Students board buses for a weekend of football and volunteerism

September 16, 2002

NASHVILLE, Tenn.— About 150 students and the chancellors of Vanderbilt University and the University of Mississippi will set aside their team loyalty and join together in Oxford, Miss., on Sept. 20 to kick off “Sports and Service: A Winning Tradition.”

The day before the two schools’ teams square off on the gridiron, Vanderbilt will send two busloads of students to join with students from the University of Mississippi in performing community service projects around Oxford. Plans are for the University of Mississippi students to do the same next year in Nashville when the teams play at Vanderbilt.

“The majority of Vanderbilt students participate in community service during their college years,” said Sandy Stahl, assistant vice chancellor for leadership at Vanderbilt. “Chancellors Gee and Khayat thought that combining volunteer service and sports would be a way to involve students of varying interests in the excitement of the athletic weekends.”

Vanderbilt students will leave from Branscomb Quadrangle (Vanderbilt Place between 24th and 25th avenues South) at 11:30 a.m. on Sept. 20. (All times are for the Central time zone.)

The students will work on landscaping and playground projects at three sites. They’ll create beds for landscaping, weed, improve the soil and lay landscaping felt in existing beds, mulch and apply sealant to wood playground equipment.

The students will work beginning at about 4 p.m. at Avent Park, Brahmlett Elementary School and Oxford Middle School.

At dark, all of the students will convene outside the Lyceum on the University of Mississippi campus for dinner, which will be attended by Vanderbilt Chancellor Gordon Gee and University of Mississippi Chancellor Robert Khayat.

Vanderbilt students will be the guests of the University of Mississippi’s Department of Student Housing and Residence Life on Friday night, bunking in the commons areas of several residence halls.

On Saturday, the students and chancellors will don their separate teams’ colors and join in a friendly pre-game brunch on the lawn of the Lyceum. They’ll then walk over to Vaught-Hemingway Stadium to cheer on their teams. Kick-off for the Vanderbilt-University of Mississippi football game is 11:30 a.m.

“The University of Mississippi is a great university with wonderful students,” said Steve Caldwell, associate vice chancellor for student life at Vanderbilt. “There’s no reason why Vanderbilt and the University of Mississippi can’t be rivals in athletic competition and partners in community service.”

After the game, Vanderbilt students will travel back to Nashville, with Gee on one of the buses with them.

Apart from some hard work, the entire two-day trip is free for the Vanderbilt students. Sponsoring organizations are the Vanderbilt University Division of Student Life, Vanderbilt Dining Services, Web laundry service and Bruegger’s Bagels.

Contact: Susanne Loftis, 615-322-NEWS,
On Sept. 20-21, mobile phone (615) 294-4021

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