MSU Names Alumnus of the Year

Mississippi State will recognize Delta businessman Michael W. “Mike” Sanders of Cleveland as the university’s 2014 national alumnus of the year in campus ceremonies early next year.


Sanders formally will accept the honor Feb. 7 during the annual MSU Alumni Association awards banquet.


A 1964 physical education graduate, he is the former longtime CEO of Jimmy Sanders Inc., one of the Mid-South’s largest agricultural input supply and distribution businesses until its 2012 sale to Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings. He now serves as a consultant for the company and is a member of Pinnacle’s board of directors.


Along with the national alumnus recognition, each of MSU’s eight academic colleges will honor a graduate for outstanding personal, professional and community achievements.


The new MSU alumni-of-the-year group includes (by hometown):


ATHENS, Ga.–Michael L. Clutter, College of Forest Resources. A 1981 forestry graduate, he is dean of the University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources.


BARTLETT, Tenn.–Dr. Susanne Taylor, College of Veterinary Medicine. A 1983 doctor of veterinary medicine graduate, she owns the Wolfchase Animal Hospital.


BLUFFTON, S.C.–Henry E. “Hank” Johnston, College of Arts and Sciences. A 1965 mathematics graduate, he is a retired corporate vice president of Electronic Data Systems who also served as Bluffton’s mayor from 2000-08.


BOLTON–Ted H. Kendall III, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. President of Gaddis Farms Inc., he is a 1958 agriculture graduate.


EUPORA–Fred R. “Rick” Young, College of Education. President of East Mississippi Community College, he received a bachelor’s degree in marketing in 1972; a master’s in technology education in 1974; and a doctorate in educational leadership/higher education administration in 1993.


HOUSTON, Texas–Herbert V. “Herb” Johnson, Bagley College of Engineering. President of HVJ Associates Inc., he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering in 1978 and 1981, respectively.


JACKSON–Judge Debra M. Brown, College of Architecture, Art and Design. A 1987 architecture graduate, she is the new federal judge for the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Mississippi–and only the second female federal judge in the state’s 196-year history.


MADISON–Laurence E. “Larry” Favreau, College of Business. A 1974 accounting graduate, he is executive vice president and CEO of the Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Co.


Other graduates to be given special recognition at the banquet for service to the alumni association during 2013 will include (by hometown):


BILOXI–Jeffery Michael Ellis, a 2006 mechanical engineering graduate receiving the Outstanding Young Alumnus Award.


DIAMONDHEAD–Sherri Carr Bevis, a 1986 graduate receiving a Distinguished Service Award.


PASCAGOULA–David Michael “Mike” Eley, a 1964 graduate receiving a Distinguished Service Award.


STARKVILLE–Carol Moss Read, a 1976 graduate receiving a Distinguished Service Award.


***Press release from MSU***

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