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Nunnelee recalls MSU experience, influences
Experience, training prepares Extension for emergencies
‘Express Yourself’ allows participants to share creative spirit
Mississippi State University: what’s in a name?
Private giving to MSU soars; impact felt university-wide
The end result: Daria Pizzetta
Summer/Fall 2011 | Vol. 86 | No. 4 USPS 354-520 This is Our State.
Mark E. Keenum (’83, ’84, ’88)
Vice President for Development and Alumni John P. Rush (’94, ’02)
Alumni Association Executive Director and Associate Vice President, Development and Alumni Jimmy W. Abraham (’75, ’77) twitter.com/drjimmyabraham
Mississippi State Alumnus is published
three times a year by the Office of University Relations and the Mississippi State University Alumni Association at Mississippi State, Miss. Send address changes to Alumni Director, P.O. Box AA, Mississippi State, MS 39762-5526; telephone 662-325-7000; or e-mail email@example.com. alumni.msstate.edu twitter.com/msstatealumni facebook.com/msstatealumni
102 George Hall, P.O. Box 5325, Mississippi State, MS 39762-5325 Telephone, 662-325-3442 Fax, 662-325-7455 E-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org www.msstate.edu
Contact Libba Andrews at 662-325-3479 or email@example.com.
During a recent visit to speak with community leaders in Clay County and the Rotary Club in West Point, U.S. Congressman Alan Nunnelee returned to a place where his political life began: Mississippi State University.
April 27, 2011, began like most days in northeast Mississippi, with school, jobs and other day-to-day activities keeping residents busy. By day’s end, however, communities throughout the region had been hit by a series of powerful tornadoes that left paths of destruction and death.
Through Express Yourself, a program at Mississippi State’s T.K. Martin Center for Technology and Disability, individuals with severe disabilities get to do what the name implies: express themselves as artists.
Mississippi State University has a history that past, present, and future generations can be proud of, but what’s in a name? Would MSU be what it is today if it had kept its original name?
Mississippi State University has more than 121,000 living alumni, and Sarah Reaves has proudly taken her place among recent graduates with a degree she earned by way of a special scholarship. She is a shining example of how private gifts to Mississippi State further the goals of talented and committed students.
MSU graduate Daria Pizzetta competes with architects who went to the most prestigious schools around the country, such as MIT, Harvard, and Yale. But, she believes MSU graduates stand up to those of any school, and her goal is to help current MSU students achieve their dreams of becoming architects.
Allen Snow (’76)
Associate Editor Harriet Laird
Matt Watson (’05) Eric Abbott (’07)
Russ Houston (’85) Megan Bean Beth Newman
20 Campus news 30 Alumni news 42 Foundation news 47 Class news 49 In memoriam
Mississippi State University Alumni Association National Officers Jerry L. Toney, ’96, national president Camille Scales Young, ’94, ’96, national first vice president Tommy R. Roberson, ’67, national second vice president Jodi White Turner, ’97, ’99, national treasurer Karen Dugard Lawler, ’82, ’94, immediate former national president
Alumnus Summer/fall 2011 1
NUNNELEE recalls MSU experience, influences By Robbie S. Ward, Photos by Russ Houston
2 Alumnus Summer/Fall 2011
During a recent visit to speak
ing to their ideas and answering
marketing. Visiting with the EcoCar
with community leaders in Clay
questions. Thinking back to his
team for the second year, Nunnelee
County and the Rotary Club in West
college days and experience with his
supports practical solutions and
Point, the congressman returned to
three children—Reed, Emily and
research and development to help
a place where his political life began:
Nathan—Nunnelee knows college
solve challenges Mississippians and
Mississippi State University.
students have less of a filter with
the rest of America face.
.S. Congressman Alan Nunnelee visits plenty of places in the First District of Mississippi when the House of Representatives has a break. However, he tries to visit a place just outside his district whenever he gets a chance—a place that shaped the businessman’s and former state senator’s early beginnings.
Plenty has changed at the land
their questions than older crowds.
Nunnelee sees prices at the pump
grant university since he arrived
“College students are willing to
on campus in the fall of 1976 as a
challenge the status quo and ask why,”
and continued instability in the
freshman. However, the institution’s
Nunnelee said. “I love being around
Middle East as reasons why national
values remain constant—teach-
college students because of that.”
policy leaders, researchers and in-
ing, research, and service. Another
Meeting with the EcoCar student
spiking toward four dollars a gallon
dustry must partner to create more
constant for Nunnelee—from his
team, which recently completed a
freshman year in college to this
three-year competition of designing
A lifelong fiscal conservative, he
freshman year as a congressman—is
and building a biodiesel extended-
embraces the philosophy of the fed-
the energetic atmosphere at MSU.
range electric vehicle, Nunnelee
eral government cutting back during
fuel from within the country.
“Campus always has so much life
issued a challenge to them. He wants
hard times. However, his years as
to it,” he said, walking to the Colvard
their help to make the United States
appropriations chairman in the
Student Union for a meeting with
energy-independent by the end of
Mississippi Senate taught him the
the university’s EcoCar team, a
importance of setting priorities, and
group of students which has reengi-
“We have a challenge before us
neered a GM sports utility vehicle to
today, and it’s your generation that
will tackle it,” Nunnelee said to the
“It’s not something new,” he said
When the Tupelo native visits
group of a dozen students with ma-
of government support for research.
campus, he usually receives invita-
jors from mechanical engineering to
“Queen Isabella recognized the im-
he views research as an appropriate duty of government.
tions to speak to university leaders
portance when she funded a research
and groups. Nunnelee enjoys speak-
operation headed by Christopher
ing at groundbreakings, such as the recent event for the new facility in the MSU Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park. However, Nunnelee especially likes engaging with students, listen-
When I lost my sight, I found that God compensates by strengthening something else.
Columbus to find a route to India. “I think Mississippi State is perfectly positioned to play a role in achieving energy security in this nation,” he said. “Mississippi State represents the intersection of engineering and agriculture and
Alumnus Summer/fall 2011 3
“I made it through a very difficult time in my life because of the people here.”
special meaning to him. During Nunnelee’s senior year—a time without his sight—he had a map of campus in his mind. However, he had problems if he left points of
business, and all of those things are going to be a part of the solution.” After finishing his public appearances for the day, Nunnelee turned toward the personal side of his visit to campus. He took a few minutes
seem to change with time. He recalls
reference such as sidewalks. The day
parking and campus traffic as top
he took a chance and cut across the
Drill Field, the tree got him.
“Probably the same as they are now,” he said with a laugh. While Nunnelee became interest-
“I did something I knew I shouldn’t do,” Nunnelee said, noting that he was running late that day. “I
to visit with his Bulldogs—Emily, a
ed in politics and made many friends
got tied up in one of the branches
recent graduate who works in the of-
as a student, he also experienced
of that tree and couldn’t figure out
fice of sponsored programs admin-
something hard for many college
where ‘out’ was.”
istration on campus, and Nathan, a
students to imagine. The summer
senior biochemistry major.
before he began attending MSU, his
himself from the tree, the more lost
doctors discovered a disease affect-
he got. Finally, a friend saw Nun-
Tupelo native back to his college ex-
ing his vision and informed him that
nelee’s losing battle with the tree and
perience, one of the most enlighten-
he would lose his sight.
helped him back to the sidewalk. He
Visiting campus also takes the
ing and challenging times of his life.
Nunnelee spent a year and a half,
The more he struggled to untangle
will always remember friends and
Nunnelee began serving his first
beginning his junior year, unable to
MSU faculty who helped him during
term in Congress in January, but his
see. Reflecting on those challenging
one of the toughest times of his life.
political career officially began in his
times, Nunnelee said he thinks of so
sophomore year at MSU, when he
many people who encouraged and
may have wanted to drop out,” he
decided to run as a Suttle Hall repre-
said. “I made it through a very dif-
sentative in the Student Association.
Walking along to the Drill Field
Asked what issues he campaigned
near McCool Hall, he pointed out
on, Nunnelee said some things don’t
“that tree” near McCool Hall. It has
4 Alumnus Summer/Fall 2011
“Friends encouraged me when I
ficult time in my life because of the people here.” Corneal transplant surgery
allowed Nunnelee to have limited
said. “He’s also a very good MSU
Nunnelee finding funds to budget
vision after finishing school at MSU.
An avid baseball fan, he recalled
Another Tupleo native and MSU
“He’s blazed trails that have made
watching the Diamond Dogs play
alumnus, Glenn McCullough Jr.,
Mississippi a better place,” Mc-
after the surgery.
former chairman of the Tennes-
Cullough said. “And he’s doing the
see Valley Authority, was mayor of
same thing in Congress.”
“I will never forget sitting at Dudy Noble Field after my fourth year of
Tupelo when Nunnelee served in the
school and actually watching a curve
Senate. Discussing Nunnelee’s elec-
other elected officials and state lead-
ball,” he said. “I knew in my mind
tion to the House of Representatives,
ers, and it’s easy to see why when
what a curve ball did, but I’d never
McCullough said his experience
visiting with him. He’s friendly,
Nunnelee as a politician and an
working with Nunnelee showed that
elected official. He rarely speaks
Mississippi is in good hands with
from prepared remarks, opting
him in Congress.
• U.S. Rep. Alan Nunnelee visits with MSU’s EcoCar team. The congressman said energy independence rates as one of our nation’s top priorities.
Nunnelee garners praise from
seen one in my life.” Still today, Nunnelee has issues with his sight. Unable to see with his right eye, he has limited vision in his left eye with the help of a contact lens. However, people who have known him for years recognize his sharp memory. Nunnelee sees a connection between his limited sight and keen memory. “When I lost my sight, I found that God compensates by strengthening something else,” he said. “In college, if I put something down, I had to remember exactly where I put it.” That sharp memory also helps
instead to speak from the heart. “I think people feel you’re more
McCullough recalled working with then-Sen. Nunnelee to
real if you’re not reading,” he said.
support programs to help people
informed and has a take-charge atti-
“They don’t know if you wrote it or if
take courses at area community
tude. However, he knows he’s still a
somebody else did.”
colleges to earn a general equiva-
politician during interviews. Among
lency diploma, allowing them
all the sensitive issues he faces as an
low state senator, Mississippi Insur-
better employment opportunities.
elected official, as an MSU alumnus
ance Commissioner Mike Chaney
With 30 percent of Mississippians
he has a keen awareness of another
said what the congressman may lack
not graduating from high school
university in his district.
in sight is clearly compensated by
on schedule, the state contin-
compassion, faith and integrity.
ues to look for opportunities to
port in the fall during the Egg Bowl,
encourage people to advance their
A longtime friend and former fel-
“He’s someone who is a deeply dedicated public servant,” Chaney
education. McCullough recalls
When asked which team he’ll sup-
“No comment,” he said. •
Alumnus Summer/fall 2011 5
By Bob Ratliff pril 27, 2011, began like
at 4:31 p.m., killing 16 residents.
sissippi State University Extension
most days in northeast
Within seconds, more than 80
Service staff in Monroe County.
Mississippi, with school,
percent of the town was destroyed,
Stokes is an area agronomist, and
jobs and other day-to-
including all but one of 15 busi-
McClenton is the Extension coun-
day activities keep-
nesses. Most of the few remaining
ty director. Neither is a stranger
ing residents busy. By
structures were in shambles.
to emergency situations. Stokes
day’s end, however, communities
Emergency responders worked
is a member of the Mississippi
throughout the region had been
through the night to rescue survi-
National Guard, and McClenton
hit by a series of powerful torna-
vors trapped in the rubble and to
is a volunteer firefighter. Both are
does that left paths of destruction
meet the immediate needs of those
among more than 150 MSU Ex-
left homeless. By the next morn-
tension Service personnel trained
Hardest hit was the small town
ing, emergency aid and volunteers
to work in disaster areas under
of Smithville in Monroe County.
began flowing into Smithville to
the Federal Emergency Manage-
An EF-5 tornado — the clas-
begin the long recovery process.
ment Agency Incident Command
sification reserved for the most
Among the trained volunteers
powerful and destructive storms
were B.J. McClenton and Charlie
— hit the community of about 900
Stokes, both members of the Mis-
6 Alumnus Summer/Fall 2011
System. “Each situation is different, but experience and training help pre-
pare you to be aware of what’s go-
ing on around you and to respond
available in each
appropriately,” said McClenton.
“Basic people skills are also impor-
office will be dif-
tant in emergency situations, and
ferent, but Inci-
Extension has a long tradition of
working with the public, both in
groups and one-on-one.”
The MSU Extension Service
has an office in each of the state’s
82 counties. Staffing typically
includes an office associate, a 4-H
youth agent, one or more special-
to be valuable members of their
ized agents and a county director.
communities’ emergency response
director. They were assigned to
The county director usually has a
teams,” Stokes said.
prepare a furniture warehouse in
specialty area, such as livestock,
Following Mississippi Emergen-
Smithville to serve as a storage
row crops, horticulture, family
cy Management Agency protocol,
area for food and other emergency
resource management, or food
the MSU Extension personnel
supplies. MSU’s Research and Ex-
volunteered through the county
tension Center in Verona loaned
Alumnus Summer/fall 2011 7
Each situation is different, but experience and training help prepare you to be aware of whatâ€™s going on around you and to respond appropriately.
the response team a forklift and pallets for use in the warehouse.
Nevins and nutrition educator
Livestock producers in Monroe
Naomi Fulton. Office associates
and surrounding counties were
Francis Craig and Brenda Allen
among those who suffered damage
ued to assist with the Smithville
helped direct calls that came into
from the storm.
recovery for several weeks, as did
the county office about recovery
Monroe County 4-H agent James
McClenton and Stokes contin-
8 Alumnus Summer/Fall 2011
â€œThere was widespread damage to pastures and fences from
downed trees,” McClenton said.
to providing a service, it was also
programs are available to the
“The county staff spent as much
an opportunity for the students,
state’s Emergency Management
time as possible during the weeks
especially those who did not grow
Agency. In recent years, Extension
following the tornado assist-
up on a farm, to learn firsthand
Service personnel have been an
ing with fence repair and tree
what it takes to run a livestock
active part of the Katrina recovery,
operation, especially when the
the cleanup efforts during and af-
ter last year’s Gulf oil spill and this
Graduate students and faculty members from the MSU Depart-
MSU Extension personnel
year’s flooding in the Delta, as well
ment of Animal and Dairy Sci-
also assisted cleanup and other
participation in tornado recovery
ences also helped with fence repair
recovery programs in Chickasaw,
work in 2010 and again this year.”
and pasture cleanup in Monroe
Webster and other counties hit by
The MSU Extension Service’s
County. The campus-based faculty
the late-April storms.
included Lamar Adams, Jamie
“As part of the nation’s Land-
work is carried out through four base programs: 4-H youth devel-
Larson, Ann Leed, Ty Schmidt
Grant System of universities,
opment, agriculture and natural
and Jane Parish.
Mississippi State’s mission
resources, family and consumer
includes providing educational
education, and enterprise and
very important because fence
outreach and research support
community resource development.
damage was so widespread that
to all residents of the state,” said
State specialists and area agents as-
large numbers of cattle were being
Gary Jackson, director of the MSU
sist the county staffs in delivering
confined to small pens on some
Extension Service. “In emergen-
educational outreach programs
farms,” said Parish, an Extension
cies, the expertise of our personnel
and providing university research-
beef cattle specialist. “In addition
and the resources of our outreach
based information. •
“Getting fences back up was
• MSU Express Yourself artist Shannon Herod communicates with tracker Barbara Boydstun about her painting.
‘Express Yourself’ allows participants to share creative spirit By Robbie S. Ward | Photos by Beth Newman
lenges. She said she sees them all
looked at the
as treasure chests, just waiting to
“Many of our artists are told
canvas with a gi-
how to do everything in their
ant rainbow and
lives,” Duncan said. “Express Your-
a wooden cabin and knew her art
self allows them to explore their
piece wasn’t finished.
independent, creative sides.”
She had envisioned an old log
The university center has helped
in the foreground, with flowers
dozens of people connect with
growing near it.
their “inner artist” who otherwise
“I’ve got more to do to it,” said
couldn’t. The program follows
the painter and poet. With an art-
principles developed more than
ist’s sensitivities, she embraces her
a decade ago by abstract artist
Tim Lefens to involve able-bodied
Born with cerebral palsy, Herod understands that many people can’t appreciate her traits because they
people acting as “hands” for disabled people. Often, an artist uses laser lights
tend to focus on what she is unable
to guide a “tracker,” who is acting
to do. Transported by motorized
as the painter’s hands. Many who
wheelchair and unable to use her
participate in the program cannot
arms, the 47-year-old Columbus na-
verbally communicate with their
tive resides at a local facility for persons with developmental challenges— and few op-
“Many of our artists are told how to do everything in their lives. Express Yourself allows them to explore their independent, creative sides.””
portunities to showcase her special creative spirit.
trackers. While each relationship
Fortunately, through Express
is different, they typically develop
Yourself, a program at Missis-
a unique communication to pro-
sippi State’s T.K. Martin Center
duce the finished work.
for Technology and Disability, she
Lefens created the New Jersey-
and others with severe disabilities
based Artistic Realization Tech-
get to do what the name implies:
nologies. Most often called A.R.T.,
express themselves as artists.
the nonprofit organization works
Judy Duncan, Martin’s case
to promote art techniques through
manager, has come to know many
27 studio programs around the
people with more severe chal-
Alumnus Summer/fall 2011 11
I DON’T THEIRSEE LIMITA I SEE A TIONS. ILITIES THEY BHA VE.
• Thalamus Brown and Judy Duncan, case manager at the T.K. Martin Center, enjoy colorful moments during a painting session. Duncan started MSU’s pro-
developmental center resident,
gram about five years ago after
said he didn’t enjoy the experience
Lefens spoke on campus. While
at first and stopped going. One of
Lefens-inspired, Express Yourself
Brown’s best friends and room-
at the Martin Center remains an
mate, T.J. Bovastro, continued to
be a regular participant, however.
Though his organization cur-
Bovastro, who dubbed himself
rently is opening new programs
“Sir Mix a Lot” for his particular
in Idaho, Virginia and New York,
creative style, died before com-
Lefens said he regularly encoun-
pleting his last canvas. After the
ters resistance in some locales.
funeral, Duncan asked Brown if
“Luckily, there are places like T.K. Martin where they had the vision to grab on to the breakthrough and run with it,” he said. Twice a month, Herod and
he could return to the studio to complete Bovastro’s effort. The finished work now is on display at the center’s entrance, and Brown continues to paint. Asked
other artists visit the campus
how he feels about expressing him-
studio for 90-minute sessions.
self through art, his eyes widened
Most reside at a Starkville develop-
as he explained what the experi-
mental center; others, in nearby
ence meant to “Sir Mix a Lot.”
communities. Thalamus Brown, another
“I keep coming to keep him here,” said Brown, also born with
cerebral palsy. “It also teaches me about myself.” MSU’s program currently receives funding from the Mississippi Arts Commission. Members of the public also are permitted to purchase
• Janey Linley poses with daughters Megan, left, and Paige and a favorite Express Yourself painting. Linley began purchasing Express Yourself paintings when her daughters attended the T.K. Martin Center.
the work, with proceeds from each sale split between the center and the artists. Dozens of their paintings line the center’s hallways. Janey Linley was one who saw
ley said. “I see abilities they have.” One recent day at her home, a tear rolled from Herod’s cheek as she discussed her life, how others don’t see
the paintings when 6-year-old
beyond her wheelchair and physical
daughters Paige and Megan attend-
limitations, how so many consider
ed the center. Paige has cerebral
her as somewhat less than a person.
palsy. While Linley now owns four
A smile replaced the tear as she spoke
paintings, one featuring two figures
about her feelings when someone
with a heart between them has spe-
purchases a painting. It makes her
cial meaning. She said it reminds
feel empowered, she added.
her of her love for her daughters, and all with cerebral palsy. “I don’t see their limitations,” Lin-
“I might have cerebral palsy, but I won’t let anyone tell me what I can’t do,” she said. •
“I MIGHT HAVE CEREBRAL PALSY, BUT I WON’T LET ANYONE TELL ME WHAT I CAN’T DO.”
Alumnus Summer/fall 2011 13
Mississippi State University:
What’s in a Name? By Ashley Cole Loftin
ississippi State Uni-
and a name establishes. If not for
calculations, by downloading the
versity has a history
Mississippi State’s move from col-
actual datasets. Using this database,
that past, present,
lege to university, it may easily have
the SSRC, the oldest center at Missis-
and future generations can be
remained at a standstill–a college
sippi State University, has developed
proud of, but what’s in a name?
of which few had heard and about
a Culturomics Laboratory. The
Would MSU be what it is today if
which even fewer had written.
laboratory is currently investigating
it had kept its original name? In 1878, the Agricultural and
Mississippi State went from a
overall cultural returns on invest-
college to a university in order
ment as they apply to advertising
Mechanical College of the State of
to offer more educational oppor-
icons. Measures of interest include
Mississippi was born as the state’s
tunities to future generations. It
initial appearance in American
land-grant college. In 1932, the
allowed the school to offer a greater
publications, maximum penetration,
name changed to Mississippi State
variety of studies.
and duration and rates of growth.
College. Finally, in 1958, Mississippi State University was born.
The Social Science Research
Culturomics is becoming an in-
Center at MSU is using the newly
tegral part of a new thread of social
The university’s earlier names
launched Google Ngram Viewer
science research. The public release
were praised in the past and remain
to study the social penetration of
of the Ngram database allows, for
a part of its identity. The original
different name changes in the uni-
the first time, a readily available
name impacted the university’s
approach to quantify and measure
future; it is a permanent brand
In December 2010, Google
important aspects of culture. The
and a major component of history.
launched a database containing 15
Culturomics Lab uses the American
However, for MSU, the year 1958
million scanned books, available
English Google Ngram database
marked a new era.
for easy public access through the
to study the incidence of particular
Ngram Viewer or, for more complex
words or phrases among Ameri-
A name defines, a name creates,
•The team comprising the Culturomics Laboratory at the SSRC includes (sitting from left to right) Sangeetha Shivaji, research associate I; Arthur Cosby, center director; Willie Brown, graduate research assistant; (standing from left to right) Ashley Cole Loftin, facilitator and research assistant; Stephanie Aanstoos, undergraduate research assistant; Jessica Shappley, graduate research assistant; Matilda Asuzu, undergraduate research assistant; and Laura Walton, coordinator of the Media Collaboration Laboratory at the SSRC.
14 Alumnus Summer/Fall 2011
Mississippi State University
Mississippi State College
Mississippi Agricultural & Mechanical College
0.00001800% 0.00001600% 0.00001400% 0.00001200% 0.00001000% 0.00000800% 0.00000600% 0.00000400% 0.00000200% 1870
can written words, giving Missis-
College (in red) grew even more rap-
sippi State’s centennial, the period
sippi State students and faculty the
idly in American writing, reflecting
around 1978, is marked by rising
opportunity to be among the first
Mississippi State’s growing presence
incidence of Mississippi State
to explore the emerging field of
in American culture. The slight
University in the Ngram database.
bump in the occurrence of Mis-
As discussions about the history of
sissippi State College in American
Mississippi State arose, the centen-
tion to the diverse capabilities of the
writing during the latter part of the
nial also was marked by “cultural
Ngram database, the team decided
1930s most likely correlates with the
bumps” in mentions of the Missis-
to explore MSU’s history to try to
60th birthday of Mississippi State,
sippi Agricultural and Mechanical
answer the age-old question: What’s
while the final and most extreme
College and of Mississippi State
in a name?
peak likely reflects more frequent
As a starting point and introduc-
While Mississippi State’s true first
mentions in American writing on
The name Mississippi State Uni-
name was The Agricultural and
the occasion of Mississippi State’s
versity defines who the university is
Mechanical College of the State of
as a family and as a university. The
Mississippi, this title was typically
With each name change, the team
university is proud, competent, and
shortened to the Mississippi Agri-
sees the level of cultural penetration
passionate about its future. Missis-
cultural and Mechanical College. As
of the institution into American
sippi State University holds strong
can be seen in the figure above, the
writing increasing. More generally,
in the written world. Like the name,
name (in green) began to catch hold
the team sees the length of time a
the university has evolved over
within written American culture
university name change requires to
time, thanks to the people who are
around the beginning of the 20th
take hold in American culture.
devoted to it and continue to change
century, growing steadily to reach its
While the institution officially
peak about 1930. This peak and sub-
became Mississippi State University
sequent fall in written usage of Mis-
in 1958, it took until about 1963
years and beyond become
sissippi Agricultural and Mechanical
for Mississippi State University to
available in the Google Ngram
College coincides, of course, with
appear more frequently than the
database, studies can be conducted
the 1932 introduction of the school’s
previous college labels. The data
to determine how and why Mis-
new name: Mississippi State College.
also reflect the effect of signifi-
sissippi State University has been
cant events in its history. Missis-
written and talked about. •
The incidence of Mississippi State
it for the better. When data for more recent
Alumnus Summer/fall 2011 15
Private giving to MSU soars; impact felt university-wide By Amy D. Cagle, Photo by Megan Bean
ississippi State University has more than 121,000 living alumni, and Sarah Reaves has proudly taken her place among recent graduates with a degree she earned by way of a special scholarship. She is a shining example of how private gifts to Mississippi State further the goals of talented and committed students.
At the close of fiscal year 2011, gifts from alumni, friends and
ogy degree while maintaining a 4.0
corporations reached a staggering
grade-point average. She is proud of
$80.3 million, marking the single
her accomplishment and extremely
most successful giving year in Mis-
grateful for the opportunity to
sissippi State history. The all-time
graduate without student loans.
high number reflected an increase
“When I was offered MSU Prom-
of 23 percent over fiscal year 2010
ise, my parents were thrilled because
when $65.1 million was raised. The
they were concerned about the
outpouring of financial support is
financial strain a college education
already benefiting nearly every facet
would place on our family. It was
of Mississippi State, especially the
a definite comfort to have tuition
paid, and I was lucky the scholarship
In recent years, Mississippi State’s student enrollment has surged. Because of this rapid influx of students,
16 Alumnus Summer/Fall 2011
provided more than just financial assistance,” Reaves explained. As part of an accompanying
the university is working diligently
Promise Student Support Program,
to advance the educational goals of
recipients of MSU Promise Awards
all its students, while taking steps to
are given an opportunity to settle into
ensure their success through pro-
college life and gain beneficial study
grams which help them transition
skills. Promise recipients are offered
into college life and make satisfac-
two college support courses and one-
tory progress toward a degree.
on-one counseling with a mentor.
Reaves was among a group of
graduated in May with a psychol-
“I will never forget how Mississip-
beneficiaries of university scholar-
pi State shaped me into the scholar
ships funded with private gifts
I am today,” said Reaves, who looks
during the record giving year. As
forward to a career in academia as
an MSU Promise recipient, she
she pursues a graduate degree at
Georgia Institute of Technology. “I
to pursue their academic goals as
projects – an academic building
have definitely been a blessed Bull-
part of the Judy and Bobby Shack-
to create more centrally located
dog because of MSU Promise.”
ouls Honors College.
classrooms and planned athletic
Reaves’ accomplishment is just
In addition to scholarships, fiscal
one of many inspiring philanthropy
year 2011 also brought much-
stories at Mississippi State which
needed faculty support in the form
stream of annual support provided
take shape with each successful
of development opportunities and
the basis for successful fundrais-
the creation of several endowed
ing efforts as alumni and friends
positions. Gifted students need
continue to understand the critical
unprecedented success in fundrais-
exceptional mentors and Mississippi
need for private gifts. The percent-
ing for Mississippi State,” said John
State is working to attract high-
age of graduates who contributed to
P. Rush, vice president for develop-
caliber faculty from across the globe
the university reached 18 percent,
ment and alumni, who serves as
as teachers and researchers.
which ranks above several major
“Fiscal year 2011 ushered in
MSU Foundation CEO. “Gener-
Gifts for faculty awards reward
ous investments from alumni and
MSU professors for cutting-edge
friends are paving the way for an
research, innovative classroom in-
even stronger institution, and their
struction and service activities with
gifts will allow the university to pur-
financial stipends. The awards are
sue national standing,” he added.
presented university-wide to recipi-
Besides MSU Promise, contribu-
ents selected by the university’s eight
tions for other scholarship programs
academic colleges, MSU-Meridian
are assisting the university as it
and the University Libraries.
During fiscal year 2011, a steady
peer institutions in the measure of support among former students.
“I will never forget how Mississippi State shaped me into the scholar I am today.”
works to provide access and educa-
Several endowed chairs and
tion to as many students as possible.
professorships were secured for
Among them are the Legacy Schol-
different academic areas, among
fiscal year 2011 were part of the
arships which help recruit talented
them the College of Agriculture
ongoing specialized initiative known
entering freshmen and provide
and Life Sciences, the College of
as StatePride. The initiative, which
them with four-year financial
Business and the James Worth
seeks funds specifically for student
awards, and Loyalty Scholarships
Bagley College of Engineering. The
scholarships and faculty support, has
which provide two- and four-year
establishment of these endowed
surpassed $64 million as it enables
financial awards based on merit.
positions brings the total number
MSU to focus on priorities set forth
at Mississippi State to 56.
by MSU President Mark E. Keenum.
The prestigious Presidential
Many of the contributions during
Endowed Scholars Program is still
The Mississippi State campus
going strong through the creation
infrastructure also benefited from
tered in 1962 to help the university
of separate endowments which
fiscal year gifts. The Lloyd-Ricks-
attract support from private sources.
provide four years of study from
Watson building reopened in fall
More information on fundraising
their earnings. Recipients of these
2010, the result of numerous private
and the StatePride initiative at Mis-
scholarships are among the most
gifts along with state funds for its
sissippi State can be found on the
elite students in the nation and
refurbishment. Private gifts were
MSU Foundation’s website at
choose to come to Mississippi State
also secured for future construction
The MSU Foundation was char-
Alumnus Summer/fall 2011 17
D aria PIZZETTA The End Result:
By Sheri Pape
As a child, Daria Pizzetta dreamed of growing up and following in her father’s footsteps. Don Pizzetta owned a construction company in Biloxi, Miss., and Daria admired her father’s hard work and determination. “I always enjoyed watching my father work and knowing at the end of what he did there was a tangible, lasting result,” said Pizzetta. “I was intrigued with the process of how he got a building built.” However, running a construction company was not the ideal job for a “lady,” according to Pizzetta’s father. So she pursued the next best thing – architecture. In 1978, Pizzetta moved to Starkville to study at the state’s only School of Architecture. After an intense four years of training in Starkville and her fifth year studies at the R&D Center in Jackson, she earned her bachelor’s degree in 1983. “There were 25 students who graduated with me from the architecture program,” she commented. “In architecture, you build strong relationships with your classmates because of the amount of time you spend with them in the studio and the workload the major demands. All nighters in the studio were typical.” Upon graduation, Pizzetta returned to her home on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and took a job with Shaw Walker Architects. “Shaw Walker was an excellent firm to work at as a young architect,” said Pizzetta. “I learned so much about how a project is actually designed and documented, and still apply these skills today. They gave me my first small project, a travel agency in Gulfport, and let me run with the design. It was thrilling to see it built.” Pizzetta moved to New York City in 1984 to pursue further opportunities in her profession. In 1992, she joined the firm that would become H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture LLC as an architect and designer. In 2010, she was named a partner in the firm. H3, founded by renowned architect Hugh Hardy, is a recognized leader in planning and designing public buildings such as performing arts centers, theaters, museums and libraries. They specialize in creating spaces that are unique, innovative and integrated with the surrounding architectural context.
“People do not come to H3 for a run-of-the-mill building, but because they value architecture and desire a unique design,” she described. “As a designer, I have the opportunity to creatively solve problems related to our projects, yet have a real, tangible result at the end.”
18 Alumnus Summer/Fall 2011
During her time at H3, Pizzetta, who specializes in cultural and library facilities, has worked on varied projects all over the country.
undergraduate architecture students at Mississippi State. “As an MSU graduate, every day I compete with architects who
Some of her major projects include the Cleveland (Ohio) Public
went to the most prestigious schools around the country such as MIT,
Library, the Richard B. Fisher Building at the Brooklyn Academy
Harvard and Yale,” stated Pizzetta. “I believe MSU graduates stand up
of Music, the Manhattan headquarters for Scholastic Inc., and the
to the graduates of any of these schools, and my goal is to help current
Grand Rapids (Mich.) Public Library.
MSU students achieve their dreams of becoming an architect.”
Recently, Pizzetta led the architectural team for a new building at the Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT) in Fort Worth, an organization dedicated to the conservation and knowledge of
In recent years, Pizzetta has discovered how to pair her love of design with another passion – cake decorating. “I take model making to a higher level through the medium of
botanical resources. The institute houses over 1 million specimens
baking,” she said. “Forming a structure out of cake employs many
in its library of dried plant samples, and is expected to become
of the same abilities and techniques as designing a building.”
the first building in Tarrant County to achieve the Leadership in
As with her professional career, Pizzetta’s culinary skills have
Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating
been recognized and rewarded. In 2008, she won the blue ribbon
System™ Platinum certification.
at the New York State Fair for both cake decorating and soup,
“BRIT is a wonderful client. They are very focused on their mission of conservation, and embraced the challenge of creating a
which was a gumbo recipe adapted from the Jackson Junior League cookbook Southern Sideboards.
functional building that is also one continuous green experience,”
Though architecture is the career path Pizzetta has chosen,
stated Pizzetta. “This building will use substantially less energy for
the most important job in her life is being a mother. She and her
heating and cooling. It features a variety of interesting renewable
husband, Charlie, are the proud parents of two daughters, Stephanie
materials, and a living roof planted in native grasses to resemble the
and Charlotte. The family loves to travel and entertain friends,
Fort Worth prairie.”
and Pizzetta devotes much of her spare time volunteering at her
“It was also one of my favorite project teams,” she continued. “The contractor worked closely with the design team to solve any
children’s schools. Pizzetta is a member of the American Institute of Architects
conflicts during the construction phase instead of merely presenting
(AIA), the American Library Association, for whom she has
them as problems.”
recently completed a new planning primer, Building Blocks for
With all of her success, Pizzetta has maintained close ties to
Planning Functional Library Space, 3rd Edition, as well as the
her home state. She was the primary planner and project manager
Society of College and University Planners. She represented
for the new United States Federal Courthouse in Jackson, a new
her hometown of Biloxi as a team member on the Mississippi
400,000 square foot facility designed under the General Services
Renewal Forum: Governor’s Commission on Recovery,
Administration Design Excellence program. She is currently
Rebuilding and Renewal.
working with Biloxi’s Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum to design a new facility that will replace the museum destroyed in Hurricane Katrina. “My grandfather was a shrimper and reigned as the King of the 1972 Biloxi Shrimp Festival,” added Pizzetta. “It will be my proudest moment to see this museum, so closely linked to my heritage, finally become a reality. Through this project, I can give back to my family, my city and my state.” Pizzetta has also built a close relationship with students and faculty from MSU. Through her encouragement, H3 began hiring co-op students from the School of Architecture to serve in one-year internships with the firm. Pizzetta makes it a point to make her firm known on campus in order to attract MSU’s many bright and talented students to New York City. In 2001, Pizzetta established an endowed scholarship in memory of her mother, Stephanie Mihojevich Pizzetta, to assist
MSU co-op student, Meredith Yale, and Daria Pizzetta at H3’s New York office. Alumnus Summer/fall 2011 19
recognition Burrell, left, and Huntington
Two Mississippi State student advisers are receiving major
Huntington and Burrell, along with other winners, officially
recognitions from a national association for their efforts to
accept the honors at the association’s Oct. 2-5 annual conference
in Denver, Colo. Earlier, the Mississippi State women advanced
Instructor Carolyn E. Huntington of the university’s animal and dairy sciences department and Rita A. Burrell, graduate and distance education manager for the Bagley College of
to the national competition after being selected for the university’s 2011 Irvin Atly Jefcoat Excellence in Advising Awards. Since 1983, NACADA has honored individuals and
Engineering, each will receive honors this fall from the National
institutions making significant contributions to the improvement
Academic Advising Association.
of academic advising. The organization of more than 10,000
Huntington, also interim academic coordinator for the
members seeks to promote quality academic advising and
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, has been chosen for
professional development of faculty, professional advisers,
an Outstanding Advising Award in NACADA’s faculty academic
administrators and others to enhance student development.
advising category. Burrell is a selection for an Outstanding Advising Certificate of Merit in the primary role category.
Over the years, MSU nominees consistently have been among top NACADA winners.
As spring tornadoes devastated parts of the South, Mississippi State broadcast
meteorology graduate student Ryan L. Stinnett was tracking those very weather systems during a final round of an
AS WEATHER hits close to home 20 Alumnus Summer/Fall 2011
international forecasting competition. For the Alabama resident, who went on to win place first in a three-week-long challenge, the killer tornadoes were much more than meteorological data and computer models. The weather got personal as the models showed Ryan L. Stinnett
twisters likely to appear in his hometown.
MSU EcoCar team again finds
SUCCESS General Motors vice chairman and global chief technology officer Thomas Stephens, left, visits with members of MSU’s EcoCar team, including, left to right, Matthew Doude of McCool, Julian McMillan of Brookhaven, and Brian Benoy of Dallas, Texas.
Faced with an unforeseen--and major--problem but pushing forward nonetheless, Mississippi State’s 2011 EcoCar team finished the international challenge with high honors.
competing with the malfunction. Team leader Matt Doude, a McCool native who recently earned a master’s degree in mechanical engineering, said the less-than-
The university group was among 16 entries completing the threeyear competition in Detroit, Mich., and Washington, D.C., in June. Just as the team’s Saturn VUE sports utility vehicle was being loaded for shipment to the finale of the U.S. Department of Energy and General Motors-sponsored event, members identified the cause of a persistent overheating problem--a blown head gasket.
ideal circumstance taught him and other team members many positive lessons. “We came together to arrive at the best solution,” he said. “We didn’t give up.” While MSU placed first in 2010 and third in 2009, this year’s team was held to a sixth-place overall finish. It did place first in a number of
A key engine component, the head gasket would haunt the team throughout the intense matchup with 15 other top universities from the United States and Canada.
categories, including student presentations. Molen also was honored with the Outstanding Faculty Adviser Award, with judging based primarily on student recommendations.
Unable to locate a replacement part in this country, they had one
With EcoCar now history, Team MSU already is preparing for the
shipped overnight from Germany. Even with the gasket in hand, there
next challenge. It previously accepted an invitation to enter EcoCar2,
was a critical decision of whether to repair the vehicle or continue
another three-year challenge that, this time, involves a Chevy Malibu.
His parents and other family members live near Birmingham in Jefferson County and this wasn’t the first time he personally
third consecutive year, Mississippi State’s
damage. Ultimately, what became one
forecasting team won the championship.
of the largest single-system tornado
Beyond the team’s honor, Stinnett was
outbreaks in U.S. history left many
had to deal with the effects of powerful
among 64 top student participants advancing
millions of dollars in damage and more
tornadoes. As a freshman at Oak Grove High
to an extended round of the competition.
than 200 deaths in Alabama and 30 in
School in Bessemer, his school was hit by an
Doug Gillham, MSU’s faculty adviser for
F5 tornado, the highest and most destructive
the forecasting team, said Stinnett’s win “puts
level in National Weather Service ratings.
an exclamation point on the entire season.”
This year, he was one of hundreds of
Having tracked the dangerous weather
Mississippi alone. “It gave me a reality check,” he said, adding that while his parents made it safely, several friends lost all their possessions.
participants in the WxChallenge, an annual
system for days before the clouds turned
weather forecasting contest open to North
destructive, Stinnett said he knew the
in May, Stinnett now is making plans for a
American students and professionals. For the
recent fast-moving front would cause
career in television weather forecasting.
Having received an MSU master’s degree
Alumnus Summer/fall 2011 21
summer / FALL
Va. medieval history
SCHOLAR HEADS honors college Snyder Christopher A. Snyder heads Mississippi State’s Shackouls Honors College as the inaugural dean. Jerry Gilbert, university provost and executive vice president, said Snyder’s appointment as dean represents an elevated leadership role from the previous position of college director. Snyder officially began work Aug. 1, he added. An authority on medieval history, Synder has been serving
“We are delighted to have a person of Dr. Snyder’s caliber to assume the role as the first dean,” Gilbert said. “He will have an opportunity to build on a solid foundation of excellence and take us to a new level.” Following his visit to Starkville, Snyder said the students with whom he had interacted impressed him with their eagerness to take on new challenges.
since 2006 as director of the honors program and professor of
“My first priority will be getting to know them better and
European history at Marymount University in Arlington, Va.
hearing their ideas about honors education so we can, together,
Gilbert said MSU takes pride in the stature and strides achieved by the Shackouls Honors College since 2006, when a $10 million gift by Bobby and Judy Shackouls of Houston, Texas, led to its creation. The college currently enrolls more than 1,000. For more, visit www.honors.msstate.edu/.
20,000 WITH RECORD ENROLLMENT MILESTONE 22 Alumnus Summer/Fall 2011
create a rigorous and distinctive curriculum for the college,” Snyder said. He holds master’s and doctoral degrees in medieval history from Emory University, and a bachelor’s in medieval and renaissance studies from West Virginia University.
Mississippi State University surpassed the 20,000 student enrollment milestone with a 2011 fall semester headcount of 20,424, a 3.97 percent increase from last year. The gain of 780 students from last year’s 19,644 total shows MSU on the rise for the seventh consecutive year. “Despite difficult economic times, we have worked hard to ensure that Mississippi State continues to offer the highest quality educational experience. Included in that experience is a friendly, welcoming and nurturing atmosphere that provides an environment for students to succeed,” said MSU President Mark E. Keenum.
Keenum part of effort to assess world food needs MSU President Mark E. Keenum, left, joined other panelists recently at a Global Agricultural Development symposium that addressed U.S. progress on worldwide food security. Courtesy, Chicago Council on Global Affairs
Joining former U.S. cabinet officers, international agency representatives and other policy makers, Mississippi State
most in need around the world, especially
the world, and MSU has hosted a number
of the groups.
He was the sole U.S. university
“I see a great opportunity for our
President Mark E. Keenum is part of an
representative at the event chaired by
faculty, staff and students to be involved
effort to assess strategies to deal with
former agriculture secretary
in an effort that has global implications
world food needs.
and global benefits,” Keenum said.
The university’s chief executive
During his presentation to
A former USDA undersecretary,
was among invited panelists at a recent
approximately 300 participants, Keenum
Keenum recently launched the
Washington, D.C., symposium convened
outlined the unique contributions land-
International Institute at MSU to
by the Global Agricultural Development
grant institutions make to research,
coordinate and focus university
Initiative, a part of the Chicago Council
outreach and product development that
involvement in academic, research and
on Global Affairs. Keenum is serving a
target both domestic and international
outreach opportunities around the world.
three-year appointment on the council’s
advisory group. “We are addressing the progress of
Keenum said he long has been active
“More than a billion people on our planet are hungry,” Keenum said.
in international affairs and agricultural
“There are tremendous needs that
U.S. leadership on issues related to global
development, especially with the
institutions like Mississippi State can
food security,” Keenum said, observing
Cochran Fellowship Program of the U.S.
help address with technical assistance
that the group is on record in support of
Department of Agriculture. That effort
and research designed to help people
Congressional funding “to help those
provides training for Fellows from around
become the future leaders of our state and
and the College of Business with 2,221.
Among the enrollment gains, figures show increases in African American student enrollment, and the university
nation,” Keenum said. Keenum has set an enrollment goal of
Other current MSU enrollment information includes:
continues to attract a high percentage of
22,000 by 2015, and he said current enrollment
shows the university is on track toward meeting
enrollment, an 8.7 percent increase from
“We tell students that no matter their interest or career path, Mississippi State can help them get there. This all-time record enrollment figure, especially the high
--A 20.7 percent African American
Fall enrollment includes 700 students at the university’s Meridian campus.
--72.7 percent of MSU students are from Mississippi.
The College of Arts and Sciences remains
percentage of students from Mississippi, is
the largest academic unit with 5,241 students,
a strong indication of the confidence those
followed by the College of Education with
students have in our ability to help them
3,816, the College of Engineering with 3,172,
--51 percent of students are male, and 49
percent female. --An average ACT score of 23.6.
Alumnus Summer/fall 2011 23
summer / FALL
MSU again on national community service honor roll Mississippi State is being included for the third consecutive
“It helps them to become better citizens, but also they are
year on the President’s Higher Education Community Service
practicing skills that will help them as they pursue a career,”
Honor Roll for engaging students, faculty and staff in meaningful
Smith said. “Service involves critical thinking, problem solving
and cooperation, all of which help them to be successful in the
Administered by the federal Corporation for National and
Community Service, the recognition includes higher education
Activities and service initiatives that qualified MSU for the honor
institutions that provide significant support for volunteering, service-
included, among others, research conducted by the Mississippi
learning and civic engagement activities.
Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, Forest and Wildlife
CNCS was created by Congress in 1993 to connect Americans
Research Center and the College of Veterinary Medicine; student
of all ages and backgrounds with opportunities to give back to their
efforts coordinated by the Maroon Volunteer Center; Mississippi
communities and their nation. The Washington, D.C.-based agency
in Motion; Day One Leadership Community; Service DAWGS;
merged the work and staffs of two predecessor organizations,
Early Childhood Institute; LeaderSTATE Development Camp; and
ACTION and the Commission on National and Community Service.
summer engineering academies and learning programs.
MSU is among five of the state’s senior colleges to be included on
In recognizing this year’s winners, Patrick A. Corvington, chief
the recently announced 2010 honor roll. More than 640 nationwide
executive officer of CNCS, said that more college graduates are
were recognized for their positive impact last year on issues from
going into the world with a commitment to public service. They
literacy and neighborhood revitalization to supporting at-risk youth.
have the knowledge that they can make a difference in their
Cade Smith, MSU assistant dean of students, is responsible for
own communities and their own lives through service to others,
student leadership and community engagement.
He said service is part of the land-grant institution’s core mission.
“We salute all the Honor Roll awardees for embracing their civic
When students take part in service projects that help others, they are
mission and providing opportunities for their students to tackle
also helping themselves, he observed.
tough national challenges through service,” Corvington said.
Waide named professor of the year by SA Instructor Whit Waide is the
“We are honored to be able to
Mississippi State University Student
administration. He also serves as
present this award to such a deserving
Association’s selection for its 2010-
student pre-law adviser.
individual who earnestly works every
11 Professor of the Year Award. The award is designed to identify
political science and public
Additionally, he is a member of
day to have his students succeed
the campus Honor Code Council,
while learning in a fun environment,”
the individual considered by the
chair of the publication board for
said SA President Rhett Hobart.
student body as the most influential
the Reflector student newspaper
teacher who makes an exceptional
and faculty adviser to Kappa Alpha
the great dedication and passion
impact on their lives on a daily basis.
Professor Waide shows for each of
Since joining the faculty in 2006,
A West Point native, Waide is a
“This award is a testament to
his students, as well as Mississippi
Waide has taught law and government
graduate of Millsaps College and the
State University,” the Greenville
classes in the department of
University of Mississippi law school.
24 Alumnus Summer/Fall 2011
Peaveys help send grads toward
THEIR FUTURES Nearly 2,400 Mississippi State students were candidates for spring-semester diplomas. The university held two commencement programs, one Friday night [April 29] and one Saturday morning. Being honest is one key to having a
Hartley Peavey encouraged graduates to
She suggested graduates also consider
successful career, Hartley Peavey told
take an honest assessment of their own talents
supporting these programs with their time and
Mississippi State graduates at spring
and gifts to help determine who they want to
resources or find other ways to give back in
be and what they want to do as they navigate
Peavey, an alumnus of the university who founded Peavey Electronics Corp.,
through life and careers. He reflected on his own experiences,
Hartley Peavey is a native of Meridian; Mary Peavey, of Starkville.
was speaker for one of the university’s two
which led him to found what has become one
Also a Starkville native, Richard
commencement programs. Alumna Mary
of the world’s largest musical instrument and
Holmes entered MSU in the summer of
L. Peavey, his wife and president of their
professional sound equipment manufacturers.
1965. He went on to receive a general
Meridian-based international business,
“I had to do one of the hardest things I’d
addressed graduates at the Friday
ever done. I had to look in the mirror and be
honest with myself,” Peavey said of giving up
Nearly 2,400 students were candidates for spring-semester diplomas. Also from East Mississippi, two other distinguished graduates were honored during the commencement programs. On Friday night, Macon native Earnest
liberal arts degree in 1969 and a master’s in microbiology in 1972. His entry to MSU helped pave the way for
his dream to become a guitarist in a rock band
an African American student population that
and instead embracing the talents he had for
today is almost 3,900--20 percent of the total
enrollment and a larger proportion of black
“Success, I think, is feeling good about what you do,” Peavey said, adding that money is not the correct measure of
students than at any other historically white land-grant institution in the nation. Deavenport, a 1960 chemical engineering
W. “Earnie” Deavenport, the retired head
success. He also encouraged students to
graduate, retired in 2001 as Eastman’s
of Eastman Chemical Co. now residing in
practice “stick-ability.” He said being able
chairman and chief executive officer. He
Kiawah Island, S.C., accepted an honorary
to persevere through difficulties to finish
also holds a master’s degree from the
doctorate for contributions in the business and
projects is of utmost importance.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an
engineering fields. Saturday morning, Dr. Richard Holmes of Columbus, the first African American to
Both Hartley and Mary Peavey encouraged graduates to be givers.
honorary doctor of laws from Kings College. He has been actively involved for many
“When you do go out and get that job, I
years with MSU and its Bagley College of
attend MSU, received an honorary doctorate
hope that you will give back,” Mary said. She
Engineering, including current service as a
for contributions to the practice of medicine
told graduates about her own work supporting
member of the Dean’s Advisory Council.
and the expansion of educational opportunity. He
after-school programs so that young people
Additionally, he serves on the MSU
currently practices in Columbus and Meridian.
can be in positive, supervised environments.
Foundation Board of Directors.
Alumnus Summer/fall 2011 25
summer / FALL
MSU taking orders for
Cristil biography Orders now are being accepted for the biography of Mississippi State’s legendary sports broadcaster. “Jack Cristil: The Voice of the
of the local U.S. Highway 82 Bypass in his honor. Praising Salter for his extensive preparation to write the book, Cristil told
Bulldogs” is written by university alumnus
the large audience in attendance, “My
and veteran newsman Sidney L. “Sid”
parents came from the old country, and
Salter. Printed by Pediment Publishing
my father died when I was very young
of Battle Ground, Wash., the 224-page
(and) I didn’t really know him. My mother
hardcover edition also comes with a
reared six children, so she didn’t talk very
free compact disc of the radio veteran’s
much about things of that nature to us. I
greatest Bulldog football and basketball
was just a kid, you know.
game calls. Best-selling author and fellow alumnus
“(Sid’s) found out more about my parents than I ever knew,” the
John Grisham is providing the book’s
broadcasting icon continued. “He’s done
foreword. Grisham also has granted use of
a world of research, and it’s been very
the first non-coach/non-athlete inducted
Jack’s performance in the audio CD of his
interesting to me. I don’t know how
into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.
novel “Bleachers” to be used on the audio.
much we’re going to get into the final
Scheduled to ship Nov. 4—in time
The book’s author also has carved out
portion of the book, the ballgames and the
a career of distinction in his home state.
for Christmas—the $29.95 book/CD
ramifications thereof, but I’m very, very
In early March, Salter returned to his alma
package may be ordered online at www.
pleased with the methods he’s using, and
mater as journalist-in-residence.
I’m amazed at the amount of research he’s
Editions also should be in bookstores by Nov. 1. All book-sale proceeds will support
A longtime Tupelo resident, Cristil
MSU’s 2004 Alumnus of the Year, the Philadelphia native was a John C. Stennis Scholar in Political Science as a student.
served as the “voice of the Bulldogs” from
At age 24, he became publisher and editor
1953 until his retirement earlier this year
of the weekly Scott County Times in
the newly established Jacob S. “Jack”
due to health reasons. During a 58-year
Forest, continuing in that role for many
Cristil Scholarship in Journalism in MSU’s
career, he called more than 1,500 play-by-
years before becoming Perspective editor
at the Jackson Clarion-Ledger.
“It has been a real joy to work with
His distinctive voice and focused
Salter is a two-time winner of the J.
Jack Cristil in telling his story,” Salter
descriptions of actions on the field and
Oliver Emmerich Award, considered the
said. “Jack has worked hard and been a
court earned him numerous honors,
premier annual honor of the Mississippi
full partner in this process.
including the Lindsey Nelson Award as the
Press Association. In 1996-97, he became
“The truth is that Jack’s life story
nation’s premier sports broadcaster. He also
the first holder of the Kelly Gene Cook
would have been an extraordinary story
received the prestigious College Football
Chair of Journalism at the University of
without his association with Mississippi
Foundation Chris Schenkel Award and
State,” Salter added. “I think that’s the
the Ronald Reagan Lifetime Achievement
surprise of this book for Jack’s longtime
Award of the National Association of
largest newspaper, Salter served as
fans and friends.”
Sportscasters and Sportswriters.
weekday host for a statewide talk show
Cristil spoke about the book recently during a campus ceremony to name part 26 Alumnus Summer/Fall 2011
He was named Mississippi Sportscaster of the Year a record 21 times and became
In addition to duties at the state’s
covering politics and other current issues on the Super Talk Mississippi Radio Network.
MSU diversity, equity director
TaTonka TaTonka Gold, Mississippi State’s beloved mascot from 2001-09, was euthanized July 5 at the College of Veterinary Medicine after his health had steadily declined over the past few years. Also known as “Bully,” “Tonka” and “T-Money,” Bully XIX was born in 2000
and served faithfully as the mascot for nine years, attending many Bulldog football and basketball games, alumni functions, and State-themed parties. In 2006, he sired State’s
A Mississippi State alumnus long
Previously, the Brooksville native
current mascot, Bully XX (Champ), who took
experienced in developing diversity
was assistant dean for diversity
over his father’s duties as MSU’s mascot in
programs on campus is the new
and student development in MSU’s
2009 and still serves the role today.
director of the university’s Office of
James Worth Bagley College of
Diversity and Equity Programs.
Engineering. Among other positions
technician at MSU’s College of Veterinary
on campus, he has served as an
Medicine, served as his foster mom and
assumed his new role April 1, after
admissions counselor in the Division
serving as interim director since
of Student Affairs.
Tommy J. Stevenson officially
June. He and others in the office
Before going on to earn a
Lisa Chrestman, an animal health
TaTonka was the first mascot purchased outright by the MSU athletic department. His
work to ensure the land-grant
doctoral degree from Bowling Green
predecessors were donated either by alumni,
institution adheres to all federal
(Ohio) State University, Stevenson
students or university employees.
guidelines related to equal opportunity
received his bachelor’s and master’s
and regulatory compliance.
degrees from MSU.
“We are excited to have Dr.
“I really care about Mississippi
Stevenson as a permanent member
State, and I am grateful for the
of the leadership team and look
opportunities that MSU has given
forward to his continuing leadership
me,” he said. “I hope everyone who
in increasing diversity on our
works at this great institution has
campus,” said Provost and Executive
Vice President Jerry Gilbert. Stevenson serves on President
“I believe that Mississippi State is a great place where people can
Mark E. Keenum’s executive
come and achieve their personal
council. Assisting the president,
and professional aspirations,”
Gilbert and other campus leaders
in achieving the goals of a diverse
For more about MSU’s Office of
faculty and staff also is among his
Diversity and Equity Programs, visit
Alumnus Summer/fall 2011 27
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Egg Ball to benefit
MISSISSIPPI KIDS COUNT Those who want to continue a tradition of helping the state’s
Center, said that last year’s event had 375 in attendance and
children can begin Nov. 25 at the 2nd annual Mississippi KIDS
raised approximately $70,000. Proceeds go to Mississippi
COUNT Egg Ball.
Join others who want to improve the lives of Mississippi’s young people, families and communities through support of the
The event begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $60 per person. Funded in part by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Mississippi
KIDS COUNT program at Mississippi State. Mississippi KIDS
KIDS COUNT operates under the Mississippi State SSRC
COUNT is the leading resource for comprehensive research and
Family and Children Research Unit, investigating issues that
information on the state’s children and is a catalyst for enhancing
affect the health, safety and well-being of children and families.
positive outcomes in their lives. Event organizers have scheduled an evening at the Hunter
“Mississippi State is proud to be the home of Mississippi KIDS COUNT,” said the university’s first lady Rhonda Keenum.
Henry Center filled with entertainment by the King Beez of
“I see firsthand the significant contributions made on behalf of
Memphis. Heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served, and a silent
the state’s children and am excited to be a part of this tradition,
auction featuring autographed cowbells, vacation packages, and
bringing alumni and friends together to lift up our kids in such a
artwork will be held.
Linda H. Southward, Mississippi KIDS COUNT director and research professor in the MSU Social Science Research
28 Alumnus Summer/Fall 2011
Tickets are available for purchase at www.2011eggball.com. For more information, call 662-325-1590.
OSWALD ASSUMES ROLE AS DEAN OF BUSINESS The new dean of Mississippi State’s College of Business began her role in July. Sharon Oswald, previously management department head at
Oswald has been a featured speaker on such topics as U.S. health care reform implementation, including at the U.S. ambassador’s residence in Prague and other locations in the
Auburn University for 12 years and the Colonel George Privett
Czech Republic. Her most recently published work includes a
Professor, has more than 20 years experience as a teacher
20-year chronicle of health care reform in the Czech Republic.
and administrator, with special focus on strategic planning
In addition to administrative and service activities, Oswald
and management. Previously, she was administrative director
has been a strategic planning consultant and facilitator for
and director of employment and development for an Alabama
numerous businesses and organizations. She has developed a
series of 10 management training classes for medical center
Oswald holds a doctorate in business administration and an MBA from the University of Alabama. She also is an Auburn journalism graduate. “Dr. Oswald has an outstanding record of scholarship and
managers, among other accomplishments. Formerly director/coordinator for the Southern Management Doctoral Consortium, she currently serves on the editorial boards for both The Mid-Atlantic Journal of Business and
research and a strong dedication to undergraduate and graduate
the Journal of Management Studies. She is a member of the
education, including international experience,” said MSU Provost
Academy of Management, Southern Management Association,
and Executive Vice President Jerry Gilbert.
Beta Gamma Sigma, Alpha Kappa Psi, and Sigma Iota Epsilon.
rediscover DOWNTOWN JACKSON
308 E. PEARL ST., SUITE 101 JACKSON, MS 39201
· 25,000 people work Downtown · Apartments are 100% leased · Over 100 events annually Alumnus Summer/fall 2011 29
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ALUMNI ASSOCIATION 2011-12
NATIONAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The 2011-12 national board of directors is led by officers (L-R): Karen Dugard Lawler, immediate former president; Jodi White Turner, treasurer; Jerry L. Toney, president; Camille Scales Young, first vice president; and Thomas R. “Tommy” Roberson, national second vice president.
The 2011-12 national board of directors is comprised of individuals from around the country who will serve from July 1, 2011, to June 30, 2012. NATIONAL PRESIDENT:
NORTH 2 REGION DIRECTOR:
Jerry L. Toney, ‘96
Jodi White Turner, ‘97, ‘99
Cheryl W. Thurmond, ‘81
NATIONAL FIRST VICE PRESIDENT:
NORTH 3 REGION DIRECTOR:
Camille Scales Young, ‘94, ‘96
IMMEDIATE FORMER NATIONAL PRESIDENT:
Karen Dugard Lawler, ‘82, ‘94
NATIONAL SECOND VICE PRESIDENT:
YOUNG DIRECTOR NORTHERN REGION:
Thomas R. “Tommy” Roberson, ‘67
NORTH 1 REGION DIRECTOR:
Audrey T. “Taneka” Milliner, ‘07
David Randall “Randy” Allen, ‘87
30 Alumnus Summer/Fall 2011
Sandra L. Murray
CENTRAL 1 REGION DIRECTOR: Lea Margaret M. Hamilton, ‘90
CENTRAL MISSISSIPPI CHAPTER DIRECTORS:
NASHVILLE, TENN., CHAPTER DIRECTOR:
Thomas R. “Tommy” Byrd, ‘81
Sarah R. McDonnell, ‘03
CENTRAL 2 REGION DIRECTOR:
Steven A. “Steve” Corbitt, ‘76
Andrew C. Frank, ‘91
Angela W. Dallas, ‘82 John K. Pitts, ‘04
OKTIBBEHA COUNTY CHAPTER DIRECTORS:
CENTRAL 3 REGION DIRECTOR:
Bradley M. “Brad” Reeves, ‘02
Donna B. Rupp, ‘93
H. Riley Nelson, ‘99, ‘01
Daniel J. “Jason” Ryder, ‘00
DESOTO COUNTY CHAPTER DIRECTOR:
YOUNG DIRECTOR CENTRAL REGION:
Hillary Phillips Jordan, ‘03
John Paul “J.P.” Walker, ‘05
SOUTHEAST MISSISSIPPI CHAPTER DIRECTOR:
HARRISON-STONE CHAPTER DIRECTOR:
Lori B. Perkins, ‘93
SOUTH 1 REGION DIRECTOR:
Colleen F. Johnson, ‘83
Ronald E. “Ron” Black, ‘80
WARREN COUNTY CHAPTER DIRECTOR:
HOUSTON, TX CHAPTER DIRECTOR:
Thomas P. “Tom” Kendall, ‘89
SOUTH 2 REGION DIRECTOR:
Jon D. Sanders, ‘93, ‘94
Christie D. Walters, ‘98
SOUTH 3 REGION DIRECTOR:
HUNTSVILLE-DECATUR, ALA., CHAPTER DIRECTOR:
WASHINGTON COUNTY CHAPTER DIRECTOR: Charles “Parker” England, ‘01, ‘02
Christine E. Cuicchi, ‘94, ‘99
James D. “Jim” Pepper, Jr., ‘69, ‘91
PRESIDENT, STUDENT ASSOCIATION:
YOUNG DIRECTOR SOUTHERN REGION:
JACKSON COUNTY CHAPTER DIRECTOR:
Kenneth “Rhett” Hobart
Jessica H. Maholm, ‘02
John “Carl” Weihing, ‘70
PRESIDENT, HOLLAND FACULTY SENATE:
Meghan J. Millea
Courtney A. Jones, ‘02, ‘06
LAUDERDALE COUNTY CHAPTER DIRECTOR:
Susan J. Hill, ‘93
Gary A. Futch, ‘75
CHAIR, STAFF COUNCIL:
Daniel E. “Danny” Hossley, ‘65
Amanda L. Bell
LEE COUNTY CHAPTER DIRECTORS:
Kimberly C. “Kim” Fandel, ‘87, ‘94
PRESIDENT, MSU FOUNDATION:
David T. Cozart, ‘86
William H. “Beau” Lacey, ‘69, ‘72
James J. “Jim” Rouse, ‘62
Jonathan J. Lee, ‘00, ‘02
Kieu-Anh Tran, ‘96
LEFLORE-CARROLL CHAPTER DIRECTOR:
PRESIDENT, BULLDOG CLUB:
Paige H. Hunt, ‘00, ‘06
Beth C. Clay, ‘67
ATLANTA, GA., CHAPTER DIRECTOR:
Michael W. “Mike” Criswell, ‘80
LOWNDES COUNTY CHAPTER DIRECTOR:
John C. Dowdle, ‘97
BIRMINGHAM, ALA., CHAPTER DIRECTOR:
MEMPHIS, TENN., CHAPTER DIRECTORS:
ASSOCIATE VICE PRESIDENT, DEVELOPMENT AND ALUMNI, AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MSU ALUMNI ASSOCIATION:
Matthew B. “Matt” Frederiksen, ‘00
Paul R. Hopkins, ‘91
Jimmy W. Abraham, ‘75, ‘77
Stephen R. Woo, ‘94, ‘95
Alumnus Summer/fall 2011 31
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‘CELEBRATE MISSISSIPPI’ Each summer, several Mississippi
State alumni chapters around the country
perform for the New York City crowd. On June 18, the Mississippi Society
gather together with other universities
of Washington, D.C., hosted the 21st
from the state to “Celebrate Mississippi.”
Annual Mississippi on the Mall. Held at
These events bring together thousands of
alumni and friends who proudly celebrate
Ball Field, alumni visited with MSU staff
their Southern heritage and traditions.
and chapter representatives.
On June 11, the 32nd Annual
The Atlanta, Ga., chapter participated
Mississippi Picnic in Central Park was
in Mississippi in the Park on June 25.
hosted at Bandshell and 72nd Street in
Held at Chastain Park in the Buckhead
New York City. The picnic featured many
district, alumni and friends dined on
of Mississippi’s most talented artists
Southern foods while listening to live
displaying and selling artwork, Mississippi
music provided by Homegrown, SaNa
writers signing books, as well as the
Blues and The Electromatics. This picnic
ever-popular delicious Southern cuisine
was organized by the Mississippi Society
featuring a “Taste of Mississippi.”
Guests enjoyed down-home blues
Alumni from the Atlanta metro area gather for a June 25 picnic in Chastain Park.
For more chapter events happening this
performed by Mississippi’s own, Eddie
year, please visit www.alumni.msstate.
Cotton. Jon Paris was also on hand to
The Mississippi Society of Washington, D.C. hosts the 21st Annual Mississippi on the Mall.
Senior Celebration honors
newest members of
ALUMNI FAMILY On April 14, the Alumni Association welcomed the 2011 graduating class as the newest members of Bulldog alumni. More than 1,000 students attended the event held at the Hunter Henry Center gardens. The annual Senior Celebration was cosponsored by the Division of
the growing alumni base. Commencement ceremonies were held April 29 and 30. Mississippi State now boasts nearly 121,000 alumni around the world, with a goal of having 40,000 active members of the Alumni Association by
Student Affairs and the Student Association. The festivities included
the end of the year. To join your Alumni Association and help us reach our
crawfish, MSU ice cream, live music, and lots of fun.
goal, make a gift to the MSU Fund. For details on how to join, please visit
This year, the university welcomed more than 2,000 new individuals to
32 Alumnus Summer/Fall 2011
The Road Dawgs Bus traversed the south during May
ROAD DAWGS HIT 12 CITIES IN 5 DAYS Even though it was summer in the south,
“This year, the Road Dawgs tour was
served as the corporate sponsor for the tour.
the spirit of fall kicked off in May with the
about much more than Mississippi State
2011 BancorpSouth Road Dawgs Tour.
football,” said Jimmy Abraham, associate
friends all around the state and region, and
vice president for development and alumni
see the excitement surrounding our program
the Alumni Association and the Bulldog
and executive director of the MSU Alumni
and Mississippi State as a whole,” Mullen
Club that encourages enthusiasm and
Association. “It was about our university
said. “We haven’t accomplished all the
school spirit for the upcoming football
letting our state know that we care.”
goals we’ve set, but we’re working together
Road Dawgs is a partnership between
season. Several university representatives
Road Dawgs resumed on Thursday with
“It was great to get out and visit our
to reach the mountaintop. And the support
joined Coach Dan Mullen for alumni
breakfast in Columbus, lunch in Tupelo,
and enthusiasm we saw at each stop along
gatherings across Mississippi, Tennessee
and dinner in Memphis, Tenn. The bus
the way shows that the people of our state
took a detour on the way to Tupelo to visit
are ready to take the next step.”
The 12-city tour began in Brookhaven on Monday, May 9, where the roadies met a packed house at Poppa’s restaurant.
Smithville, a town ravaged by a tornado in April. Mullen met with Smithville High School
Road Dawgs concluded on Friday, May 13, with lunch in Nashville, Tenn., and dinner in Atlanta, Ga.
They then made stops in Biloxi, Lucedale,
principal Chad O’Brian and students
Laurel, and Meridian before returning to
displaced by the storm. O’Brian then joined
largest ever, and many of our events were
Starkville Tuesday night.
the Road Dawgs crew for a tour of the
standing room only,” said Abraham. “We
cleanup efforts. MSU representatives met
are very thankful for the support the alumni
Bulldogs traveled to Vicksburg to meet
with Smithville mayor Gregg Kennedy and
chapters have given to the Road Dawgs
with the Warren County Chapter and visit
other town employees, residents
tour, and we appreciate so much all the
alumni affected by the rising floodwaters of
Bulldog fans who came out to visit
Wednesday morning, the band of
the Mississippi River. The team received a
Among the stops during the week, the
“Our attendance this year was the
bird’s-eye view of the river region as they
Road Dawgs bus made appearances at five
flew north to Greenville for Wednesday’s
BancorpSouth branches across the state.
visit the Alumni Association Facebook
This is the second year BancorpSouth
page at facebook.com/msstatealumni.
For photos of the Road Dawgs events,
Alumnus Summer/fall 2011 33
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CLASS REUNIONS In March
the Alumni Association and associate vice president for development and alumni. “We enjoy this special time each year reminiscing and reliving many wonderful maroon and white memories.” This year, more than 170 alumni attended the class reunions, making it one of the highest attended reunion events in years. Pictures of the event can be viewed on Facebook at facebook.com/ msstatealumni. Next year, the Alumni Association will host reunions for the classes of 1937, 1942, 1947, 1952, 1957, and 1962.
The 2011 class reunions were held March 25-26 on campus. This year, the association celebrated anniversaries for the classes of 1936, 1941, 1946, 1951, 1956, and 1961. Reunion attendees enjoyed an open house and gathering Friday afternoon at the alumni headquarters in the Hunter Henry Center. Class photos were taken that afternoon, and class receptions were held that evening. On Saturday, alumni enjoyed a group breakfast and campus tours, as well as a grand luncheon at the Bryan Athletics Administration Building. Many attendees enjoyed an afternoon baseball game, where the Bulldogs beat SEC opponent Auburn 15-8. “Class reunions are a wonderful opportunity for us to welcome our alumni back home,” said Jimmy Abraham, executive director of
Dr. Roy Ruby, retired MSU administrator, speaks to fellow members of his 1961 graduating class.
BYRD AND COATS HONORED WITH FACULTY AWARDS Dr. Sylvia Byrd and Dr. Karen Coats were both honored as 2011 recipients of faculty awards sponsored by the Mississippi State University Alumni Association. Byrd, an associate professor in the department of food science, nutrition and health promotion, received the Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching award. She is a 1982 graduate of Appalachian State University with a bachelor of science in home economics. Byrd received her master’s degree in health education in 1985 from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, followed by a doctoral degree from Mississippi State in 1993 in nutrition. Byrd believes in empowering her students to excel (Left to right) Byrd, Abraham and Coats 34 Alumnus Summer/Fall 2011
in the classroom and in the real world. She creates high
former national presidents
Former national presidents of the Alumni Association board of directors present the university with a check to establish a scholarship in honor of Drs. Jimmy and Patti Abraham in February.
In its 126-year history, the MSU
Foundation, the endowed scholarship
“Patti and I are humbled and
Alumni Association has actively
is an open fund that can benefit from
honored that our former national alumni
participated in the fundraising efforts
association presidents chose to establish
of the university. Last winter, a group
The national presidents scholarship
this scholarship in our name,” stated
of former presidents of the national
has been established in honor of Jimmy
Abraham. “Mississippi State means so
board of directors established a student
Abraham, associate vice president for
much to both of us, and we are proud
scholarship in honor of the association’s
development and alumni and executive
that this will help future generations of
current executive director.
director of the MSU Alumni Association,
The National Alumni Presidents
and his wife, Patti. Abraham began work
Additional donations can be made
Endowed Scholarship will be awarded to
for MSU in 1977 in the Division of
to the National Alumni Presidents
entering freshmen or community college
Student Affairs, and joined the Alumni
Endowed Scholarship fund at any time.
transfer students who have proven
Association in his current role in 2005.
For more information, contact the MSU
academic excellence and leadership
Patti is a retired director of the MSU
Foundation at 662-325-7000.
potential. Established through the MSU
Research and Curriculum Unit.
expectations and thrives on challenging her students to go
Coats received her bachelor of science and master of science
beyond the textbook. Her passion for teaching and nutrition
degrees in 1981 and 1983, respectively, from Southeastern
extends beyond the MSU campus. She founded the weeklong
Louisiana University. She earned her doctorate from Louisiana
Fun with Food summer camp, helping elementary students
State University in 1987.
understand culinary and nutrition principles. “Dr. Byrd is an excellent example of the quality of our
As a mentor to graduate students, Coats gives encouragement and support to her students on a daily basis. She provides
teachers at Mississippi State,” said Dr. Jimmy Abraham, associate
constructive criticism that results in the betterment of her
vice president for development and alumni and executive director
students. Coats is more than simply a mentor, she is a friend. Her
of the Alumni Association. “Her passion for empowering her
students are provided with the skills to become better leaders and
students to achieve is second to none.”
Coats, a professor in the department of biological sciences and
“Dr. Coats is an outstanding mentor and someone who gives
an adjunct professor with the College of Veterinary Medicine,
encouragement and unwavering support to others,” said Abraham.
received the award for Outstanding Graduate Student Mentor.
“She is so very deserving of this award.”
Alumnus Summer/fall 2011 35
MSU recognizes ALUMNUS NEWS summer / FALL
AND SUPPORT STAFF
President Mark E. Keenum serves lunch at MSU’s annual staff luncheon in May.
More than 3,000 individuals provide professional and support staff services to Mississippi State University within the various
drinks, door prizes and live entertainment for
Abraham, associate vice president
all university staff members.
for development and alumni and
The Office of the President, university
executive director of the MSU Alumni
departments, colleges, and administrative
vice presidents, Alumni Association, and
Association. “The Alumni Association
offices. On May 6, the university honored
Professional and Support Staff Advisory
is proud to be one of the sponsors for this
these hard working individuals at the Staff
Council sponsored the event.
event each year.”
Appreciation Day in the Junction. The “Luncheon in the Junction” was held on a beautiful, sunny afternoon with free food,
“The hard-working and dedicated
Mississippi State is grateful for the
staff members at Mississippi State do so
service of all of its dedicated staff members
much for our university,” said Jimmy
who make it such a great university.
ALUMNI ASSOCIATIO In February, the Greater Chattanooga, Tenn., Alumni Chapter became the 92nd chartered group for the MSU Alumni Association. Karen Lawler (center), 2010-11 Alumni Association national president, presents representatives Steve Brandon (left) and Dax Turner (right) with a banner for the new Chattanooga Chapter.
36 Alumnus Summer/Fall 2011
Approved by the national board of directors, the announcement was made at the association’s annual awards banquet.
available soon in
This fall, the state of Texas will join the efforts of Mississippi and Tennessee to make a statement with an official Mississippi State University affinity license plate. The new Texas M-State tag can be purchased through the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles during tag renewal. Designed by MyPlates.com, the tag will feature the M-State logo, Bully spirit mark, and the phrase “Go Bulldogs.” The price of the tag, which is in addition to the annual tag fee, ranges from $55 for one year to $295 for 10 years. A portion of the proceeds will be distributed for scholarship support to Texas students who attend Mississippi State. Individuals interested in the new MSU specialty plate can register at www.myplates.com/go/mstate to be informed about the release date. Registering for the e-mail list is not a commitment to purchase a plate, but an interest poll for Texas residents. Affinity license plates help alumni and friends promote Mississippi State on the roads and highways. Show your pride and help support our Bulldogs by purchasing one during your next tag renewal.
ON ORGANIZES 92
“We are very excited to welcome the Greater Chattanooga chapter as our newest group,” said Jimmy Abraham, associate vice president for development and alumni and executive director of the MSU Alumni Association. “The Chattanooga group will be a great asset to the university in promoting Mississippi State in their area.”
The newest chapter began the formation process in May 2010.
Alumni and friends in the Chattanooga area are encouraged to join.
Throughout the year, dedicated volunteers hosted gatherings for
Information about events can be found on their chapter page at alumni.
alumni and friends, such as game-watch parties, informal socials, and
msstate.edu/chattanooga. You may also contact the chapter president, Dax
Turner, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 901-326-0587.
Alumnus Summer/fall 2011 37
summer / FALL
Karen Dugard Lawler Outgoing Letter
Karen Lawler (center) with MSU President Mark E. Keenum (left) and Alumni Association Executive Director Jimmy Abraham (right).
Dear Fellow Bulldogs, As I write you this letter, my year of service as your national alumni president has come to a close. I have been honored and
convincing win the Bulldogs and Coach Dan Mullen gave us as they beat Michigan 52-14.
privileged to represent the Mississippi State University Alumni
I want to encourage each of you to get involved in your local
Association. It has been such a rewarding opportunity to attend
chapters. The Alumni Association annually hosts more than 500
numerous alumni and MSU functions, and experience the passion
events nationwide. I would also like for you to consider giving
and excitement everyone shares for our great university.
back to our university through the Annual Fund and StatePride:
I would like to thank Dr. Jimmy Abraham and his staff, the
An Initiative for Student and Faculty Support. With your help we
leadership of the university, MSU alumni and friends, alumni
can keep the momentum going. Visit the association’s website at
chapters, and the student body for all your hard work and
www.alumni.msstate.edu for the calendar of events and Annual
dedication. Due to your commitment in 2010, MSU experienced a
Fund information. If you are a new graduate beginning your
record breaking fall enrollment of 19,644 students, an increase in
career, I strongly recommend you seek out alumni in your area.
alumni giving percentages despite a challenging economic climate,
You will find the common bond among Mississippi State alumni is
and the largest active membership of the Alumni Association with
very strong and supportive. Don’t forget to bring a future student
39,418 members. Also, the Alumni Association welcomed our
with you. One event could be enough to encourage someone to
92nd chapter in Chattanooga, Tenn. What an incredible year!
become a lifelong Bulldog.
We kicked off the New Year “ringing responsibly” at the Gator
As my term as national president ended on June 30, I am very
Bowl. Thousands of MSU alumni and fans crowded the streets
pleased that Jerry Toney will succeed me as your 92nd national
of Jacksonville, Fla., with cowbells in hand. There was fun and
alumni president. Jerry is “true maroon,” and his dedication and
activities for all. The festivities started with the Gator Bowl
love of MSU is evident through his service with the Starkville chapter
Parade. What an unbelievable sound to approach the parade from
and the national alumni board. Jerry will do an outstanding job.
blocks away and here cowbells ringing. As we got closer, the
We can take great pride in our university and the positive
cowbells stopped and one side of the street started yelling maroon,
direction we are headed. Again, thank you for giving me the once-
and the other answered with white. It gave me goose bumps!
in-a-lifetime opportunity to serve you and MSU as your national
Later that evening, thousands of MSU fans made their way to
alumni president. Mississippi State has given me many special
the MSU Bulldog New Year’s Eve Celebration. A Michigan fan
memories and opportunities, and I am thrilled that I have been
asked me if we brought the entire state of Mississippi. I informed
able to give back to our university. Always remember, you can
him we brought the entire Bulldog nation. After ringing in the
make a difference!
New Year in a sea of maroon and white, MSU fans started the
Forever Maroon and White! Go Bulldogs!
New Year off with a pre-game party and pep rally. The Alumni Association staff and Alumni Delegates worked hard to make
Karen Dugard Lawler
sure all the hungry fans were fed before heading to the stadium…
2010-2011 National President
they even made sure we had our New Year’s Day black-eyed peas.
MSU Alumni Association
The grand finale to an amazing Gator Bowl experience was the
38 Alumnus Summer/Fall 2011
BULLDOGS visit the
Mediterranean From the time Libba Andrews, associate director of the MSU Alumni Association, checked in at the Memphis
the beautiful Tuscan Region,” Andrews said. Among the exotic ports of call, the Insignia cruise
International Airport, she knew that the Traveling Bulldogs
ship stopped in Florence, Rome and Amalfi, Italy, as
trip to the Mediterranean was going to be a blast. Libba
well as Athens and Santorini, Greece. Travelers enjoyed
and her husband, Andy, joined 22 MSU alumni and friends
excursions, guided tours, and learning about local culture
on a cruise through Turkey, Greece and Italy in April.
“Right away, we met MSU alumni travelers from
“The places we experienced were incredible, rich in
Vicksburg,” said Andrews upon her arrival to the terminal.
both history and beauty. However, I don’t think anything
“This group, later nicknamed the Sensational Six, had been
can top the personal relationships that were begun, and
planning and anticipating this vacation for months. Each
in some cases enhanced, because of the bond shared with
member of the group had taken a location, researched it,
Mississippi State,” she continued.
and become the resident expert about that part of the trip.” The first night of the cruise, the host company, Go
The Mediterranean cruise is one of 14 trips the MSU Alumni Association promoted in 2011. Each year, the
Next, arranged a private reception for the MSU travelers.
Traveling Bulldogs embark on adventures across the globe,
Bulldogs from Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee,
creating new memories and building relationships with
Louisiana, Florida, Illinois, and California joined
together for conversation, networking and fun. The 12-
In 2012, the Alumni Association will offer vacation
day trip visited some of Europe’s most breathtaking and
packages to 14 locations including Great Britain, Ireland,
France, Iceland, and Tahiti. For information on the 2012
“We explored the ruins in Ephesus, Turkey, toured the
trips or if you have questions about Traveling Bulldogs,
sun-splashed coast of the French Riviera, traveled up the
contact Libba Andrews at email@example.com.
craggy hills overlooking the turquoise sea to the summit
edu or 662-325-3479. You also may visit www.alumni.
of Mount Etna, and explored the land of the Godfather and
Alumnus Summer/fall 2011 39
summer / FALL
The Alumni Association staff and
STRATEGIC PLAN, VISION STATEMENT
participation and services offered,
national board of directors executive
the Alumni Association will strive to
committee recently revised the
support Mississippi State University
strategic plan for 2011-14. Now
through this strategic plan.”
available online, the plan outlines the
With more than 92 chapters
intentions and goals to reach MSU’s
worldwide, the mission of the Alumni
nearly 121,000 alumni.
Association is to foster lifelong
“Our main goal as an organization is
support for the university’s mission
to meet the needs of alumni and friends
through programs, activities and
of MSU worldwide,” said Jimmy
events for its alumni, future alumni
Abraham, associate vice president
for development and alumni and
The new strategic plan can be
executive director of the MSU Alumni
viewed by visiting the alumni website at
Association. “In our efforts to increase
GREAT FOOD FROM OUR PLAYBOOK SpicyCheeseburger Sliders(makes 8 burgers) Ingredients: 1 pound ground beef (96% lean) 9 small whole wheat hamburger buns, split, divided 1 clove garlic, minced 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chili powder 2 slices pepper Jack cheese, cut in quarters 1. Tear one hamburger bun into pieces. Place in food processor or blender container. Cover; pulse on and off, to form fine crumbs. 2. Combine bread crumbs, beef, garlic and chili powder in medium bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Lightly shape into eight 1/2-inch thick mini patties. 3. Place patties on grill over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, covered, 8 to 9 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, 9 to 10 minutes) until instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into center registers 160°F, turning occasionally. Evenly top with cheese during last minute of grilling. 4. Place burgers on bottoms of remaining eight buns. Top with desired Toppings. Close sandwiches.
For great BEEF recipes and nutrition information go to:
WWW.msbeef.org Mississippi Beef Council • 680 Monroe St. Suite A • Jackson, MS 39202 • (601) 353-4520 Sponsored 40 Alumnus Summer/Fall 2011
by Mississippi’s Beef Producers through the Beef Checkoff Program
Charitable IRA Legislation is back for 2011. Individuals 70 1/2 or older can make tax-free gifts of up to $100,000 to qualified charitable organizations like Mississippi State University, using funds transferred directly from an IRA through December 31, 2011. Know Your Benefits.
• The transfer generates neither taxable income nor a tax deduction, so you will benefit even if you do not itemize tax deductions. • The transfer will count against the unsatisfied required minimum distribution from your IRA. • You can witness the difference the philanthropic dollars make to us. We Can Help.
Contact Vance Bristow, director of planned giving, at 662.325.3707 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Post Office Box 6149 | Mississippi State, MS 39762 662-325-7000 | www.msufoundation.com
Alumnus Summer/fall 2011 41
STEVENS ‘LOBBIES’ FOR SUPPORT OF
INITIATIVE If Cindy Stevens could voluntarily lobby
consuming. You have to start at the bottom,
StatePride initiative, she undoubtedly would.
establish relationships, and build your
She is among a growing list of supporters
contacts on Capitol Hill. Then, you’ve got
for the effort which seeks to secure more
to build extensive contacts off the ‘Hill’ as
scholarships for MSU’s students and support
well. It is a very rewarding and exhilarating
for its distinguished faculty university-wide.
experience,” Stevens said.
A 1983 political science graduate,
Stevens has worked with Deloitte for
Stevens recently established a scholarship
15 years. In her current role as a principal
and a faculty award through the initiative.
in Deloitte’s Government Relations group,
She devotes as much time as possible to her
she serves as primary contact with members
alma mater and encourages other alumni
of the U.S. Congress on legislative and
and friends to follow her example regarding
regulatory issues that impact the accounting
causes they deem worthwhile.
profession. She is involved in shaping public
For nearly 25 years, Stevens has worked in government relations in the fast-paced Capitol Hill environment of Washington,
42 Alumnus Summer/Fall 2011
“In Washington, lobbying is very time
for support of Mississippi State University’s
policies of interest to the firm and the profession. Stevens serves as treasurer of the Deloitte
D.C. The majority of that time, she has
Federal Political Action Committee, one
pursued goals for Deloitte, LLP, one of the
of the largest non-connected PACs in
nation’s leading professional services firms.
Washington, and also serves on the firm’s
The Mississippi native took a keen interest
public policy committee. Prior to Deloitte,
in politics during her college years, and she
she spent five years as director of public
credits the university for much of her success.
affairs for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce,
propel StatePride forward
STATE For donors like Cindy Stevens, who share a deep appreciation
for deserving students and academic scholarships to help the
for the education they earned at Mississippi State, the StatePride
university compete for the best and brightest students. StatePride
initiative is a giving opportunity worthy of exploration.
also continues to create development opportunities for top
Contributions for student scholarships and faculty positions are
ushering in a new level of excellence for Mississippi State. Support for these areas is an on-going priority for the university over the course of StatePride, which has successfully surpassed the halfway mark.
Generous gifts from alumni and friends have moved StatePride
closer to its $100 million goal. As of May, the initiative stood at more than $65 million. This amount includes matching funds provided through a special partnership with MSU Athletics.
performing faculty university-wide in the areas of teaching, research and service.
Visit the MSU Foundation online at www.msufoundation.com
or request a copy of our brochure to learn how you can be a part of
StatePride. Mississippi State will continue to place an emphasis on StatePride priorities through December 2012.
Individuals, corporations or organizations with specific giving
questions may contact Jack McCarty, executive director of
For the upcoming academic year, StatePride contributions
will provide scholarships for MSU students, both need-based
development for the MSU Foundation, at 662-325-9580 or e-mail him at email@example.com.
and another three as director of federal
big things,” said W. Martin “Marty”
Stevens grew up in Louisville,
affairs for the U.S. Board of Trade.
Wiseman, institute director and MSU
and briefly attended the University of
professor of political science, who has
Southern Mississippi. She completed her
known Stevens for a number of years.
undergraduate education at Mississippi
Despite a busy career, Stevens takes
time to maintain her MSU relationships.
She voluntarily serves on advisory boards
Stevens assists MSU in many ways,
State. Her late father, Robert L.
for the College of Arts and Sciences
including providing financial support
Stevens, and her sister, Rita Stevens,
and the John C. Stennis Institute of
for the university. Most recently, her
also graduated from MSU. She credits
Government. For her professional and
gifts established the Cynthia M. Stevens
them, as well as her mother, Mary, for
personal accomplishments, Stevens was
Loyalty Scholarship and the Cynthia M.
providing her with strong values and a
honored as a 2010 Alumni Fellow by the
Stevens Distinguished Faculty Award. The
great work ethic.
MSU Alumni Association.
Loyalty Scholarship will assist an entering
Through the years, she has volunteered
Early in life, Stevens set her sights
freshman or a community college transfer
on a career as a political consultant.
much of her time to MSU, particularly
student with demonstrated leadership
However, she soon realized her career
with the Stennis Institute. She began
ability. The named faculty award provides
path wasn’t clear-cut. A desired career
her involvement with the institute while
a financial stipend for a College of Arts and
in politics became, instead, a successful
enrolled as a student in the College of Arts
Sciences faculty member.
career as a lobbyist.
and Sciences. “Cindy’s value has come not just from
Stevens’ gift is matched by Deloitte at
“I wanted to prepare individuals
a 1:1 ratio, through the firm’s matching
who desired to run for office–provide
her ability to help students and others
gifts program, and is also matched by the
them with talking points and, in
from her alma mater get connected in
MSU Bulldog Club through the initiative.
essence, package them for the media.
Washington, but equally importantly as
StatePride will continue to raise funds for
Unfortunately, I just couldn’t find an open
a role model for the student from small
student scholarships and faculty support
door to this since the profession was male
town Mississippi who is striving to do
dominated then,” Stevens recalled.
Alumnus Summer/fall 2011 43
summer / FALL
She continued, “I was extremely
Maintaining a strong connection to
interested in politics and got involved in
Mississippi State has been a focus for
local gubernatorial campaigns. I spent
Stevens since she joined the Stennis
a great deal of time learning about the
Institute board four years ago. The institute is
research and analysis of specifically
often called on to provide technical assistance
and consultation to local governments and
Fellow MSU graduates, the late
community leaders regarding economic and
U.S. Sen. John C. Stennis and the late
community development matters. Because
Congressman G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery,
the institute is based at Mississippi State, it
were leading politicians during this
also extends efforts to students enrolled in
time. It was Montgomery’s influence
the College of Arts and Sciences who seek
that opened doors for her. Following
careers in public service.
graduation from MSU, Stevens had the
Nobody reaches anywhere in life by themselves. The most powerful thing we have is information we can use to provide insight,” Stevens explained. “We should respect people for their accomplishments, then, the loyalty and pride they find within themselves will reflect back.
In addition, Stevens has been a
opportunity to work for the longtime
tremendous asset to the Stennis-Montgomery
congressman as a legislative assistant for
Association. A memorial to the two men, the
two years. The position is what originally
student organization focuses on preparing
State University to forge new ground
brought her to Washington.
members for political and public-service
as a learning institution by stimulating
“To this day, when I mention Sonny
careers. The arts and sciences students
scholarship growth and rewarding faculty
Montgomery’s name, former and current
who are members visit Washington for
members for furthering their development
members of Congress praise him and
Washington Week, and Stevens counsels
as extensions of the university’s mission,”
his dedication to our country and our
them with career advice during this time.
Stevens said. “I hope my fellow alumni will
veterans,” Stevens said. “The experience
“Cindy’s personal story of a small town
he allowed me to gain was invaluable,
girl who graduated from MSU, went to
and I will be forever grateful.”
Washington, and worked her way up the
Stevens is definitely proud of the
“StatePride funds allow Mississippi
join me and support StatePride as I have enthusiastically chosen to do.” Stevens, who lives in Alexandria,
ladder to become a partner in Deloitte never
Va., maintains ties with Mississippi State
land-grant university education she
fails to impress our students,” Wiseman said.
because “my university cared about me
received and the degree she earned from
“She is undoubtedly one of MSU’s greatest
as an individual. The people at MSU,
Mississippi State. She credits a number
assets in the area.”
my professors and advisers, knew what I
of esteemed professors with giving her
“Furthermore,” Wiseman added, “Cindy
wanted to do and they went out of their way
great tutelage, and takes pride in the fact
takes a back seat to no one when the subject
that the university continues to draw
turns to her educational background. Her
professors from diverse backgrounds into
life is spent in the midst of individuals with
her MSU degree enables her to make a
its faculty base.
Ivy League educations from Harvard, Yale,
difference in the lives of others.
“Mississippi State’s political science department, in particular, is one of the finest
Princeton, and other noteworthy institutions.” For Stevens, motivating MSU students to
to steer me on that course.” The success Stevens has achieved with
“Nobody reaches anywhere in life by themselves. The most powerful thing we
in the South,” she said. “The university
succeed with scholarships as they learn and
have is information we can use to provide
has a culture of helping individuals who
research with the university’s faculty is worth
insight,” Stevens explained. “We should
demonstrate that they are serious about
an investment in StatePride. She challenges
respect people for their accomplishments,
their education, and are willing to go the
other alumni and friends to consider
then, the loyalty and pride they find within
extra mile to fulfill career aspirations.”
supporting the initiative.
themselves will reflect back.”
44 Alumnus Summer/Fall 2011
executive director of development ward
knowledge of Mississippi State will be strong assets as he works with university leadership and constituents to advance our university,” said John P. Rush, vice president for development and alumni. McCarty has more than 16 years of total experience in development, with 10 years specifically devoted to the MSU Foundation. From 1994 to 2001, he was development director for various units in MSU’s Division of Agriculture, Forestry and
A veteran fundraiser and
Veterinary Medicine. He left campus for a time to serve as director of
Mississippi State alumnus is the MSU
development operations for Ducks Unlimited Inc., Southern Region,
Foundation’s new executive director
before returning in 2007.
of development. Jack R. McCarty of
In 2009, McCarty was honored as a “Top 40 Under 40” by the
Starkville assumed the role in May.
Mississippi Business Journal. The awards program recognizes
He is a Starkville Public Schools
Mississippians who have established themselves as business and
graduate who received an MSU
community leaders before the age of 40.
agriculture degree in 1991. Most recently, McCarty led development efforts of the College of Business, one of the South’s oldest
In his new role, McCarty will lead the efforts for the StatePride initiative. He will also serve as secretary for the MSU Foundation board of directors. Established in 1962, the MSU Foundation now administers most
programs of its kind. He was responsible for all fundraising activities
campus fundraising activities and endowment funds. For the past
in the major academic unit, including its Richard C. Adkerson School
three fiscal years, the foundation has raised in excess of $60 million
from individual donors, corporations and foundations. Its current
“Jack’s extensive professional experience combined with his vast
endowment stands at more than $300 million.
Alumnus Summer/fall 2011 45
summer / FALL
Henry remembered for Achievements, Generosity The connection alumnus Hunter W. Henry
For his professional and personal
Center houses operations for the Division of
Jr. shared with Mississippi State University
accomplishments, Henry was honored extensively
Development and Alumni and recognition for the
was marked by his exceptional personal
by Mississippi State. He was selected as a
university’s most generous donors. Henry made
involvement. The San Marcos, Texas resident,
Distinguished Engineering Fellow by the James
a lead gift for the building, and challenged other
who died June 4, 2011, took great pride in his
Worth Bagley College of Engineering. In 1988,
alumni and friends to contribute.
long association with his alma mater.
he was named National Alumnus of the Year and
Henry’s giving also extends to faculty
Over the course of his life, Henry was
was among the 10 most prominent Mississippians
awards, an endowed chair in chemical
known by fellow alumni and friends for both
recognized on the 100th anniversary of land-grant
engineering and an endowed lecture series. He
his leadership and his generosity. He often
colleges. He received the university’s highest
was joined in his benevolent support of MSU
described his philanthropic endeavors to others
tribute, an honorary doctoral degree, in 2001.
by his late wife, Lila Harlow Henry, and their
by saying, “what benefits individuals are the things that give me the most satisfaction.”
Henry dedicated countless hours by serving
three sons, Hunter “Ticket” Henry, Robert
in an advisory capacity. He was a longtime
Henry and the late James Henry. The family
member of the MSU Foundation board of
established student scholarships in the
of McComb in 1928 and grew up in Canton,
directors, serving several terms as treasurer.
colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business
where his parents were business owners. They
He also served as vice chairman of the steering
instilled in him the value of an education, along
committee of MSU’s highly successful
with a passion to make a positive impact on the
State of the Future capital campaign. For his
generosity will remember his willingness
lives of others.
Henry was born in the Mississippi town
The many beneficiaries of Henry’s
volunteerism with MSU, he was recognized
to assist them, particularly his scholarship
After graduation from MSU in 1950 with
nationally with the Bill Franklin Volunteer
recipients. He corresponded with them
a chemical engineering degree, Henry began
of the Year Award from the Council for the
frequently and felt an overwhelming pride in
his career with Gulf Oil Co. He joined Dow
Advancement and Support of Education.
their accomplishments as each earned an MSU
Chemical the following year, and would enjoy
A significant part of Henry’s legacy is the
degree. His significant impact on the people
a 42-year career with the company. In 1993, he
alumni and development center which was named
and programs of Mississippi State University
retired as president of Dow Chemical USA.
in his honor. Dedicated in 2002, the Hunter Henry
will continue in perpetuity.
46 Alumnus Summer/Fall 2011
summer / FALL
’59 Wayne Brown
’75 Michael Ballard
of Lucedale has retired as state
(M.A. ’76, Ph.D. ’83) of Ackerman,
Transportation Commissioner for the
university archivist and coordinator of
the Congressional and Political Research
’65 Fred Hight Jr.
Center for MSU Libraries, has written The Civil War in Mississippi: Major
of Leakesville has received a Paul Harris
Campaigns and Battles, published by
Fellowship from the Greene County
University Press of Mississippi. He also
is the author of Civil War Mississippi: A
Promotional Products and National Scrubwear in Meridian.
’84 Mark Gillie of Leakesville, recently retired Greene County Extension director, has received a Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of County Agricultural Agents.
Guide and numerous other books.
’85 Aubrey Jackson
(M.S. ’70, Ph.D. ’72) of Litchfield Park,
of Collierville, Tenn., is vice president
Ariz., has been certified as an Expert
of Lucedale has received the Silver
Systems Engineering Professional by
Beaver Award, scouting’s highest national
the International Council on Systems
Lockheed Martin Business Unit to achieve
’77 Granville Tate,
(M.S. ’99) of Lucedale has retired as
that level of recognition.
an attorney with the Brunini Firm, was
’68 John B. Noblin
Engineering. He is the first in his
’72 Watts Ueltschey,
among that firm’s MSU graduates who were recognized as leaders in their field
an attorney with the Brunini Firm, was
by Chambers USA: America’s Leading
among that firm’s MSU graduates who
Lawyers for Business in 2011.
were recognized as leaders in their field by Chambers USA: America’s Leading
’78 Elizabeth Mullins
Lawyers for Business in 2011.
has been promoted to president of the
’73 Chris Shapley,
Medical Group division of Baptist Health Systems in Jackson. For 13 years, she has
an attorney with the Brunini Firm, was
been director of clinic administration for
among that firm’s MSU graduates who
the Medical Foundation.
were recognized as leaders in their field by Chambers USA: America’s Leading
’82 Nancy Dorman-Hickson
Lawyers for Business in 2011.
of Birmingham, Ala., has co-authored a
’74 Danny P. Hollingsworth
book, Diplomacy and Diamonds, which will be published in October. She
(M.B.A. ’77) of Morristown, Tenn., has
also publishes a newsletter, “Nancy’s
been named president of Piedmont College
Sweet Tea and Grits News,” at www.
in Demorest, Ga. He previously was
executive vice president and chief financial officer of Carson-Newman College. He is a former director of the Adkerson School of Accountancy and interim dean of business at MSU.
Deborah Haggard, a veteran member of the Mitchell Companies sales team, has been promoted to general manager of M’Prints
of engineering services in his division of Thomas and Betts in Memphis, Tenn.
MSU Extension director for George County.
’87 Edward T. Simmons, a shareholder with The Koerber Co. in Hattiesburg, has passed the examination and met the experience requirements to be classified as “Accredited in Business Valuation” by the American Institute of CPAs.
’90 Joseph Vice of Ocean Springs is a partner in the recently opened Mississippi Coast OB/ GYN clinic in Lucedale.
’91 Dale Pohl of Bay St. Louis, an elementary art teacher in the Bay-Waveland School District, has been named Waveland Elementary School’s Teacher of the Year.
’92 Shelley Powers of Jackson, communication director for the Public Employees’ Retirement
System of Mississippi, has been named Employee of the Quarter for the first quarter of FY 2012.
Natalie Moses Smith of Jackson, an account executive for 16WAPT and wapt.com, has received the 2010 Hearst Television Eagle Award for sales excellence. She also was recently named one of the state’s “50 Leading Business Women” by the Mississippi Business Journal.
’97 Keesha Middleton of Jackson, a student at Mississippi College School of Law, has received the school’s
a student at Mississippi College School of Law, has received the John B. Farese Memorial Trial Advocate Award and the Family Law Section of the Mississippi Bar Award.
’03 Arthur Calderon of Madison, a student at Mississippi College School of Law, has received the school’s Mission First Legal Aid Office Top Volunteers Award, the MLi Press/ Lenore Prather Award, and the Adams &Reese Pro Bono Award.
an associate with Heidelberg, Steinberger,
Tom Wallace of Leakesville is administrator of Greene County Vocational-Technical School, which recently was named a Center for Excellence by the state chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors.
Colmer & Burrow P.A. in Pascagoula, will serve on the 2011-13 board of directors for the Young Lawyers Division of the Mississippi Bar.
Christopher D. Meyer has joined Burr & Forman LLP as an
’99 Christinia Townsend
associate in the firm’s Jackson office. He
of Yazoo City, a student at Mississippi
College School of Law, has received the
practices in the construction law service
school’s R. Jess Brown Scholarship.
’06 Ashley Hendricks,
’00 Brian Cobble,
a student at Mississippi College School of
senior forester for Suwannee County,
General Practice Scholarship.
Fla., has been named National Tree Farm Inspector of the Year by the American Tree Farm System. He was Florida Tree Farm Inspector of the Year in 2010.
Matt Frederiksen of Birmingham, Ala., has been named SQL applications implementation manager with SourceMedical in Birmingham.
Law, has received the school’s Litigation and
’09 Craig and Katy Harrell of Lucedale have opened Singing River Animal Clinic in Lucedale.
Tanika Lankford, a library media specialist in Meridian, has recently published her first children’s book, Sweet Tea.
Ethan Richard Ardoin, N ov. 17, 2010, to Kelli Smith Ardoin (‘’08) and husband Jason of Lucedale.
Vera Kate Berryhill, May 20, 2011, to Paul B. Berryhill (’03, M.Tx. ’04) and Lisa Adcock Berryhill (’03, M.Pa. ’04) of Memphis, Tenn.
Bristol Grace Betts, Feb. 23, 2011, to Kimberly Steward Betts (’02) and Kenneth Betts (’01).
James Augustus McDonald Frederiksen, March 28, 2011,
to Matt Frederiksen (’00) and Melanie Frederiksen (’00) of Birmingham, Ala.
Sarah Alexis Patterson,
Oct. 23, 2010, to Amy Shumpert Patterson (’97, M.B.A. ’10) and Anthony Patterson (attended ’95’97) of Tupelo.
Jake William Roberson, March 1, 2011, to Daniel Roberson (’99) and wife Victoria of Memphis, Tenn.
John Maxwell Rush, May 31,2011, born to John P. Rush (’94, ’02) and wife Jennifer of Starkville.
Marie Upton Scholarship Award.
’02 Carrie R. McCormick,
• H.R. Chilton (’37)—96, Coronado,
• Kenneth Maurice Hatten (’50)—
• Robert Duane Talley (’67)—
Calif.; retired civil servant and World War II
79, Gulfport; certified public accountant
Pooler, Ga.; retired football and
and Korean War veteran, March 8, 2011.
retired from Wright, Ward, Hatten
basketball coach, June 5, 2010.
• James M. Lewis Jr. (’38)—95, Brookhaven; retired from Copiah-Lincoln
& Guel CPA, Nov. 12, 2009.
• Andrew Clifton Hutto Jr. (’51,
Community College and World War II
M.S. ’53)—89, Gretna, La.; oil industry
veteran, Feb. 4, 2011.
employee, realtor, school teacher, and
• Charles Downer Sr. (’40)—Green Valley, Ariz.; retired U.S. Air Force colonel,
World War II veteran, March 4, 2011.
• Thomas Boisture (’55)—79, Little
retired director of defense industrial
Ferry, N.J.; retired vice president of
resources for the Office of the Assistant
player personnel for the New York
Secretary of Defense, and World War II
Giants, March 11, 2011.
veteran, Feb. 2, 2011.
• Thomas Walter Landrum (’40)—92, Roswell, Ga.; retired executive vice president with Westinghouse Electric Corp. and World War II veteran, May 18, 2011.
• Billie Henry Fowlkes (’41)—91,
• William Irving Jackson (’55)—77, Elkton, Va.; retired from the U.S. Navy, April 26, 2011.
• Donald W. Boatwright (’57, M.S. ’58)—81, Starkville; retired assistant
• Gary Green (’88)—Franklin, Tenn.; financial adviser for Morgan Keegan & Co., April 15, 2011.
• Stephen F. Ray (attended)—39, Madison; access control project manager for Capitol Hardware Co., Feb. 7, 2011.
• Lemoyne S. Graham (friend)—88, Lucedale; retired school teacher, April 1, 2010.
• Myrtle Ann Stinson (friend)—74; Lucedale; homemaker, Nov. 5, 2010.
• Hazel Natalie Summerour (friend)—84, Lucedale; retired home economics teacher with George County School System, Oct. 30, 2009.
professor in the Department of Aerospace
Amory; owner of gasoline distribution
Engineering at Mississippi State and
Carl J. “Jack” Gordon Jr.
business, civic leader, and World War
Korean War veteran, Feb. 14, 2011.
II veteran, June 25, 2011. The Fowlkes
• James G. Hamill (’57, M.S. ’61)—80,
Carl J. “Jack” Gordon Jr. of Okalona,
Auditorium in Colvard Student Union at
Starkville; professor emeritus of agricultural
a longtime state senator, former state
MSU is named for him.
economics at Mississippi State and Korean
representative, and businessman, died
War veteran, Jan. 20, 2011.
May 7, 2011. He was 66.
• S. Jay McDuffie (’43)—88, Nettleton; family doctor in Nettleton for 55 years, and
• Tommy Barbee Taylor (’57)—
first medical doctor at the North Mississippi
77, Carrollton; retired Humphreys
the second longest serving state legislator.
State Hospital in Tupelo, April 20, 2011.
County agent for MSU Extension and
He served 36 years, eight in the House of
aquaculture specialist at the Delta
Representatives and 28 in the Senate. He
Starkville; retired district program leader
Research and Extension Center at
chaired a number of committees during
with MSU Extension, March 16, 2011.
Stoneville, Jan. 3, 2011.
his tenures, including Appropriations,
• Belton E. Berry (’47, M.S. ’52)—90,
• John F. Clifton Sr. (’48)—Katy,
• Cecil J. Davis (’59)—Lucedale;
Texas; retired agricultural/horticultural
retired engineer for Ingalls Shipbuilding in
expert in the Mississippi Delta and World
Pascagoula, Nov. 11, 2010.
War II veteran, April 3, 2011.
• James C. Cherry (’49)—87, Odessa, Texas; retired engineer and World War II veteran, June 4, 2011.
• Raymond Dale Hodges Sr.
• Thomas B. Turner (’59)—Marvell,
A 1969 Mississippi State graduate, he was
Education, Public Employees and Retirement, and Buildings and Grounds. With a heart for education, he helped mold the 1982 Education Reform Act
Ark.; retired farmer and businessman,
providing for public kindergartens, and
Nov. 5, 2010.
was instrumental in improving Mississippi’s
• Walter Y. Joe (’61)—76, Houston, Texas; retired engineer for Boeing, having
community colleges and universities In March 2011, the Jack Gordon
(’49)—83, Zachary, La.; owner of R. Dale
previously worked for North American
Scholarship was established at Mississippi
Hodges Consulting Engineers and Land
Aviation, Rockwell, and general Electric,
State in his honor.
Surveyors, May 20, 2011.
Jan. 27, 2011.
• Wayne N. Morgan (’49)—87,
• Andrew Jackson Huff Jr.
Zellwood, Fla.; retired restaurant owner
(’64)—67, Baton Rouge, La.; retired CEO
and World War II veteran, March 21, 2011.
of Regions Bank of Louisiana, Aug. 1, 2010.
obituaries to Allen Snow, P.O. Box 5325,
Mississippi State, MS 39762-5325
or e-mail to
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