Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Education of a Lifetime

To cleanse your palate of all those dark, disturbing reads in October, we’ll start off November—football season—with a memoir by Dr. Robert Khayat, a former pro footballer for the Washington Redskins and Ole Miss’s former chancellor.

The Education of a Lifetime by Dr. Robert Khayat (Nautilus, 2013, 320pp.)

Dr. Robert Khayat, a graduate of Ole Miss and former pro-football player who served as the university’s chancellor from 1995 to 2009, has just come out with a new memoir, The Education of a Lifetime. As someone whose interest in sports is limited to the Alabama-Auburn game every year, I was surprised at how readable it was as a memoir. Intertwining humorous anecdotes from his football career with the challenges he faced during his chancellorship, Khayat chronicles his attempts at tackling opponents (in football and in academia), his efforts to increase university standing, funding, enrollment, and obtain membership with Phi Beta Kappa, the national academic honor society. He also sheds light on his part in Ole Miss’s extremely controversial decision to distance itself from the Confederate flag in 1997, a symbol which some regard as an unofficial symbol of the school. While not all will agree with his decision about the flag, it’s clear that Khayat is someone who cares deeply about his home state, and how it’s viewed by the rest of the country. Overall, it’s an informative, uplifting read, recommended for curious football fans and students of local history.

See my author interview with Dr. Khayat, published in Weld for Birmingham.

No comments:

Post a Comment