Jerry Wilburn of Mantachie will be honored as Itawamba Community College’s 2015 Alumnus of the Year, Oct. 3, during homecoming activities at the Fulton Campus.
Special presentations will be made at 1 p.m. in the David C. Cole Student Services building and at 3 p.m. during a pregame ceremony at Eaton Field, prior to the football game with Coahoma Community College.
Wilburn attended Itawamba Junior College from 1959-61 where he was the first football player from Mantachie High School to play for the Indians then coached by Dudley Miller. He also drove a school bus to both the high school and IJC.
After graduating from Mississippi State University with a major in physical education and political science, Wilburn served in the Mississippi House of Representatives for 20 years, from 1964-80 and from 1984-88. During his time as a legislator, he supported Mississippi’s junior colleges and was instrumental in securing funds for the junior college system. Now retired, he owned Wilburn Oil Company for approximately 30 years.
His grandfather, Truman Wilburn, was a charter member of the IJC Board of Trustees, serving for more than 20 years. In addition, his wife, Margaret, was an employee and English instructor for IJC/ICC for more than 30 years. His daughters, Dr. Bronson Wilburn Prochaska, currently ICC director of student success and a 24-year employee, and Millie Wilburn Wood, as well as his grandson, Matthew Prochaska, are all ICC alumni.
According to letters of support for Wilburn’s nomination, “Jerry’s name is well-recognized in Mantachie, where he has been a lifelong resident, as well as throughout the state of Mississippi. His friendly, outgoing personality as well as his penchant for storytelling contributes to his popularity and to the fact that ‘everybody knows Jerry.’ Mississippians who are his friends or those who only recognize his name also recognize the fact that he has always been a friend and a strong supporter of Itawamba Community College.”