It was a big weekend for Bill Jordan back at The Grove.
The Columbus businessman returned to the University of Mississippi and picked up a couple of prestigious honors from his alma mater.
Jordan, an Ole Miss wide receiver who graduated in 1973 with a business degree, came back to Columbus and created Realtree Camouflage. A company started out of the back of his father's marine dealership in the mid-1980s has grown to one of the most recognized companies in the outdoor business world with Realtree-branded products accounting for more than $1 billion annually in sales.
For his support of the university and bringing honor to it through his good deeds, Jordan was given the Alumni Association's highest annual honor prior to Saturday's football game against Auburn, ironically a university he passed every time he made the trip from Columbus to Oxford.
Jordan also will be honored by the Ole Miss Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame with its Distinguished American Award, which is given to individuals who have carried the lessons learned on the football field into a life of service to their community.
Not bad for a scrappy, often-injured wide receiver who used to catch balls thrown by his old friend Archie Manning.
"I am not an awards kind of guy," Jordan said of the honors. "I do what I do and what happens happens."
Asked what he learned at Ole Miss that made him successful, Jordan just laughed.
"I learned how to party," he said.
But he also learned a lot more.
"As a business major, I learned I loved the marketing aspect of business," Jordan said. "I learned so much in those classrooms about business and marketing."
Realtree is a marketing machine with camouflage patterns on everything from shotguns to race cars -- and Jordan is the engineer.
While at Ole Miss, Jordan earned two varsity letters and played a season for legendary coach Johnny Vaught.
"I learned to be on time and make deadlines," said Jordan, 62 and four decades removed from his Rebel experience.
Jordan, his wife, Shannon, and children Tyler, 20, Graycen, 6, and Colton, 3 made the trip to Mississippi.
The kids got to see that, back in the day, their dad was at a place that helped mold him into a businessman and the host of various hunting and fishing shows.
For Jordan, it was a chance to reflect.
Before he left for Oxford, he got a call from his old quarterback.
"Archie called to congratulate me and said he wasn't going to be there -- he was going to Denver then San Diego to watch Peyton play," Jordan said.
The two men talked about Archie's boys, Peyton and Eli.
"We're trying to set up a spring turkey hunting trip for Peyton and Eli," Jordan said.
That's Bill Jordan -- a man who can mix business and pleasure.
Chuck Williams, senior editor for content, email@example.com.