The University of Mississippi Museum and Historic Houses unveils its 18th annual holiday keepsake ornament celebrating one of Ole Miss’ most beautiful spaces and time-honored traditions—The Grove.
The 10-acre green space in the center of the Ole Miss campus, officially named The Grove in 1935, was first envisioned and implemented by Robert Burwell Fulton, UM chancellor from 1892 to 1906. When the University was building its first library in 1889, now Ventress Hall, Fulton extended the campus west, outside of the “inner circle,” toward the train depot and planted trees and shrubs to add natural beauty to the campus.
During his time as chancellor, Fulton worked to grow and preserve the lush landscape. In the 1950s, under the coaching of John Vaught, the Grove began to transform into the tailgate mecca it is today. Students moved their pregame festivities from the sorority and fraternity houses to a more centralized location on campus. Fans parked cars, trucks, buses, and RVs under the trees on game days until a massive rainstorm in 1991 forced the University to ban vehicles in the Grove completely.
Today, the Grove is more than just one of the country’s best football tailgates. The Grove hosts community events year-round, including the annual Summer Sunset Concert Series, and is the main venue for the University’s annual commencement ceremonies.
The Grove commemorative ornament is available for $25 in the Museum Store. Collectible ornaments from previous years, which are still available, include the Old Skipwith House, Brandt Memory House, Ventress Hall, the Lafayette County Courthouse, Oxford City Hall, the Ole Miss Women’s Basketball Jersey, the Theora Hamblett House, Theora Hamblett’s Christmas Trees, the Walk of Champions, Oxford’s Double
Decker Bus, the Herakles Neck Amphora, and the Barlow’s Planetarium. Previous years’ ornaments are $20 each.
The keepsake ornaments can be purchased in the Museum Store or by phone at 662-915-7073. Shipping within the continental US is available for $7. All shipped orders must be placed by December 10 if needed by the holiday. All sales are final. Museum members and Friends of the Museum receive a 10 percent discount on all merchandise in the Museum Store. To become a member, please visit http://museum.olemiss.edu/join-the-museum or stop by the museum.
The University of Mississippi Museum is located at the corner of University Avenue and Fifth Street. Holiday Hours for the Museum Store are Monday through Friday from 8 am to 6 pm, and Saturday 10 am to 6 pm. Museum gallery visiting hours will remain the same, Tuesday through Saturday, 10 am to 6 pm. To learn more about upcoming events, exhibits, or how to support the Museum, please visit http://museum.olemiss.edu or call 662-915-7073.