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From the Grove to 30 Rock Journey to Commencement: Ole Miss senior seeks career in sketch comedy

This story is part of the "Journey to Commencement" series that highlights University of Mississippi students and their academic and personal journeys from college student to college graduate.

Mack Hubbell likes to make people laugh.

The University of Mississippi senior grew up a bit of a class clown, used his humor as a campaign strategy while running for Mr. Ole Miss and kept things lighthearted during his time as chaplain for the Kappa Alpha fraternity, a technique that allowed him to break down barriers of communication between himself and his fraternity brothers.

When he graduates in May, Hubbell hopes his ability to make people laugh will blossom into a career.

"I want to eventually do comedy writing and perform full time," he said. "My dream would be to become a cast member on 'Saturday Night Live.'"

During his time at the University of Mississippi, Mack Hubbell was inducted into the Columns Society and participated in various campus events, such as the Great 38 Race. He credits Ole Miss with providing him the tools to be successful in his career.

Hubbell laid the foundation of that dream as an Ole Miss student. He had separate internships in New York City, one for "Late Night with Seth Meyers" and the other for "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon."

"Those experiences were incredible," Hubbell said. "I was getting to walk into 30 Rock (30 Rockefeller Plaza, home of NBC) every day for work. I have watched shows like '30 Rock,' 'SNL,' 'Friends,' all the late-night shows, 'Seinfeld,' 'The Office' – like, every great show – and I am getting to walk into the building where it all happens."

Hubbell, an integrated marketing communications major, plans to move to New York after Commencement, a prospect he sees as just another adventure for someone who likes to leave his comfort zone.

He grew up in Lake Oswego, Oregon, but had no trouble moving more than 2,000 miles from home, because "Ole Miss has always been in my blood." His mother, Polly, is a UM graduate.

"I'm actually a fourth-generation Ole Miss student," Hubbell said. "My mother, her father and his father all went to Ole Miss. So, I grew up with Southern roots and I've always wanted to come to school here."

The university has provided him the tools for his career, he said.

"Ole Miss teaches you how to talk to people," he explained. "It's such a diverse and open place, and pretty much anyone you meet here can talk to a wall for, like, an hour, so you learn how to talk to people and interact, which is important in the professional world.

"It also blows my mind how connected the Ole Miss network is. Everywhere I go – even in New York, even people way high up in the entertainment industry – there are Ole Miss grads."

Hubbell said he will miss the feeling Oxford sparks in him that "there's just something special about Ole Miss. There's just a feel you get and everyone understands it, but they can't really put a word to it."

He hopes that one day, he will sit in the guest chair of a late-night talk show and get to share with the world what he believes everyone should know about his university.

"I would tell people that you can't understand this place until you come down here and you interact with the people. There's literally not a better place on Earth.

"I could go to all seven continents and be wildly successful and travel the world and have as many achievements as I could get, but I will never forget Ole Miss. Ole Miss means the world to me."

Story by Justin Whitmore/University Marketing & Communications

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