At the request of Chancellor Dan Jones, the University of Mississippi's Alumni Association on Monday offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of two individuals believed involved in the desecration of the James Meredith statue on The University of Mississippi campus.
The University Police Department (UPD) is looking for two men who were seen early Sunday morning near the Meredith statue, which commemorates the 1962 integration of the university. One of the men was reported to have been wearing camouflage pants. The statue had been draped with a noose and an old Georgia state flag, and the men were heard shouting racial slurs.
Jones condemned the action as contrary to the beliefs and values of the university community.
"These individuals chose our university's most visible symbol of unity and educational accessibility to express their disagreement with our values. Their ideas have no place here, and our response will be an even greater commitment to promoting the values that are engraved on the statue – Courage, Knowledge, Opportunity, and Perseverance."
Assistant to the Chancellor for Multicultural Affairs Don Cole reiterated the creed that the university stands by.
"This is particularly painful because the James Meredith statue has become a gathering place for students to discuss many things, including the tenets of our creed, which calls for dignity and respect for all people."
UPD has initiated a rigorous investigation and alerted Oxford Police. Anyone with information concerning the investigation is urged to contact UPD at 662-915-7234.