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Media Swarm Ole Miss

What started a week ago as a standard “Welcome to Ole Miss” news conference by the Governor and the Chancellor quickly became the center of the world’s news this morning. Network by network began to tell us they would carry the press conference live at 11am. Our team and the Governor’s team met this morning briefly to discuss the exact logistics and remarks for the press conference, anticipating that media’s first question would be, “Will there be a debate tomorrow night?” The answer, of course, is yes.
Ole Miss has invested more than $5 million on hosting the debate and contributed hundreds of its employees’ time to prepare. The stage is set and ready, as you’ll see in my photos from this morning.
Governor Barbour and the Chancellor answered media questions well and stressed that the debate will go on as planned. After the news conference, we escorted mostly local media into the Ford Center for a photo opportunity of the stage. The coolest thing, at that time, was happening on stage. Two Ole Miss students, Tyler Craft and Mario Hilliard, were posing as the candidates for a broadcast technical rehearsal. But, they weren’t just standing there. The two, along with another student posing as the moderator, were actually debating the issues. It was exciting and better than just an empty stage.
There is a media welcome reception this evening, and then my goal is to meet Tom Brokaw. He is speaking tonight to a sold-out crowd. He is a big fan of the university, and on numerous occasions has spoken positively about Ole Miss. Shep will arrive late tonight. It will be good to see him again. Stay tuned, more news later.