarship Fund. For a bonus, bring your extra dollars for the Jar of Dollars, where each dollar you put in buys a chance to win all the money in the jar! This is optional, but someone has to win and it might be you!

Field Day 1-3:30 p.m., Intramural Fields and the Circle. Remember how great field day was in grade school? Relive those days with this event, hosted by RebelWell. Teams of five will compete in classic games such as the three-legged race, tug of war and a trike race. Register to compete by Wednesday (May 18).

University Observes National Volunteer Week

Dean of Students office partners with various organizations for week of service and reflection

National Volunteer Week, starting April 10 and continuing through April 16, is a chance for UM to give back to the community.

National Volunteer Week, set for April 10-16, is a chance for Ole Miss to give back to the community.

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi will celebrate National Volunteer Week with a slate of activities beginning Sunday (April 10).

The UM Office of the Dean of Students and Volunteer Services has teamed up with organizations such as Volunteer Oxford, the McLean Institute for Public Service and Community Engagement, the Lafayette County Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, and AmeriCorps VISTA to create a week of volunteer opportunities and recognition.

National Volunteer Week is an initiative established by Points of Light in 1974 and is about inspiring, recognizing and encouraging people to seek out imaginative ways to engage with their communities through service.

“This is a week full of diverse service opportunities, so that everyone on campus and in the L-O-U community can get involved,” said Kacey Schaum, UM assistant dean of students for leadership and involvement.

The week kicks off Sunday with the Sardis Lake Improvement Project, slated for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Planned by Volunteer Oxford in coordination with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, this volunteer opportunity focuses on the maintenance of equipment and landscaping in the Hurricane Landing area.

Participants can learn more about national service Monday (April 11) at the AmeriCorps Day Service Fair and Panel. Coordinated by local AmeriCorps programs UM College Corps and the North Mississippi VISTA Project, the AmeriCorps Day Service Fair will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Ole Miss Student Union, with more than a dozen organizations available to answer questions about serving the community and country with AmeriCorps.

The AmeriCorps Panel is set for 6 to 8 p.m. in Bryant Hall, Room 209, and will include representatives from College Corps, AmeriCorps VISTA, City Year and Teach for America.

“We’re very excited to bring such a wide variety of AmeriCorps programs and opportunities to the Service Fair,” said Sylvia Stewart, North Mississippi VISTA Project leader. “We are also very happy to be having Dr. Melissa Bass, assistant professor of public policy leadership, as a speaker for the AmeriCorps Panel, as Dr. Bass has written a book on the politics of national service.”

Tuesday (April 12) is a day to “Find Your Fit.” Visit or to locate the perfect volunteer opportunity or service organization for you.

On Wednesday and Thursday, Volunteer Week will turn toward recognizing community members and students who have gone above and beyond in their service. The UM Volunteer Recognition Luncheon on Wednesday (April 13) will celebrate the university’s outstanding student volunteers.

On Thursday (April 14), Lafayette County RSVP and Volunteer Oxford will host the Nonprofit Leader Recognition, a breakfast at the Oxford Activity Center. This invitation-only event will allow time to recognize the L-O-U community’s nonprofit leaders and volunteers.

Go Green on Friday (April 15) and volunteer to help make Ole Miss more sustainable. The UM Garden Workday will involve tending and harvesting the university’s garden, with the harvested crops going to the UM Food Bank, or getting your hands dirty with the Compost Sift-a-thon. Also, Students for a Green Campus need help picking up litter from their adopted highway to recycle and throw away.

“I am thrilled National Volunteer Week has dedicated an entire day for projects centered around sustainability,” said Ellen Olack, VISTA worker with the Office of Sustainability. “This is a great opportunity for students to have hands on experience with ongoing programs on campus since we’re always looking for volunteers.”

To wrap up on Saturday (April 16), volunteers can help with a school supply drive benefitting Youth Opportunities Unlimited Inc. Donated school supplies will help students in Quitman County, ensuring that they have the tools and resources needed to succeed. The drive is set for 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Oxford Walmart.

For more information on UM Volunteer Week, contact Kacey Schaum at or Sarah Ball at

Kick Off Thanksgiving Week with ‘Sorts-Giving’

Faculty and staff volunteers needed to sort game day recycling Nov. 23-24

The "Sorts-Giving" event will take place from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 23 and Tuesday, Nov. 24 at the Oxford Recycling Center.

The ‘Sorts-Giving’ event will take place Nov. 23-24 at the Oxford Recycling Center.

OXFORD, Miss. – With Thanksgiving break approaching, the Office of Sustainability is looking for faculty and staff volunteers to sort recyclables collected from the Ole Miss-LSU football game as part of the Green Grove Initiative.

Dubbed “Sorts-Giving,” the event is set for 1-3 p.m. Nov. 23 and 24 at the Oxford Recycling Center. Volunteers will sort recycling while playing a specialized sorting bingo game for chances to win prizes. All volunteers get a free T-shirt by signing up here.

“Students show leadership on this initiative all season long,” said Ian Banner, UM architect and director of sustainability and facilities planning. “Volunteering to sort recycling in their absence gives us a chance to show our support of the Green Grove Initative, and for waste reduction in general across campus.”

Recyclables are collected each home football game in the Grove, Circle and stadium as part of the Green Grove Initiative, which seeks to mimimize waste generated by tailgating. In partnership with the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and Landscape Services, the initative has diverted approximately 5.5 tons of recyclables from the landfill so far this season.

Created in 2008, the Green Grove Initative is led by four student coordinators who are interns in the Office of Sustainability’s Green Student Intern Program, as well as 10 game day ambassadors and hundreds of student volunteers throughout the season. This is the third year the Office of Sustainability has hosted a faculty-staff sorting event.

Sorts-Giving is open to faculty, staff and community members. For more information or to volunteer, click here.

UM Green Fund Seeks New Proposals

Applications for campus sustainability projects accepted through Oct. 19

Green FundOXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi Green Fund is accepting project proposals from faculty, staff, and students through Monday (Oct. 19).

Green Fund projects vary in scale, ranging from the installation of several campus hydration stations to providing refills for reusable containers to the launch of a composting program that has diverted more than 36,000 pounds of campus food waste from the landfill since 2013.

“The Green Fund is extremely important to the university’s commitment to sustainability,” said Ty Allushuski, assistant director of admissions and UM Green Fund Committee member. “As a campus, we have made tremendous strides in recent years related to sustainability, and the Green Fund helps encourage sustainable practices and brings much-needed attention to the efforts.”

Students, faculty and staff can submit proposals as individuals, groups or departments.

Proposals should meet the guidelines found at and should be submitted via e-mail to by Oct. 19.

The Green Fund Committee will review proposals and make selections using the project’s impact, visibility and feasibility as criteria. All proposers selected in the first round will be invited to speak at a public forum the week of Nov. 8. Proposal awards will be announced in late November.

“I like the two-step evaluation process in which the award committee was able to hear from the applicants in person and ask them questions,” said Jason Hoeksema, an associate professor of biology who received funding last fall to install native plants on a portion of campus. “Most grant proposal review processes don’t allow for this back-and-forth process, which is really valuable.”

The experience is beneficial for students in multiple areas, said Allushuski, who incorporates the proposal-writing process into his EDHE 305 course.

“The entire process of brainstorming an idea, researching the potential environmental impact, making contacts with different offices on campus and working as a group provides valuable skills and lessons for the students,” Allushuski said. “In addition, several of my students have had projects funded in the past, and this gives them a vested interest in sustainability and their own campus.”

Created in 2013 to fund sustainability projects on campus, the Green Fund is supported by the university as well as public donations. Since its establishment, the fund has supported more than 10 projects.

“My hope is that the Green Fund will continue to grow in size and in its impact on the Oxford-university community,” said Alex Borst, a senior international studies major from Madison and a student member of the Green Fund Committee. “The funds are there; we just need more innovative people to utilize them more often.”

To get involved with the UM Green Fund or to make a donation, visit

Third Annual Racial Reconciliation Week Set for Sept. 7-12 at UM

Events include 'Lunch and Learn' with Ross Bjork and Derrick Evans, Will Campbell Plaza dedication

William Winter Institute

William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi Department of Athletics and the university’s William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation are sponsoring a slate of activities for the third annual Racial Reconciliation Week, which runs Tuesday through Saturday (Sept. 7-12).

Entering its third year, Racial Reconciliation Week is dedicated to promoting racial equality and encouraging dialogue throughout campus and the Oxford-Lafayette County community. The observance is critical to helping the university meet its core mission goals, Acting Chancellor Morris Stocks said.

“The University of Mississippi is committed to promoting diversity and creating an inclusive community on the Ole Miss campus,” Stocks said. “It is our hope that this partnership between the William Winter Institute and Ole Miss athletics will shine a spotlight on diversity issues and bring our community together to fight for racial equality and help end discrimination.”

Ole Miss Athletics Director Ross Bjork and outgoing Chancellor Dan Jones were recently recognized as the first recipients of the NCAA’s Champions of Diversity and Inclusion award for their efforts in spearheading Racial Reconciliation Week. The award recognizes the work of those in athletics to create opportunities for people in underrepresented populations to advance into senior leadership positions, demonstrate longevity or consistency in their support, or initiate or coordinate cultural change in an athletics department or at an NCAA member school in matters related to college sports.

“Athletics is proud to partner with the William Winter Institute and host Racial Reconciliation Week as a testament that we should strive to create as much harmony in the world as we possibly can,” Bjork said. “In the spirit of Gov. Winter, we must continue the fight against injustices that we see around the world and utilizing the platform of athletics, we can showcase that there is still work to be done, but we are moving in the right direction each and every day.”

Highlights from the week’s programing include a “Lunch and Learn” session with Bjork, who will discuss the background of Racial Reconciliation Week, the athletics department’s relationship with the William Winter Institute and recognition of diversity efforts by the NCAA. A screening of the documentary “Come Hell or High Water: The Battle of Turkey Creek,” and a “Lunch and Learn” with producer Derrick Evans also is planned.

Additionally, a panel will examine diversity in athletics, and the Winter Institute will dedicate Will Campbell Plaza. The observance will conclude Saturday (Sept. 12) with in-game recognition of Racial Reconciliation Week at the Ole Miss vs. Fresno State football game, where the Nathaniel Northington Groundbreaker in Athletics Award will be presented.

“It is our daily mission to provide leadership, serve others and embrace all members of society, regardless of their background or differences,” Bjork said. “As the flagship university of the state of Mississippi, we are humbled we can give back in a meaningful way.”

Racial Reconciliation week will kick off in earnest Tuesday, following the Labor Day holiday. Tuesday’s events feature the “Lunch and Learn” with Bjork from noon to 1 p.m. at the Grill at 1810. The day’s activities conclude with the showing of “Come Hell or High Water: The Battle of Turkey Creek” at 7 p.m. at Luckyday Residential College. The movie documents the painful, but inspiring, journey of Derrick Evans, a Boston teacher who moved home to coastal Mississippi when the graves of his ancestors were bulldozed to make way for the sprawling city of Gulfport. Over the course of a decade, Evans and his neighbors stood up to powerful corporate interests and politicians, and faced Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill in their struggle for self-determination and environmental justice.

On Wednesday, producer Evans will conduct a “Lunch and Learn: from noon to 1 p.m. in Bryant Hall.

At 7 p.m., a panel examines diversity in athletics in Overby Auditorium. The panel will feature several former Ole Miss student-athletes and Nathaniel Northington, the first African-American football player in the SEC. Northington broke the color barrier by becoming the first African-American to play any SEC sport when the University of Kentucky played Ole Miss in Lexington, Kentucky, in 1967. The author of “Still Running,” Northington received the inaugural Groundbreaker in Athletics award in 2013.

“I am thrilled about the 2015 Racial Reconciliation Week events,” said Jennifer Saxon, assistant athletics director for student-athlete development. “We have expanded our on-campus partnerships to include student housing, fraternity and sorority life, and the Center for Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement. We have worked with our campus partners to provide educational opportunities, for not only our students, but also faculty, staff and our stakeholders. We are proud of the work that has been done thus far and believe that the programs will be positive, not only for the University of Mississippi, but (for) the Oxford and Lafayette communities.”

Friday’s activities feature the dedication of the Will Campbell Plaza outside Paris-Yates Chapel. The week’s events conclude Saturday with the Ole Miss vs. Fresno State football game at 2:30 p.m., featuring in-game recognition of Racial Reconciliation Week.

In addition to the dedication of the Will Campbell Plaza, the William Winter Institute will present two awards during the week: the Florence Mars and Betty Pearson Commitment to the Movement award and the James Meredith Youth Activism Award.

Al Butler, a Washington, D.C., native who died in February 2012 at age 82, was a U.S. Marshal during the 1950s and ’60s. He served at the university during and after the riots surrounding the enrollment of James Meredith in 1962 and helped protect the four young girls who, in 1960, integrated two of New Orleans’ public schools. Butler will be awarded the Florence Mars and Betty Pearson Commitment to the Movement award, while Robert Wilson Jr., a senior at Greenwood High School, will receive the James Meredith Youth Activism award.

In 2013, Wilson attended the Winter Institute’s Summer Youth Institute, where youths develop a project based on needs in their home communities. While at the institute, Wilson conceived Youth for Change, which promotes positive change by educating Greenwood’s youth about things they don’t encounter in class, such as anti-bullying, civil rights history and sex education.

“Gov. Winter loves to recognize those who help the cause of civil rights, young and old,” said Susan M. Glisson, Winter Institute executive director, referring to the former Mississippi governor, who turned 92 in February. “We’re humbled to honor what Al Butler did in the past, and what Robert Wilson is doing now for the future of Mississippi. And how lucky are we to do so with Ross Bjork and the Ole Miss athletic department during Racial Reconciliation Week”

The Winter Institute works in communities and classrooms in Mississippi and beyond to support a movement of racial equity and wholeness as a pathway to ending and transcending all discrimination based on differences.

The week’s full schedule includes:

Tuesday (Sept. 8)

– “Lunch and Learn” featuring Athletics Director Ross Bjork, noon at the Grill at 1810

– Screening of “Come Hell or High Water: The Battle of Turkey Creek,” 7 p.m. at the Luckyday Residential College

Wednesday (Sept. 9)

– “Lunch and Learn” featuring producer Derrick Evans, noon at Bryant Hall

Thursday (Sept. 10)

– Panel on Diversity in Athletics, 7 p.m. in Overby Auditorium

Friday (Sept. 11)

– Will Campbell Plaza Dedication, 2 p.m. on the plaza outside Paris-Yates Chapel

Saturday (Sept. 12)

– Ole Miss vs. Fresno State football game, 2:30 p.m. at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium