The University of Mississippi (byname Ole Miss) is a public research university that is located adjacent to Oxford, Mississippi, and has a medical center in Jackson. It is Mississippi's oldest public university and its largest by enrollment.
The Mississippi Legislature chartered the university on February 24, 1844, and four years later it admitted its first 80 students. During the Civil War, the university operated as a Confederate hospital and narrowly avoided destruction by Ulysses S. Grant's forces. In 1962, during the civil rights movement, a race riot occurred on campus when segregationists tried to prevent the enrollment of African American student James Meredith. The university has since taken measures to improve its image. The university is closely associated with writer William Faulkner, and owns and manages his former Oxford home Rowan Oak, which with other on-campus sites Barnard Observatory and Lyceum–The Circle Historic District, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Ole Miss is classified as "R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity". It is one of 33 institutions participating in the National Sea Grant Program, and also participates in the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program. Its research efforts include the National Center for Physics Acoustics, the National Center for Natural Products Research, and the Mississippi Center for Supercomputing Research. The university operates the country's only federally contracted Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved cannabis facility. It also operates interdisciplinary institutes such as the Center for the Study of Southern Culture. Its athletic teams compete as the Ole Miss Rebels in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)'s Southeastern Conference Division I.
The university's alumni include 27 Rhodes Scholars, 10 governors, 5 US senators, a head of government, and a Nobel Prize Laureate. Other alumni have received honors such as Emmy Awards, Grammy Awards, and Pulitzer Prizes. Its medical center performed the first human lung transplant and animal-to-human heart transplant.