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9/14/2016 - Jackson, Miss.

The U.S. Department of Education’s seventh annual back-to-school tour will include two stops at Mississippi Public Universities. Senior Department of Education officials will visit the University of Mississippi in Oxford and Jackson State University in Jackson on Thursday, September 15.

The visit to the University of Mississippi will be held at 9:30 a.m. in Room 200 of the Lyceum, with a focus on diversity and inclusion on college campuses. Department of Education officials will participate in a roundtable discussion featuring Ole Miss students and moderated by Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Brandi Hephner LaBanc.

The visit to Jackson State University will be held at 3:00 p.m. in Room 200 of the College of Science, Engineering and Technology Building, with a focus on Jackson State’s dual enrollment partnership with Jackson Public Schools. In May, Jackson State was one of only 44 postsecondary institutions nationwide to receive a grant from the U.S. Department of Education to participate in a dual-enrollment experiment that gives students taking college-credit courses access to Federal Pell Grants while still in high school. Jackson State University is the only public four-year HBCU to receive the award.

President Carolyn W. Meyers; Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs Dr. Evelyn Leggette; and Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Cyberlearning, Dr. Marie O'Banner-Jackson will be on hand for this event. Additionally, Dr. Frederick Murray, Chief Academic Officer for High Schools for Jackson Public Schools will serve as a panelist.

U.S. Department of Education officials who will participate in the Mississippi events include:

  • Ted Mitchell, Under Secretary of Education
  • Kim Hunter Reed, Deputy Under Secretary of Education
  • Jaye Espy, Chief of Staff for the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities
  • Elyse Jones, confidential assistant to the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities

The tour began Monday in Washington, D.C. and will end Friday in Louisiana. Ole Miss and Jackson State are two of only five universities on the tour, which also includes Stanford University, the University of Massachusetts and California State University.


The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning governs the public universities in Mississippi, including Alcorn State University; Delta State University; Jackson State University; Mississippi State University including the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi University for Women; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of Mississippi including the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and the University of Southern Mississippi.

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