/Six more plaques unveiled to give context to Ole Miss’ history

Six more plaques unveiled to give context to Ole Miss’ history

Plaques were placed at George Hall, Lamar Hall, Longstreet Hall, and George Hall. A marker was also introduced to recognize the university’s slave laborers who helped in the construction of Barnard Observatory and the Old Chapel (now Croft), Hilgard Cut, and the Lyceum. A plaque will be added to the stained-glass Tiffany windows of Ventress Hall to recognize the University Greys Civil War company, which was mainly comprised of university students and suffered 100 percent casualties, including being killed, wounded, or captured. After months of research by the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on History and Context, the presentation was made. Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter stated Friday that the plaques were a daily reminder of our responsibility to learn from the past, and to commit to a more inclusive future. He spoke at a ceremony at the Gertrude Ford Center for the Performing Arts. Vitter stated, “It can be difficult to tell the story about change and transformation while it is happening,” but he said that he was here to acknowledge that the work in question was a significant moment in the university’s history. In summer 2016, the chancellor created the committee on history to address a recommendation from the university’s 2014 Action Plan. The committee recommended which sites should be contextualized in order to describe the context in which they were created. The committee was charged with creating the content and formatting to contextualize the sites. The committee’s full recommendations, its final report, and renderings and map locations of the plaques can be found at http://context.olemiss.edu/. The university will also seek to rename Vardaman Hall, in addition to the six locations that were contextualized Friday. The committee of chancellors determined that James K. Vardaman (a former governor of Mississippi and U.S. Senator who was a virulent White supremacist) was an exceptional case and recommended unanimously that the building be renamed. The committee recommended that individual gravestones be added to honor the sacrifice of each person buried at University Cemetery. A marker also be created to commemorate Lafayette County men who served in the U.S. The Civil War Colored Troops. Vitter stated that the Paul B. Johnson Commons signage will be changed to include “Sr.” to make it clear that it is named after Paul B. Johnson Sr. Vitter added that as an educational institution, Vitter has a responsibility for teaching and encouraging learning, particularly from difficult parts of our past. “All of these outcomes from the CACHC process reminds us that we cannot hide or hide our past problems if we want to move forward together.”_x000D