With 12 Grads Down, UM Spirit Thrives for the Permenter Family

Front (Left to Right): Amy Permenter McMahan (1963), Suzanne Permenter Hickox (1967), Walterine Permenter Odom (1971), Frances Permenter Smith (1974); Back: Amy Hickox White ((1998), Doug Odom (2013), Doug “Rascal” Odom (UMMC 1969), Joey Odom (2007), Bill Hickox (1998), Sarah Shows Odom (2011- Joey’s wife), Gy Odom (2004). Not pictured is Andy McMahan (1998). Photo courtesy of Frances Smith.

The Permenter family might be spread across the Southeast region, but their roots grow deep at the heart of Ole Miss.

From oldest to youngest, the four Permenter sisters each attended The University of Mississippi from 1959-1974 without a single break in attendance.

Amy and Walterine were both cheerleaders and Campus favorites. Adding to their list of accomplishments, Walterine was also Miss Ole Miss in ’71 while Frances served in the Ole Miss Associated Student Body Senate for three years.

Their legacy continues to be strong even after their departure from the university.

Frances and Walterine served as Admission Counselors for Ole Miss for their first jobs out of college.

Serving on the Advisory Board for the College of Liberal Arts, Frances and Walterine have also been judges for the Business School’s Speaker’s Edge competition, which involves working professionals, alumni and students to participate in a competition for professional communication.

Although the sisters’ parents did not attend the university themselves, they experienced it vicariously through their daughters. In 2014, the sisters endowed a scholarship in memory of their parents.

Following in his mother’s footstep, Walterine’s son Doug Odom was also selected for the Hall of Fame while attending Ole Miss.

The Permenters continue their success at the university with a total of 12 Ole Miss degrees.

The family still keeps their Ole Miss spirit alive by gathering for the Egg Bowl, the classic showdown between Ole Miss and the school down South (Mississippi State), most Thanksgivings.

The family gathers for many other games, such as both Texas games. They even drove to Omaha when Ole Miss participated in the College World Series in 2014. The Permenter family remains season ticket holders for baseball and football to cheer on the Ole Miss Rebels as their family continues to grow.

By Talbert Toole, associate editor of HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at talbert.toole@hottytoddy.com.


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