Christmas in the Red & Blue: Holiday keepsake ornament honors ‘The Vaught’
Published 11:34 am Friday, December 3, 2021
A new holiday ornament gives Mississippi residents a reason to celebrate Christmas and root for the Ole Miss Rebels at the same time.
The University of Mississippi Museum has unveiled its 2021 holiday keepsake ornament, a likeness of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, iconic home of the Ole Miss Rebels football team.
The ornament celebrates Mississippi’s largest stadium, which holds the record for the state’s largest-ever football crowd, 66,176 fans. The ornament celebrates the stadium as the Ole Miss football team winds down its 2021 season ranked among college football’s best.
Robert Saarnio, director of the UM Museum and Historic Houses, said he is excited to pay tribute to the stadium.
“The University Museum is deeply proud of its long-running tradition of developing creative ornaments at the holiday season, and for reasons strongly represented by this year’s edition of the beautiful Vaught-Hemingway Stadium keepsake,” Saarnio said. “Whether based in our permanent collections or celebrating local and campus landmarks, our experience has been one of great community eagerness to see each year’s release.”
Two influential Ole Miss figures are the stadium’s namesakes. Judge William Hemingway, law professor and chairman of the athletics committee, was the original namesake for the stadium when it opened in 1915. In 1982, legendary football coach Johnny Vaught’s name was added.
The field within the stadium added the name Hollingsworth in 1998 for longtime supporter Dr. Jerry Hollingsworth.
The Vaught-Hemingway Stadium commemorative ornament is available for $25 plus tax.
Collectible ornaments from previous years are also available, for $20 plus tax. They include the Old Skipwith House, Brandt Memory House, Ventress Hall, Oxford City Hall, the Ole Miss Women’s Basketball Jersey, Theora Hamblett House, Oxford’s Double Decker Bus, the Herakles Neck Amphora, Barlow’s Planetarium and Pulgas Vestidas, an exhibit that has fleas dressed in clothing.
The museum is also offering surprise bundles of previous ornaments. The ornaments are pre-bundled and each one is a surprise, so there no exchanges or refunds. The bundles, which are $25 while supplies last, each include five keepsakes featuring Oxford, Ole Miss and museum exhibits.
“The ornaments provide significant earned income for the museum’s wide spectrum of programs and exhibitions,” Saarnio said. “We celebrate and warmly thank the collectors who enthusiastically support this initiative annually.”
The keepsake ornaments can be purchased in the Museum Store, or by phone with a credit card by calling 662-915-7073. A flat $7 shipping and handling fee is added for all orders requiring shipping within the contiguous U.S. and must be placed by Dec. 6 for delivery by the holiday. All sales are final.
Museum members and Friends of the Museum receive a 10% discount on all merchandise in the store.
The University Museum is at the corner of University Avenue and Fifth Street. Holiday hours for the Museum Store are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturday. This year has an added holiday shopping day on Monday (Nov. 22) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Museum gallery visiting hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays. For information about events and exhibits, visit the museum’s website or call 662-915-7073.