More States Offer Ole Miss License Plates, Others Coming Soon
While Mississippi residents have long been able to display their Rebel pride wherever they travel with an official University of Mississippi affinity license plate, residents in a growing number of other areas are or will soon be able to do so as well.
Ole Miss alumni and friends who live in Tennessee, Texas and Washington, D.C., currently have the opportunity to purchase an Ole Miss affinity license plate, with Georgia joining that list in March and Alabama expected to follow soon thereafter.
Texas began offering Ole Miss plates in September 2009, and a record 181 plates sold on the first day. Fans and alumni in Texas have since purchased more than 600 plates.
Ole Miss affinity plates in D.C. went on sale in January, and Georgia residents can purchase their plates beginning March 1.
While the Ole Miss affinity license plate gives out-of-state residents the chance to give back and show appreciation for their alma mater, the process for obtaining the plates varies from state to state and often requires significant time and effort.
“The biggest hurdle for the Texas and Georgia plates was raising the money,” says Port Kaigler (BA 06), senior club coordinator for the Alumni Association. “We had to raise $5,000 in Texas and $25,000 in Georgia to get started. In Texas, we accomplished this through an email and social media fundraising campaign. In Georgia, the Alumni Association issued a challenge grant to help them reach their goal.”
Fundraising was not required for the Washington plate, but the design and approval process proved to be more of a challenge there than in other states.
“The Ole Miss Alumni Association offers assistance and coordinates the effort, but the impetus is on our local clubs,” Kaigler says. “We are here to help get the ball rolling.”
Though the university doesn’t benefit monetarily from all the states’ tag sales, Ole Miss receives a direct financial benefit from sales in Mississippi and Texas.
In Texas, Ole Miss affinity plate sales have resulted in an estimated $12,000 contribution, all of which goes directly to scholarship endowments for the four clubs in Texas.
In Mississippi, $32.50 of the $51 fee returns to Ole Miss. Those funds are divided between an Alumni Association-administered scholarship endowment and the Grove Society fund, which is used to maintain the Grove and University Circle year round.
Alumni and fans in states that currently do not offer the Ole Miss affinity license plate should contact their local club president for more information on how to start the process. A map of local clubs along with their contact information can be found at www.olemissalumni.com/clubs.
Alumni interested in purchasing an Ole Miss affinity license plate for the upcoming year should contact their local tax collector or visit the Alumni Association website at www.olemissalumni.com/be-involved/licenseplates.