60 years after civil rights activist James Meredith integrated the University of Mississippi, students, faculty, staff, alumni, and guests are set to gather on Wednesday to commemorate the defining moment in the school’s history.
At 6:30 p.m., Meredith himself will kick off the free, two-hour event called “The Mission Continues: Building Upon the Legacy” at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts.
“As a civil rights activist, businessman, politician, author, and more, James Meredith is an important part of living history who is intricately intertwined with our university,” Chancellor Glenn Boyce said.
Meredith, who enrolled at Ole Miss on Oct. 1, 1962, will be joined by Boyce, U.S. Marshals Director Ronald L. Davis, retired UM Assistant Provost Donald Cole, and Oxford Alderman Kesha Howell-Atkinson. Ethel Young Scurlock, dean of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, will deliver the keynote address.
Additionally, the event will include a screening of the documentary, Who is James Meredith? The film is directed by Judy Meredith, James’ longtime wife and former TV and radio news reporter.
“It is the moment for us to all pause and honor Mr. Meredith,” Shawnboda Mead, UM vice chancellor for diversity and community engagement, said. “This event is all about him, his life, his legacy, the contributions he’s made not only to the university but to higher education, the state of Mississippi, and really the United States.”