Hundreds gathered the evening of Friday, September 6, to honor Archie and Olivia Manning and their family's generosity to the University of Mississippi. Opened with a reception at Brandt-Memory House and followed with a red carpet entry to the Gertrude C. Ford Center for a premiere screening of ESPN's documentary "The Books of Manning," the event raised $100,000 for the Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children, a cause to which the Manning family is quite devoted.
"I'm honored and flattered that Ole Miss wanted to make an event out of this," said Archie Manning, joined by several members of his family and many former Ole Miss teammates. "I'm excited that the benefactor will be Batson Children's Hospital in Jackson, which is part of the University Medical Center. It's going to raise a lot of money for them and help the sick children of Mississippi get well and get home."
Earlier in the day, Ole Miss Director of Athletics, Ross Bjork, announced the "building phase" of the Forward Together Campaign, having exceeded the $95 million mark in pledges and cash received. At the film's premiere, Bjork declared that Ole Miss Athletics will name the newly renovated Indoor Practice Facility the Olivia and Archie Manning Athletics Performance Center.
"The names Olivia and Archie Manning will remind our athletes for generations to come of the values that represent the best of Ole Miss," said Chancellor Dan Jones. "Olivia and Archie will be a daily inspiration to each of them."