Six Oxford residents were killed Aug. 14 in a plane crash traveling from Northport, Alabama, to Oxford. Drs. Jason and Lea Farese, Dr. Austin and Angie Poole, and Dr. Michael and Kim Perry were heading back from a dental seminar when their plane began to experience engine difficulties. No passengers survived. Nearly 2,000 people gathered in the C.M. Tad Smith Coliseum to honor the couples with a vigil.
The 2017 Miss Ole Miss race was riveting. With 54.93 percent of the vote, Acacia Santos became the first African-American non-Greek candidate to win the title in a runoff. Cole Putnam was named Mr. Ole Miss for the 2016-2017 year Sep. 13.
More than 100 members from the Ole Miss community occupied the Lyceum for nearly five hours Sep. 23 in response to a student’s comment on Facebook that referenced lynching. The student’s comment was made in response to a post about the riots in Charlotte, North Carolina. Ole Miss Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter released a statement addressing the protest, saying that he and other university leaders condemned the student’s comment and that the university does not approve of any racist or violent acts.
The Daily Mississippian released a special Red Zone issue to address sexual assault on campus. The 16-page issue included personal stories, discussions with students and police officers and more all revolving around the issue of sexual assault on the Ole Miss campus and continue the conversation surrounding it.
The University of Mississippi named Katrina Caldwell vice chancellor for diversity and community engagement Oct. 18. Caldwell was previously the assistant vice chancellor for diversity and equity at Northern Illinois University from 2012 to 2016.
Senior journalism major Leah Gibson was named Ole Miss’ 68th Miss University Scholarship pageant winner Oct. 26. Her pageant platform was “iChoose,” which promotes highway safety. Gibson is the station manager at Rebel Radio and a member of the Columns Society. Gibson will compete in Vicksburg at the Miss Mississippi pageant during the summer.
Donald J. Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election Nov 8. Trump received 306 electoral votes to Clinton’s 232, pushing him over the top. The results came as a shock to many. Mixed emotions buzzed from students, faculty and staff across campus. While many were satisfied with the turnout of the election, many others were fearful. The university hosted discussions and forums to address students who had concerns following the election results.
The investiture of Ole Miss Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter took place Nov. 10. U.S. Sens. W. Thad Cochran, Roger F. Wicker, Lt. Gov. J. Tate Reeves, Speaker of the House Philip A. Gunn and Mayor Pat Patterson were in attendance as well as Vitter’s wife, children, siblings, family and friend, Morgan Freeman. Vitter spoke about his vision for the future of the university and his gratitude for the support of his family.