The university’s enrollment for fall 2015 hit an all-time record of 23,838, largest in Mississippi. That’s up more than 40 percent in 10 years, rising from 16,947 students in fall 2005. Enrollment has grown for 21 consecutive years.
The university’s rapid growth has been recognized by the Chronicle of Higher Education, which named Ole Miss the nation’s 13th-fastest growing university in its Almanac of Higher Education.
The Ole Miss student body includes representatives from 48 states, the District of Columbia and 90 foreign countries.
For the 2015-16 academic year, the youngest undergraduate was 16 years old and the oldest was 88.
The university is designed as a Top School for military personnel and veterans in Military Advanced Education & Transition’s 2016 Guide to Colleges and Universities. This is the third consecutive year UM has earned this honor, which measures best practices in military and veteran education.
The University of Mississippi is included in the elite group of R-1: Doctoral Universities – Highest Research Activity by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, the definitive list for the top doctoral research universities in the United States.
The university has produced 25 Rhodes Scholars, putting it among the nation’s elite institutions in terms of alumni who have won what is considered the world’s most prestigious scholarship.
The university became co-ed in 1882 and in 1885 became the first in the Southeast to hire female faculty members.
The University Museum has been ranked as one of the 20 Best College Art Museums by Complex Art & Design. Praised for the breadth of its collections – including Southern folk art, Greek and Roman antiquities, 19th century scientific instruments and American fine art – the UM museum was ranked at No. 17, in the company of campus museums at Harvard, Howard and Princeton universities.
The university maintains Rowan Oak, home of Nobel Prize-winning author William Faulkner and also has a large collection of the writer’s manuscripts and papers. The Greek Revival house, which has been designated a National Historic Landmark, dates from the 1840s and is open for tours.
The UM Medical Center is home to the world’s best-selling medical physiology textbook, the Textbook of Medical Physiology. Written by longtime professor and dean Arthur Guyton and maintained since his death by colleague John Hall, the legendary text has been translated into 18 languages.
The UM School of Pharmacy maintains the country’s longest-running contract from the National Institutes of Health, the Marijuana Project.
The UM National Center for Natural Products Research is the nation’s only university-based research program devoted to the discovery, development of natural product-derived pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals to benefit human health and agricultural productivity. NCNPR scientists have identified hundreds of potential compounds to treat cancer, malaria, tuberculosis, AIDS and other medical conditions. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration also has partnered with NCNPR for a Center of Excellence for the Botanical Dietary Supplement Research, which has a mission to develop authentication and identification tools and to help evaluate the safety of botanical supplements.
With B.B. King’s personal record collection as its foundation, the university’s Blues Archive is the world’s largest collection of blues music recordings, photographs and memorabilia. The university also produces Living Blues magazine and “Highway 61” (a blues radio show produced weekly for Mississippi Public Broadcasting), making Ole Miss internationally renowned for blues research and scholarship.
Ole Miss is home to the fourth-oldest public law school in the country. The university opened its School of Law in 1854.
UM offers one of only 12 Chinese Flagship programs in the U.S. For the past two years, the university has sent the largest group of students on to the Flagship Capstone, a national program that allows students to immerse themselves in native culture by spending two semesters in China. In spring 2016, three of the top five applicants for the Flagship Capstone were from Ole Miss.
The university’s Patterson School of Accountancy is ranked No. 7 in the nation – atop all other SEC programs – for undergraduate education by the Public Accounting Report. The school’s master’s and doctoral programs are both ranked at Nos. 8 in their categories.
The university also is home to the world’s largest accounting library, the National Library of the Accounting Profession.
The School of Law is home to one of the nation’s two degree programs in space law and in 2013 launched the country’s first Master of Laws program in air and space law. Faculty members from the program have consulted with several countries to help draft their aviation and space law systems. The school also publishes the Journal of Space Law, the world’s oldest publication devoted to the field.
A favorite spot for generations of tailgaters before Ole Miss home football games, the Grove – a 10-acre space near the center of campus – consistently ranks high on rankings of America’s best tailgating venues. ESPN’s “College GameDay” broadcast live from the Grove for the Alabama game in October 2014, and producers called the show the “Best on-campus experience” ever. In previous years, the Grove experience has been hailed by Sports Illustrated and Parade magazines and on “CBS This Morning.” In fall 2014, the Grove was featured in Bon Appetit magazine. For fall 2015, it is again lauded by Tailgater Monthly magazine, which ranked Ole Miss No. 4 nationally for pregame revelry.
The university ranks among the nation’s elite for campus quality of life. University Primetime ranks UM No. 16 for having the “Overall Best Quality of Life.”
The university’s hometown, Oxford, came in at No. 6 on Jetsetter.com’s list of “The USA’s 13 Coolest College Towns.” The only other SEC hometown included is Athens, Georgia. Calling Oxford “the quintessential Southern small town,” the site praised the town’s dining, shopping and cultural scene.
The Lyceum, the university’s principal administration building, is the sole surviving original campus structure. Completed in 1848, the Lyceum is of stately Ionic Greek Revival design and bricks thought to have been made from clay at the site. The building was used as a hospital by both sides during the Civil War. The Lyceum bell is believed to be the oldest college bell in America. The building is a National Historic Landmark, and its columned facade is on the university’s official crest.
The university hosted the first 2008 presidential debate, between then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama and U.S. Sen. John McCain, at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts.