OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi is naming a plaza for the late Rev. Will Campbell, its former religious life director who was pressured into leaving after he challenged racial segregation on campus in the 1950s.
At Ole Miss from 1954 to 1956, Campbell collided with Mississippi's white power structure. He went on to play a prominent role in civil rights, working for the National Council of Churches.
Later, disgusted by the refusal of Southern white Protestants to oppose segregation, the Baptist minister left the organized church. He continued as a writer and a personal chaplain to many.
During dedication of the plaza Friday, Ole Miss Chancellor Dan Jones said Campbell's emphasis on loving and understanding enemies remains valuable counsel in Mississippi's struggles over symbols associated with its segregationist past.