Upcoming Events


Remembering the Winters

October 19, Overby Center Auditorium
5:30 pm

We will be remembering William and Elise Winter, both outstanding Mississippians and both graduates of Ole Miss. The program will be led by David Crews, former press secretary for Gov. Winter. Crews will have a conversation about the Winters with three longtime friends of the Winters, Reuben Anderson, JoAnne Prichard Morris and John Henegan.


A Discussion with Terry Mattingly about religion, politics, and Covid-19

November 18, Overby Center Auditorium
5:30 pm

This event will feature a discussion about religion, politics and Covid, led by Overby Center fellow Terry Mattingly. One of the most knowledgeable religion reporters in the country, Mattingly writes a weekly column about religion and produces a weekly podcast about religion and the media.

Recent Events

Transcript from Walter Hussman’s speech “Democracy and the Informed Citizen” given at the University of Kentucky on October 7, 2021

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Charles Overby, Donald Cole and Larry Martindale (L-R) discuss divergent paths that led to renaming of the Student Services Center at first Fall 2021 event of the Overby Center.

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A Discussion with Curtis Wilkie - Veteran Journalist and Author

September 22, Overby Center Auditorium
5:30 pm

Charles Overby and Curtis Wilkie discuss Wilkie's illustrious career as well as his new book, "When Evil Lived in Laurel.

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"60: A Year of Sports, Race and Politics" A Discussion with Former Chancellor Robert Khayat

September 22, Overby Center Auditorium
5:30 pm

This event features former Ole Miss Chancellor Robert Khayat who will discuss his latest book, “60: A Year of Sports, Race and Politics.” The promotion about the book says it is “a story of the year that changed everything for a nation, our culture and a young man from Mississippi.” Khayat, one of the most legendary figures to graduate from Ole Miss, retired as chancellor in 2009.

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The Return of Live Programs at the Overby Center

Randall Pinkston (left) and Will Norton (right)

Live programs will return this fall to the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics at Ole Miss, and two new fellows have been appointed to assist the Center with advancing its mission of promoting First Amendment freedoms. Five programs will take place at the Overby Center, featuring conversations with seven outstanding Ole Miss alumni and one forum relating to religion, politics, and the Covid crisis, and two new fellows have been appointed to assist the Center with advancing its mission of promoting First Amendment freedoms. Five programs will take place at the Overby Center, featuring conversations with seven outstanding Ole Miss alumni and one forum relating to religion, politics, and the Covid crisis. 

Dr. Will Norton, retired dean of the Ole Miss School of Journalism and New Media, will serve as senior fellow, and veteran broadcast journalist Randall Pinkston will be a fellow in residence. 

“We are fortunate to have two highly accomplished people as fellows,” said Charles Overby, chairman of the Overby Center. “They will help strengthen our programs and our commitment to the First Amendment.” The Overby Center suspended its usual programs for a year because of the Corona virus. But the programs resumed last week with a conversation with successful alumni Larry Martindale and Don Cole. The Martindale-Cole Student Services Center was dedicated last week. 

The next program features veteran newspaper reporter and author Curtis Wilkie on Sept. 22. Wilkie, the inaugural fellow of the Overby Center, will discuss his longtime career and his latest book, “When Evil Lived in Laurel.” 

Former Ole Miss Chancellor Robert Khayat will discuss his latest book, “60: A Year of Sports, Race and Politics,” at an Overby Center program Oct. 5. The promotion about the book says it is “a story of the year that changed everything for a nation, our culture and a young man from Mississippi.” Khayat, one of the most legendary figures to graduate from Ole Miss, retired as chancellor in 2009. He is a member of the Overby Center board. 

On Oct. 19, a program remembering William and Elise Winter, both outstanding Mississippians and both graduates of Ole Miss, will be led by David Crews, former press secretary for Gov. Winter and a member of the Overby Center board. Crews will have a conversation about the Winters with three longtime friends of the Winters, Reuben Anderson, JoAnne Prichard Morris and John Henegan. Anderson, former Mississippi Supreme Court justice, was the first African American to graduate from the Ole Miss Law School. Morris, former executive editor of University Press, edited Elise Winter’s memoir, “Once in a Lifetime: Reflections of a Mississippi First Lady.” Henegan was Gov. Winter’s chief of staff. William Winter died Dec. 19, 2020 at 97, and Elise Winter died July 17, 2021 at 95. 

The final program of the fall at the Overby Center will feature a discussion about religion, politics and Covid, led by Overby Center fellow Terry Mattingly. One of the most knowledgeable religion reporters in the country, Mattingly writes a weekly column about religion and produces a weekly podcast about religion and the media. 

Dr. Norton was selected to be senior fellow following a vote by the Overby Center board. Ronnie Agnew, executive director of Mississippi Public Broadcasting and former executive editor of the Clarion Ledger, credits Norton for boosting his career. He said Norton told him while he was a student if he didn’t work harder, we would end up being the best insurance salesman in Mississippi. “He has literally helped hundreds of students become successful journalists,” Agnew said. 

Jesse Holland, another highly successful Ole Miss graduate, praised Norton in an interview with Dr. Cynthia Joyce in an article for the school’s website. “He was the first one who told me he thought I could be a great reporter,“ Holland said. “Every job that I have taken since, I have called and asked Dr. Norton about it first.” Holland is former Daily Mississippian editor, AP reporter and author of “The Invisibles: The Untold Story of African American Slavery Inside the White House” and Marvel sci-fi novel, “The Black Panther: Who is the Black Panther?” 

Norton was dean of the School of Journalism at the University of Nebraska for 19 years before he became founding dean of the new School of Journalism and New Media at Ole Miss in 2009. 

Pinkston, a former White House correspondent for CBS, was born in Yazoo County and grew up in Jackson. Pinkston began his career in Jackson at WLBT and was the station’s first Black anchor. He graduated from Millsaps College and has a J.D. degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law. 

Pinkston worked for CBS for 33 years, contributing to virtually all of the network’s major news programs. Since retiring, he has taught journalism at Stony Brook University in New York, City University of New York and Morgan State University in Maryland. While he is fellow at the Overby Center, Pinkston will also be a visiting professor at the journalism school. 





ABOUT THE OVERBY CENTER

The Overby Center for Southern Journalism & Politics’ mission is to create better understanding of the media, politicians and the role of the First Amendment in our democracy. The Center is funded through a $5 million grant from the Freedom Forum, a foundation dedicated to educating people about the importance of a free press and the First Amendment.

The Overby Center features programs, multimedia displays and writings which examine the complex relationships between the media and politicians - past, present and future. The Overby Center pays special attention to Southern perspectives.

Adjacent to the newly renovated journalism department facility at Farley Hall, the Overby Center is a new building that features 16,000 square feet of conference space. It includes a 200-seat auditorium, a multipurpose conference room that will accommodate just under 100 people for seminars, and about 50 for dinners, and a boardroom seating up to 24 people.

The center has state-of-the-art technology and video throughout the building, including a news wall with nine large-screen TV monitors for showing live news programs and current front pages from 12 Southern states.

The center is named for Charles L. Overby, editor of the Daily Mississippian at Ole Miss from 1967-1968. Overby was the CEO of the Freedom Forum and Newseum until his retirement in 2012.



Overby Center Auditorium


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