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(The Daily Mississippian) – In 1848, Ole Miss began its first academic year with just 80 students. Now, 175 years later, the university has more than 20,000 students, a medical center, a law school and a top-tier accounting program among other great features.
Between 1848 and 2023, Ole Miss has traveled a long, challenging road. It is not anti-school spirit or anti-Mississippi to point out that our university has a very checkered, often terrible history.
Ole Miss was complicit in supporting the Confederacy, which fought to preserve racial hierarchy, slavery and blatant Jim Crow racism, but it also succeeded under immense pressure to integrate, admitting James Meredith, the first African American UM student, to the school in 1962. This was not easy and did not happen peacefully, which is an embarrassment in itself, but it still happened.
Still, Ole Miss’ history should be recognized in its totality; the university is bigger than its racial struggle. Oxford has a wealth of culture, such as being the home of William Faulker and John Grisham, two of the greatest writers of all time. That’s not a coincidence. Ole Miss breeds creativity, art and success.
Ole Miss has an amazing…