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STARKVILLE, Miss.–Mississippi State University has been selected as the 2013-15 host campus for Mississippi’s American Legion Boys State program-the nation’s premier program for teaching how government works, developing leadership skills and nurturing an appreciation for the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.

Boys State Director Neal Boone, MSU President Mark E. Keenum, and Boys State Chairman Donald Cabrol of the American Legion signed the three-year agreement Wednesday morning. Some 350 rising high school seniors from across the state will gather on MSU’s campus this summer to learn about state and local government and the electoral process.

“We see this new partnership with the Boys State program and the American Legion in Mississippi as a tremendous honor for our university,” said Keenum. “The young people participating in this program truly represent the best of the best in terms of those who are likely to choose careers in public service or other significant leadership roles. This partnership gives Mississippi State an opportunity to engage these quality young people and to showcase the magnificent opportunities for further leadership development that MSU offers.”

Keenum said the university community and its resources are committed to making the Boys State experience at MSU “second to none.” The MSU president thanked former Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck, currently MSU’s vice president for campus operations, for her role “as a champion for this project.”

After the signing, the Boys State and American Legion leadership delegation toured the MSU campus and viewed the facilities that would be utilized by the week-long program.

“It was obvious from their proposal that Mississippi State really wanted to be more than a host for Boys State-they wanted to be a partner and that’s what we were looking for,” said Cabrol, representing the veteran’s organization that has long been the national sponsor of the Boys State program. “I’m very impressed with what we’ve seen and with the commitment Mississippi State has made.”

Boone, recently named Mississippi’s Boys State director, said that the organization’s agreement with MSU represented an “opportunity to take the Boys State program to the next level.”

“Boys State reaches our next generation of leaders and, with Mississippi State, we believe we can significantly grow the program to reach more young people. The resources offered by the university will help us in recruitment and, in turn, we think Boys State will help Mississippi State influence young leaders who are making decisions about where they will further their educations,” said Boone.

For more information on the Mississippi Boys State program, visit www.msboysstate.com. For more information on Mississippi State University, visit www.msstate.edu.

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