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Bill Ferris, a true Oxonian

Bill Ferris has lived in North Carolina for many years now, serving as the Joel Williamson Eminent Professor of History and senior associate director of the Center for the Study of the American South at the University of North Carolina.

But we will always consider him an Oxford resident and a member of the Ole Miss family.

That’s why we are pleased the Mississippi Arts Commission has honored Ferris with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2017 Governor’s Arts Awards. The longtime Oxford resident – he was on the faculty at Ole Miss from 1979 to 1998 – was formerly director of the Center for Southern Studies at Ole Miss and gets a lot of credit for this culture boom that exploded in this community.

Ferris lived just off the Square for many years, and was active in the community while helping Ole Miss achieve national attention and prominence for its Southern studies programming.

Many connections to Oxford and Ole Miss have remained over the years for Ferris and to see him honored at the state level like this is only fitting.

Ferris was a visionary from the start, understanding how the study of our past can lead to a better future.