A farewell to the humble leader behind the scenes

Posted on Apr 28 2016 - 6:49pm by William Kneip

Guest column

A farewell to the humble leader behind the scenes

Chances are, if you have found yourself at an event hosted by the University of Mississippi in the past six years, you have not seen one of our University’s most humble servants. No, this is not because of her height, or lack thereof, because we know her personality and can-do attitude make up for that.

Chances are, you have not seen her because she has been the behind-the-scenes planner and organizer. If you have been lucky enough to catch a glimpse of her running around, you know that Christine Wallace is who we all strive to be: a humble servant with an others-before-self attitude, seeking no recognition for herself and never saying “no” to a request regardless of the task and the number of her other commitments. She has served in a challenging role directing the Office of University and Public Events, and she has taken events at Ole Miss to a higher level.

Who's Who and Hall of Fame 2016. (Courtesy: Ole Miss Communications)

Who’s Who and Hall of Fame 2016. (Courtesy: Ole Miss Communications)

Constantly looking out for the little guy, “Ms. Christine” would never leave an event until everything was cleaned up and put away, or allow a student or facilities management worker to leave hungry. If we had problems, we knew who could help. If we had questions, we knew who had answers. Her presence in the room allowed us all to breathe easy as she would put her concerns aside just to hear ours.

If you arrived on campus before sunrise, she was already in her office working. If you arrived on campus after sunset, she was still here working in her office or at an event. But after this year’s commencement ceremonies have come to an end, Ms. Christine will see the sun set on the Grove one last time. She will say farewell to an Ole Miss she has loved and served with all her heart and energies. Thousands of students and their families will carry on celebrating a joyous weekend not knowing whom to thank for all the arrangements and activities, while our Oxford mother will quietly pack her bags and begin her next journey – this time to South Bend, Indiana.

Ms. Christine will quietly and immediately get to work at the University of Notre Dame. We know she will move forward not fully comprehending the tremendous impact she has had on the lives of Ole Miss students who have been fortunate enough to work with her or benefit from her guidance. She not only brought our events to a higher level, but she brought our University family to a higher level.

Tears will fill our eyes, but our smiles will shine bright as we get one last glimpse of our Ms. Christine. She will send her seniors off on her favorite day, as we take her famous line and quietly whisper in our heads, “You are deserving.”