After 55 years, Greenwood resident and former Ole Miss Rebelette Betty Aden will return to the University of Mississippi on Saturday to perform on Hollingsworth Field.
Ole Miss will host the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with kickoff at 11 a.m. During the halftime show, about 50 former Rebelettes, the current dance team and the Pride of the South band will perform. The event is a part of the Ole Miss alumni band reunion this weekend.
“When you graduate from college, at the time you think, ‘That’s the last time. I’ll never have a chance to go back and perform again.’ So when this opportunity came up, I jumped on it,” said Aden.
Aden, 76, will be the oldest Rebelette dancing on the field. Many of the Rebelette members during her era are physically unable to perform during halftime, and Aden said she is excited to be able to dance again on the football field with other Rebelette alums.
“I just think it’s an awesome opportunity for alumni to do something that they never dreamed they would get to do again,” said Aden.
After graduating from Mississippi Delta Community College, Aden attended Ole Miss from 1961 to 1963. The Moorhead native, who later became a longtime dance instructor at MDCC, said she enjoyed her time as a Rebelette.
Aden said she took her father’s 1953 pickup truck to Oxford. The truck was once a faded blue, but Aden’s mother painted it an “Ole Miss” blue before she drove it to college.
“Everybody told me I could go to MSU with a pickup, but not Ole Miss,” she said.
Aden said, however, the old truck became an icon with the school’s band.
For pep rallies that were once held at Miller Hall, Aden would load up the bass and tuba players and their instruments in the back of her truck. She said that the band members were thankful for the ride rather than having to haul their instruments by foot.
“They didn’t have to march with all that heavy equipment,” she said. “That’s one of my good memories.”
During Aden’s years at Ole Miss, the football program was in its heyday. Over the two years, the Rebels won 19 games and lost only two, and finished the 1962 season with a record of 10-0 and a claim to the national championship.
“At that time, the Ole Miss football team was at the highest level,” she said. “I got to perform in the Cotton Bowl and Sugar Bowl. It was just an exciting time.”
Aden said she is looking forward to meeting the other former Rebelettes and the current dance team members and the chance to relive a special time in her life.
“People don’t realize when you get older how much memories — those special moments in your life — mean to you,” she said.
•Contact Ruthie Robison at 581-7233 or firstname.lastname@example.org.