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Community Invited to Feb. 2 Event at Ford Center
Dexter McCluster, the legendary Ole Miss Rebel football and NFL player, returns to the University of Mississippi on Friday, Feb. 2, as the next featured speaker in the Robert C. Khayat Lecture Series.

Former Ole Miss and NFL standout Dexter McCluster looks forward to being back on the University of Mississippi campus on Friday, Feb. 2, when he returns to Oxford, Mississippi, to share his inspirational story as the next featured speaker in the Robert C. Khayat Lecture Series.

The legendary college and professional football player achieved great success during his many years on the gridiron and, more recently, as a sought-after fitness coach and father of five daughters.

McCluster plans to share his inspirational story, which includes being a “girl-dad.”

“I’m so looking forward to sharing stories about my journey,” McCluster said. “I’ll talk about my college career and my NFL career, and I’ll talk about being a girl-dad to our incredible daughters.

“I also want to talk about how important it is to find your purpose,” he continued. “Often, when you’re a student in college, you’re not sure what it is, but I can promise you, everyone has a purpose.”

The RCK Lecture Series is hosted by the Ole Miss Women’s Council for Philanthropy (OMWC) and will be presented as part of the Women’s Council’s annual PULSE Leadership Conference.

Each winter, the Women’s Council hosts the PULSE Conference as a leadership training event for all UM students.

“Having the PULSE Conference and this particular RCK Lecture Series event on the same weekend works so well together because Dexter McCluster is a relatively recent Ole Miss graduate, so he is not too far removed from UM. Not only can he share his enthusiasm about Ole Miss, but he can also share his thoughts about navigating life after college,” said Candie Simmons, a UM alumna and OMWC member.

“We think his wonderful story will be a great benefit for all students and our Women’s Council scholars, making this a memorable experience for everyone who attends the PULSE Conference and the RCK Lecture Series,” she said.

A 10-year resident of the Nashville, Tennessee, area, McCluster is thrilled to be invited back to campus to speak to students and other members of the Ole Miss and Oxford community.

“Every time I return, I get that same feeling I had when I stepped on campus the first time as a freshman,” said McCluster, who majored in journalism and business. “I absolutely love it there and coming back just gives me the best feeling.”

McCluster is a four-year letterwinner for the Rebels and he finished No. 2 on the Ole Miss career all-purpose yardage list with 4,089, behind only Deuce McAlister’s 4,889. He earned third-team All-America honors in 2009 after rushing for 1,169 yards, the second-highest rushing total in school history, and eight touchdowns as a senior.

McCluster received the National Running Back Trophy from the College Football Performance Awards and became the first player in SEC history with 1,000 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards in the same season.

He earned second-team All-SEC honors as a junior and was one of only two players to rank top 10 in the SEC in rushing yards, receiving yards, reception and all-purpose yards in 2008. McCluster finished seventh in the SEC in all-purpose yards (98.5 ypg) and topped the team in rushing yards (655) and rushing TDs (six).

After he became just the second offensive player ever to earn back-to-back Cotton Bowl MVP honors in 2009 and 2010, McCluster was inducted into the Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame in 2021.

He was drafted in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs. After four seasons in Kansas City, he spent two years with the Tennessee Titans and then the 2016 season with the San Diego Chargers.

In recent years, McCluster has become an in-demand fitness instructor and was named one of the 10 Most Influential Trainers of 2021 by USA Top 100. He also was named to the 2022 M-Club Alumni Hall of Fame and is an active member of the Ole Miss Alumni Association board of directors.

His greatest joy is his family.

He and his wife, Brittany, met in a math class in Hume Hall as UM students and are now the proud parents of five children – all daughters.

During his talk at the RCK Lecture Series in the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts, McCluster said he will be “speaking from my heart” and answering questions from the audience.

Since being launched in 2021, the Khayat Lecture Series has provided a platform where university students, faculty, staff and alumni can join with diverse segments of the community to hear from thought-provoking speakers, performers, cultural leaders and philanthropists.

General admission tickets for McCluster’s talk at 7 p.m. and VIP tickets for a 6 p.m. reception are now available. The VIP reception will feature refreshments, a private meet-and-greet with McCluster, and priority seating during the lecture. Purchase a ticket for either event here.

Proceeds from the Khayat Lecture Series support the OMWC Global Leadership Circle, a program aiding students who want to study abroad or pursue internships.

Now in its 24th year, the Women’s Council has gained a reputation as one of the most transformational scholarship programs in the nation. Since being launched in 2000, the OMWC has built an endowment totaling nearly $20 million and awarded its prestigious and generous scholarships to 185 UM students.

Currently, 38 scholars are receiving the $40,000 scholarships ($10,000 per year for four years). OMWC scholars are given access to full-time scholar support staff, career and life mentoring, leadership development, guidance for a philanthropic approach to life, and opportunities to travel, study abroad and attend cultural and educational events designed specifically for these scholars.

For more information or to support the Robert C. Khayat Lecture Series and/or the Global Leadership Circle, contact Suzanne Helveston, OMWC program director, at or 662-915-2956.

By Jonathan Scott/UM Development


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