Born May 19, 1949, Drew, Mississippi native Archie Manning dominated the field as the starting quarterback for the University of Mississippi's football team from 1969-1971. Manning, considered to be one of the University's finest players, ended his career with 5,562 yards of total offense which included a school record of 56 touchdowns. Manning earned All-America and All-SEC honors in both 1969 and 1970, as well as being named the Mississippi Sportsman of the Year (1969). A two-time favorite for the Heisman Trophy, Manning was fourth in the 1969 voting and third in 1970.
Born on May 15,1890, Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Katherine Anne Porter was not a Mississippian but a native Texan. However, she championed one of Mississippi's most celebrated authors, Eudora Welty, helping to propel her early career. Porter took notice of the young Mississippi author after the publication of the short story "Death of A Traveling Salesman" in 1936. She served as one of Welty's mentors in these early years and this relationship evolved into a lasting friendship.
The University's Department of Archives and Special Collections invites donations from UM alumni, visitors, faculty, staff, current students, and any others who have archival materials related to the history of previous UM commencements. We are seeking to further augment the existing archival UM commencement collections with donations of programs, written memories about past speakers, invitations, news clippings, photographs, ephemera, audio, and any other related archival memorabilia.
The first “commencement” at the University of Mississippi took place in July 1849 at the end of the new university’s first academic year -- although with no graduates, the institution conferred no degrees. In the words of University historian, Dr. David Sansing, the four-day event surrounding the official program included “sumptuous banquets, a commencement ball, and many speeches..and was a gala celebration." The 1849 address was given by Alexander M. Clayton and Acting University President Albert Taylor Bledsoe.
Born on May 5, 1942, country music legend Tammy Wynette would have been 75 today. Known as the “First Lady of Country Music,” the Tremont, Mississippi native became one of the best-selling female artists in country music. She had over twenty songs hitting the top spot in the country music charts through the years. Born Virginia Wynette Pugh, Wynette settled on her stage name on the advice of her producer Billy Sherrill who thought she bore a resemblance to the character "Tammy" from the hit movie Tammy and the Bachelor.