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Department of History
University of Mississippi

The John W. Odom Memorial Prize in Southern History

Awarded for the best paper in Southern history and literature. Nominations are open to papers written by undergraduate and graduate students.

The prize is named in honor of Col. John W. Odom (1842-1906), of DeSoto County, who donated to the  University  the  sum  of  two  thousand  dollars,  the  in­terest only of which shall be awarded  each year as a prize to that student  in the University  of Mississippi who shall present the best essay or oration. (This was for THE  JOHN  W.  ODOM  CONFEDERATE MEMORIAL  PRIZE).  Originally this award was for ‘the best essay or oration on the right of the Southern States to secede from the American Union’.)

Col. Odom fought in the Civil War and was wounded at the Battle of Chickamauga, GA in 1863, as a member of Walthall’s Brigade. After the war he was a member of the Miss. House of Representatives in 1884 and also served in the constitutional convention of 1890. Odom Hall on the UM campus was constructed in 1920 as a residence hall for men and was named after Col. Odom.

Action was taken with this fund on March 30, 1987, to change the name from Odom Confederate Memorial Prize to the John W. Odom Memorial Prize in Southern History.