Aug. 25, 2014
OXFORD, Miss. – The Ole Miss Athletics Department kicked off the 2014-15 academic year with its annual Welcome Back Celebration for Ole Miss’ student-athletes on Sunday night at Tad Smith Coliseum.
The event featured a welcome address from Athletics Director Ross Bjork as well as comments from Senior Associate Athletic Director for Health and Sports Performance, Shannon Singletary and Senior Associate Athletic Director for Academics Derek Cowherd.
This year’s theme was a Welcome Back Carnival, and Ole Miss student-athletes and staff were treated to carnival games, a photo booth, caramel corn and cotton candy in addition to a meal from local favorite Taylor Grocery. Some of the highlights from night included a pie-eating contest between Bjork, Singletary and Cowherd, as well as sumo wrestling with sumo suits.
Ole Miss’ Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), with the help of Assistant Athletic Director of Student-Athlete Development, Jennifer Saxon, helped plan the event, which was a huge success.
“This has been a weekend filled with great excitement as we begin the 2014-15 academic year,” said Saxon. “We were able to provide a fun evening for our student-athletes, coaches and staff while providing important information for their success during the academic year. I believe that everyone enjoyed the event and had some fun before classes began.”
Rebel track and field athlete Jhorden Hunter, a member of SAAC, also thought the event was a smashing success.
“The Welcome Back event was a huge success,” said Hunter. “It was a nice opener for all of the new and returning athletes to get together and mingle. It’s always really nice to have events that can bring all the student athletes together for something positive and uplifting.”
Several members of Ole Miss’ athletic staff were in attendance and raved about the event, including Assistant Athletic Director for Marketing, Jason List.
“I’ve been involved with Welcome Back events for four years, and without question this was the best one that I’ve been a part of,” said List. “I’ve never been to an event where the student athletes had so much fun and stayed longer than necessary.”
What They Are Saying About 2014 Welcome Back Event on Twitter:
Ole Miss M-Club
@RebelAcademics Great event for our SAs. Awesome way to start of the school year with some momentum. #RebelsOnTheRise
Ole Miss Women’s Basketball
We won the tug of war at our Welcome Back event tonight! All of our work with @TheCoachSimmons paying off!! #Strong
Check out pics from tonight's Welcome Back event! Lots of fun had by all #AnybodyWannaSumoWrestle
Ole Miss Student-Athlete Development Mission
The mission of Ole Miss’ Student-Athlete Development program is to challenge student-athletes to be lifelong learners while pursuing continuous improvement academically, relationally, socially, personally, and professionally during and beyond their careers as student-athletes.
Student-Athlete Development is the hub for a wide range of Ole Miss athletics sponsored programs designed to meet the needs of student-athletes and their families. It is divided into six areas: Student-Athlete Assistance Services, Career Development, Continuing Education, Community Outreach, Financial Education and Career Transition.
Visit Student-Athlete Development for more information on Ole Miss’ Student-Athlete Development program.