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We invite you to join us as we commemorate an historic event that positively changed the university, our state, and our country in so many ways. Fifty years ago, a courageous American, James Meredith was admitted to the University of Mississippi, winning a lengthy court battle and overcoming every obstruction the leaders of that time could devise. You can find details about his legal case, his admission and the many other events in this struggle on our historical timeline.

With his admission on Oct. 1, 1962, Meredith became one of the most heroic figures in the American Civil Rights Movement. His persistence and ultimate success laid the foundation for thousands of African American students who earned degrees from this university in the years that followed. On the anniversary of such an important event, it is important to focus on the many positive results of that day and renew our commitment to goals yet to be fully achieved. We have made a public pledge to our state and our country for increased accessibility to higher education for everyone regardless of background. We have made the same commitment to our state and nation for service projects that improve the lives of the disadvantaged in Mississippi, America and beyond. And we have invested in the very best resources and faculty expected of a leading American public university.

The progress that began with James Meredith’s admission to Ole Miss continues today. We invite you to participate in any or all of the many activities surrounding this 50th anniversary, culminating in a special ceremony and keynote address from civil rights activist and entertainer Harry Belafonte. For more information on all of these activities, visit our calendar of events.

In addition to attending any of the public events listed on our calendar, we encourage anyone who was in Oxford during the fall of 1962 to contact us to share oral histories or archival materials, such as newspaper accounts, letters and other unique correspondence or documents related to these events. This is an opportunity to further our goals for racial conciliation, and we encourage everyone to participate. Please join with us as we renew our commitment to open doors during this important anniversary year.