Friends of the Museum Seeks 2017 Harvest Supper Sponsors

Click here for more information on Harvest Supper 2016

Support group explores support for popular event

Friends of the Museum members (from left) Joy Clark, Mary Solomon, Donna Gottshall, Mary Ann Frugé, Dorothy Howorth and John Hardy are working on plans for the Harvest Supper, the main fundraising event that supports the University of Mississippi Museum.

Friends of the Museum members (from left) Joy Clark, Mary Solomon, Donna Gottshall, Mary Ann Frugé, Dorothy Howorth and John Hardy.

If a Southern writer looked out a window of Rowan Oak, home of the late novelist William Faulkner, the gathering taking place on the front lawn on a crisp October evening might inspire a scene in a novel or short story.

The sense of community created as people gather under the stars enjoying locally grown food and gentle music would not only be appealing for a writer, but also for participants. That’s why so many people are drawn to the Friends of the Museum’s Harvest Supper, the only evening fundraising event hosted annually at Rowan Oak.

The sixth annual Harvest Supper is October 12, 2017 — the Thursday before the Ole Miss Rebels’ SEC football game with the Vanderbilt Commodores.

Friends of the Museum members are seeking sponsors for the dinner, which has become one of the signature events of the Lafayette-Oxford-University community’s fall season. Previous Harvest Suppers have sold out, and the 2016 event attracted more than $100,000 in support for the University Museum.

President of the Friends of the Museum, a volunteer organization that supports museum fundraising, advocacy and special programing, John Hardy said, “Circle your calendars. This year’s Harvest Supper will occur October 12th, the Thursday evening before the Ole Miss-Vanderbilt football game. Harvest Supper has become a highly anticipated event that supports the University of Mississippi Museum. Presented by Friends of the Museum, the event combines alumni, local residents and out of town guests with artists, writers and musicians for dinner and entertainment on the historic grounds of Rowan Oak in Oxford, Mississippi.”

“The generosity of our sponsors and the proceeds from ticket sales enable the Friends organization to target specific Museum needs to enrich the Museum experience for us all. Recently named as one of the top college museums in the nation, the Museum in 2016 had visitors from 50 states as well as 58 countries. In addition, our education programs alone reached over 12,800 participants last year,” said Hardy.


Robert Saarnio, director of the University Museum and Historic Houses, voiced his appreciation for the support that comes from the event.  “Harvest Supper is a quintessential moment in the annual calendar of the museum and Rowan Oak, as it is for the community of supporters who sustain us,” Saarnio said. “Without the Friends of the Museum’s dedication to this magical evening and the generosity of myriad sponsors and attendees, so much of what we offer to our audiences would simply not be possible.

“This extraordinary event inspires us as a staff, and fosters an invaluable degree of good will for the museum and its historic houses – for which we are immensely grateful.”


Individuals, businesses and other organizations can become Harvest Supper sponsors at these levels:

  • Presenting Level: $10,000 and up
  • Platinum Level: $5,000 to $10,000
  • Gold Level: $2,500 to $5,000
  • Silver Level: $1,000 to $2,500
  • Bronze Level: $500 to $1,000

Sponsors will be listed on the 550 event invitations mailed in August as well as included in news articles, website and social media posts, electronic newsletters and other communications on the event. The various sponsorship levels also provide tickets to the Harvest Supper, admission passes to Rowan Oak, membership to the University Museum and much more.

Proceeds from the evening will help support numerous aspects of the University Museum, including acquisitions, the annual “Conversations” guest lecture series, exhibitions, educational programming and special events. The event also generates awareness about the ongoing needs to maintain and operate Rowan Oak and the Walton-Young Historic House, also managed by the museum.