Growing Ole Miss

A Q&A with Madison Gordon, 2021-2022 Miss Ole Miss

Photo courtesy: Ivonne Perez

Q: Talk about why your platform was close to your heart.

Gordon: During the campaign time, I wanted to work with Operation Fit Nation because they prioritize health and wellbeing, especially for communities that struggle with this because it is out of their control. Working with them was important to me because I have always worried about the health of Mississippians, especially within the minority community. This organization has many initiatives that promote health and education. They also work closely with organizations like the Boys and Girls Club, which is dear to my heart because I am a product of [the] Boys and Girls Club of Meridian, and I’m proud of their efforts to make sure their students excel against the adversity that is posed against them. 

Q: Talk about the process of running a campaign.

Gordon: The logistics of coordinating a campaign and a team was not an easy walk around the park, but it was something I was familiar with due to [working] with campaigns prior to my own. It was every feeling and emotion you could think of. I think the stressful part for me was making sure I was allocating my time wisely. For instance, every day was pretty much a 5 a.m. wakeup and a 12 a.m. bedtime. This would be time for strategizing, class and schoolwork, and actual campaigning, so [I made] sure people were seeing me active at my sign and active with multiple student groups.  

Q: Describe the moment you found out you had won. 

Gordon: The moment I won is a time I will never forget. Before they called my name, they announced how much I had won, and to me, that was a true moment of proof that I had impacted people enough for them to want and trust me in this role. The moment they called out my name, I took it in and then instantly called my mother. She is someone I strive to be like, as well as make proud. She was watching the live stream so she received the results at the same time that I did, so once she answered she was crying, and that moment left me speechless. My mom and family were finally seeing the fruits of my labor here at a university that caused outsiders to ask my family about my safety and comfortability. 

Q: What’s one thing you want to tell Ole Miss?

Gordon: I would just like for them to know that the daily experiences of college may come with challenges, heartaches, celebrations, and losses all in one- but it is important not to bottle these feelings up or take them out on others, but [rather as] a time to grow. Growth comes from the life experiences we have as well as how we respond to them. During my time here, I have discovered the truth in this as well as had the privilege of finding a group of people that will be there for me in all times of life.