Rebel Road Trip awards two scholarships in county

Ole Miss fans interested in what football coach Hugh Freeze or men’s basketball coach Andy Kennedy had to say about the current state of their programs ultimately helped out two local high school students. Freeze, Kennedy, women’s basketball coach Matt Insell and AD Ross Bjork were the headliners of the third annual Rebel Road Trip.

While the four shared similar jokes and anecdotes to the crowd at each stop, the money raised in Oxford at the breakfast meeting held at The Inn at Ole Miss made an even bigger impact than other stops. A student from Oxford and one from Lafayette will be awarded scholarships from the Lafayette-Oxford University Ole Miss Alumni Club in the near future.

The breakfast, which drew over 250 people, is one of three fundraising events for the club. Bjork said anytime Ole Miss can get together to raise money for students, especially locally, it’s a good thing.

“The cool thing about athletics is we are a marketing vehicle for the entire university. We’re not the most important thing, but we can be a vehicle to drive scholarships, to drive other projects that can be integrated into the community and campus,” Bjork said. “To be able to raise scholarships for people that couldn’t afford to come to Ole Miss through an event like this, that’s a perfect way to do this.”

Peter Ross is the president of the LOU chapter and his goal moving forward was to garner enough money to help fund more than two students each year to attend Ole Miss. The scholarships, Ross said, are based on leadership and academics combined.

“This and the golf tournament in June are our two big events. Our main goal is to increase our endowments so that we can give more money to Oxford and Lafayette kids. Our goal is to give four $500 scholarships for the next year and increase it by two people every year. It takes $25,000 for every $1,000 endowment, so that’s our goal,” Ross said. “It’s still too early to tell how much we raised, but we had to stop selling tickets because of the number of seats. We also had a good walk-up crowd.”

Ross served on the board prior to becoming president. There are 20 on the board, helping put on such an event that makes an even bigger impact when athletics gets involved.

“We like partnering up with the alumni association and the athletic department. Oxford deserves events like this. When the Rebel Road Trip was in discussion, there were questions about the local stop and this is the first time a local club joined in with the alumni association and athletics. Every other stop has been the local alumni group that has joined in,” Ross said. “Last year’s turnout was not the biggest, so this year we joined in. We were kind of nervous at first about the breakfast. It’s hard to get a lot of people to leave work or come early, but it was a great turnout.”

The annual golf tournament is sponsored by Cannon Motors and it will be held at the Ole Miss Golf Course on June 21-22. For more details, find the club on Facebook at LOU Ole Miss Club.

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