February 18, 2014 9:49:06 AM
OXFORD -- A $25,000 reward is available for information leading to the arrest of two men involved in defacing the James Meredith statue at the University of Mississippi.
Chancellor Dan Jones asked the university's Alumni Association to offer the reward for help in finding two men seen early Sunday near the statue, which commemorates the 1962 integration of Ole Miss. The men draped a noose and an old Georgia state flag on the statue, the university said in a statement Monday. The men also 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," Jones said. "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," he said.
The University Police Department is investigating and alerted Oxford Police.
Anyone with information concerning the investigation is urged to contact UPD at 662-915-7234.