Hank Flick, whose boisterous personality and unique way with words left a lasting mark on generations of Bulldogs, died in June. He was 73 and still fond of brightly colored shirts and neckwear.
A native of Oakland, California, Flick earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Memphis State University and a doctoral degree in interpersonal and small group communication from Southern Illinois.
Flick was a 45-year veteran of Mississippi State University. He served the university in many roles during that time, including a stint as interim director of the University Television Center and a long-standing post as professor in the Department of Communication.
He held the title of Grisham Master Teacher, the university’s highest teaching honor and was named by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as Mississippi Professor of the Year in 1995. He is also the namesake of a communication department scholarship that annually rewards communication majors who demonstrate service to the community and Mississippi State.
Though Flick officially taught courses in interviewing, small group communication, media relations and corporate communications, those lucky enough to take his classes know his lessons went far beyond the subjects at hand. He opened every syllabus with the line, “People without passion in their life need not apply,” and exemplified that passion in the unbridled way he approached his career and shared his love of all things Maroon and White.
Seats in his classes were limited and always full before registration closed, but Flick was able to endear himself to the broader Bulldog family over the course of many years as public-address announcer for home football and basketball games. He memorably started every night at the latter wishing the crowd “a good, good evening,” before launching into his now legendary “Welcome to the Hump for hoops! Mississippi State style!” introduction, delivered in his distinctive nasal voice, which undoubtedly just echoed in many readers’ minds as they read it. This opening monologue was so well known and loved that much of the student section could be seen reciting along in growing excitement for the game ahead.
As news of Flick’s death spread through the Mississippi State community, fan-favorite segments of his public addresses were just a few of the so-called “Flickisms” that poured out on social media. In all of the remembered expressions he was so fond of coining, one stands out as his lasting legacy to Mississippi State students over the years:
“Be what Mississippi State taught you to be. Be loyal. Always honor and treasure your Hail State moments. A Mississippi State University education never stops. It provides light for the journey.”
Fred Winston Bailey (B.S. mechanical engineering, ’48) 89, Shreveport, Louisiana – A veteran of the U.S. Navy, where he often played saxophone with dance bands, he entered Mississippi State following his honorable discharge. As a student, he was a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity, the Southernaries Dance Band and served as sports editor and editor-in-chief of The Reflector student newspaper. He was named Engineering Alumnus of the Year and Distinguished Engineering Fellow in 1998 and 1999, respectively. He began his career in Houston, Texas, at ARMCO before moving to Shreveport with Peerless Supply Company. He traveled the world with his work for AMF Beaird, where he became vice president. He founded both Sound Fighter Systems and BailSco Blades and Castings. He was named small business person of the year for both Shreveport and the state of Louisiana and was also a Harris Fellow Rotarian and Friend of Goodwill. – Jan. 28, 2017
James Earl Bailey (B.S., M.S. aeronautical engineering; ’55, ’58) 83, Brierfield, Alabama – While at State, he earned the rank of second lieutenant in the Air Force ROTC. He then reported to the U.S. Air Force at Wright Field in Ohio where he was promoted to captain and worked as an aeronautical engineer. He later worked as a senior engineer for General Dynamics, which ultimately led to his 28-year career as an aerospace engineering professor at the University of Alabama, which included a three-year stint as a National Science Foundation Faculty Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He served as regional vice president for the Sierra Club and founded Bibb County Citizens for Wildflowers to promote stewardship of the area’s scenic roadsides and waterways. – April 9, 2017
Larry Wayne Bell (B.S. general business administration, ’65) 78, Starkville – He retired from the city of Starkville where he served as building director and civil defense director for more than 32 years. He co-founded and was secretary of the Mississippi Building Officials Association and was elected to the board of the Southern Building Codes Congress International, serving for 14 years and as president for two. He coached for many years in the Starkville Baseball Association and the Starkville Area Youth basketball leagues. He also officiated several sports including college women’s basketball and college football. He served the Mississippi High School Activities Association for more than 54 years and was a member of the board of East Mississippi Community College. – March 3, 2017
John G. “Jay” Burrell Jr. (B.S. agricultural engineering technology and business, ’86; M.S. computer science, ’89; staff) 54, Starkville – He began his career in Mississippi State’s agriculture economics department where he discovered a love for computers and information technology. He transferred to the Information Technology Services unit as manager for system services before becoming director of information technology infrastructure. He was known across campus for his ability to “McGyver” solutions to any problem. He was a member of Calvary Baptist Church. He was also a first lieutenant in the Civil Air Patrol Golden Triangle Composite Squadron, participating in many search and rescue missions, including Hurricane Katrina response. – May 14, 2017
Charles Allen “Bubber” Caven (B.S. physical education, ’55) 86, Brandon – A native of Okolona, he made his mark as a high school football player, eventually earning a place in the Mississippi All Star game and then a football scholarship to Mississippi State. He was commissioned into the Air Force through the ROTC and retired as a lieutenant colonel. During his military career, he was stationed all around the country and five times overseas. These assignments included being part of a Special Air Mission Squadron that supported American dignitaries and officials visiting Europe and commanding the 7th SOS Squadron at Rhein-Main Air Base, one of only three bases in the world that performed air rescue missions. – May 31, 2017
John Franklin Clifton Jr. (B.S. horticulture, ’74) 65, Houston, Texas – A native of Yazoo City, he remained a strong supporter of Mississippi State University after his graduation. He was especially proud of the activities associated with his years in the cooperative education program, which led to career growth and challenges. He earned an MBA from the University of Houston and was an avid outdoorsman and traveler. – Feb. 20, 2017
Benjamin Hugh Daigre (B.S. management, ’57) 81, Pinehurst, North Carolina – He was a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity and the M-Club and served as a Mississippi State cheerleader while in school. He spent three years in the U.S. Air Force following his graduation, then 30 as a community banker, including a 20-year stint as CEO and board member of Uni-Fed Savings and Loan in Vidalia, Louisiana. He also spent several years as vice president and chief financial officer of Dlynn Braswell and Associates Oil Co. – May 14, 2017
Robert Terry Davis (B.S. management, ’75) 68, Conroe, Texas – He was the longtime business manager of the Jackson Water Department and upon retirement, he worked for many years as an independent computer consultant. He was a member of the Optimist Club and The Woodlands Community Presbyterian Church (Texas) and Briarwood Presbyterian Church where he served as an ordained elder, deacon, Sunday school teacher, youth leader and chairman of various committees. – June 12, 2017
Frank Earl Easterwood (B.S. industrial engineering, ’62) 77, Brandon – A native of Grenada, he graduated from Natchez High School. After earning his bachelor’s degree, he remained an ardent Mississippi State fan and especially enjoyed traveling in his RV to athletic events. He was a member of the Bulldog Club, the Rolling Bulldogs and the Mississippi Travelers. – March 7, 2017
William Edward “Ted” French (B.S. management, ’59) 79, Ridgeland – He was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity as a student and joined the U.S. Air Force following his graduation. He later attended the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania for the NALSA-Wharton Forum. He began his career in the insurance industry associated with the Memphis office of the Fidelity and Deposit Co. of Maryland in 1959. He later joined the Barksdale Bonding and Insurance Agency in Jackson, then the Dan Bottrell Agency, where he spent the next 32 years. He was named president of the agency in 1993. He was active in many community-service and business organizations and an avid supporter of Mississippi State. He was a former national president of the MSU Alumni Association and president of its Central Mississippi chapter. – April 25, 2017
John Walter Garrard (B.S. aerospace engineering, ’59) 88, Isola – He served in the U.S. Air Force and later as a pilot in the Air Force Reserves. At State he was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha and following graduation earned a Juris Doctorate from the Jackson School of Law. He was a partner of Garrard and Trotter and a member of the Mississippi Bar and Mississippi Prosecutors Association. He also served as president of the Humphreys County Bar Association and was a youth court attorney. – May 28, 2017
George Garlan Harris (B.S. transportation, ’59) 84, Hallettsville, Texas – He worked for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice as a supervisor at a cannery. A veteran of the U.S. Navy and the Korean War, he was a member of the Faith Family Church of Hallettsville. – Feb. 7, 2017
Charles L. “Charlie” Hunt (B.S. marketing, ’51) 86, Naples, Florida – Shortly after graduation, he joined the Air Force and was stationed in Japan during the Korean War. Returning to Jackson, he established his own insurance agency. He was a member of Sigma Chi and the Sertoma Club in Jackson. He was a life member of the Million Dollar Round Table with Georgia International Insurance Co. and served as an elder with the Lely Presbyterian Church in Naples, Florida. – Dec. 24, 2016
Richard Henry “Dick” Jones (B.S. civil engineering, ’61) 78, Gainesville, Florida – He earned master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Florida following his graduation from Mississippi State. He was a member of the Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society and Tau Beta Pi, an engineering honor society. He joined the Gainesville firm of Environmental Science and Engineering, now AMEC Foster Wheeler, before joining with Larry Olson to form Jones, Olson and Associates. It later became Jones, Edmunds and Associates Inc. and now employs 160 people and is ranked in the top 20 design firms in Florida and the top 200 environmental firms nationwide. He authored more than 40 environmental publications and consulted with the Environmental Protection Agency. He helped form Trimark Properties that now owns and operates more than 50 multi-family and commercial properties. – May 23, 2017
Kaelin Georgette Kersh (B.S. kinesiology and health fitness studies, ’17) 22, Pearl – A world-class runner, she was known as one of the best in Mississippi history. At Mississippi State, she contributed to the Bulldogs’ distance and relay track events. – May 7, 2017
Tommy Lee Leach (B.S. civil engineering, ’61) 77, Union – He began an engineering career with the Corps of Engineers in Vicksburg but soon felt the call to ministry. He received a degree from the New Orleans Baptist Seminary and was ordained by Pinckney Baptist Church. He earned a doctoral degree from Southern Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, later completing the requirements to become a certified pastoral counselor. He spent most of his career in student ministry and counseling jobs. – April 16, 2017
Marshall Scott Legan (B.S. social studies education, ’61; M.A. history, ’62) 77, Monroe, Louisiana – A native of Louisville, he was a retired professor and history department head at the University of Louisiana, Monroe, where he spent his entire professional career. He held membership in the Mississippi, Louisiana, Northeast Louisiana and Southern historical societies. He volunteered with the Monroe Symphony League Book Room, ORVAL, Ouachita River and the Valley Animal League and was an active member of Northminster Church. – May 6, 2017
Louise Jones Loftin (B.S. elementary education, ’48) 96, Southaven – She was a retired elementary teacher and member of the First United Methodist Church of Baldwyn. – Feb. 14, 2017
John Lewis Lord (B.S. business management, ’67) 74, Calhoun, Louisiana – A native of Natchez and longtime resident of Baton Rouge and St. Francisville, Louisiana, he was an insurance agent for more than 45 years prior to retirement. – April 24, 2017
Anthony Marucci (B.S. general science, ’86) 81, Whippany, New Jersey – Born in Italy, he grew up in New Jersey. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army. He spent 35 years as a chemist for Knoll Pharmaceuticals and was a past vice commander of the American Legion in Florida. He was also a member of the Italian Club in both Florida and New Jersey. – Feb. 28, 2017
Wilbur F. Mashburn (B.S. accounting, ’50) 91, Brandon – A retired U.S. Army colonel, he was a member of the Morton United Methodist Church for 81 years. He earned an MBA from Indiana University and was a member of the Masons and the Heroes of ’76. – Feb. 10, 2017
Elliott L. “Buddy” McElroy (B.S. marketing, ’53) 86, Rogersville, Alabama – A native of Starkville, he was a veteran of the U.S. Navy having served in the Korean War. He was a pharmaceutical representative for many years and retired as president of Allied Lawn Mower Co. in Pulaski, Tennessee. He was a member of the First Cumberland Presbyterian Church. – Jan. 8, 2017
Richard Cecil Miller III (BBA, ’98) 41, Washington, D.C. – He served as a Road Runner at Mississippi State before earning a law degree from the University of Mississippi where he was instrumental in the creation of the LGBT Law Symposium. He was an attorney in the nation’s capital and enjoyed lending his talents as a court-appointed special advocate for foster children and an advocate for various LGBTQ causes. He was active in the university’s Washington, D.C. alumni chapter and an annual scholarship is set up in his name through the Mississippi State University Foundation. – May 12, 2017
John Owen “Froggy” Moore Sr. (B.S. college of agricultural and life sciences, ’49) 89, Helena, Arkansas – He served in the Navy during WWII and the Army during the Korean War. As a student at Mississippi State University, he played football, something his family says solidified his unwavering belief in learning and unfaltering optimism toward Bulldog football. He spent several years teaching for the Veterans Affairs agri-program before joining Helena Wholesale, where he launched an agri-services division. He went on to co-found JMJ Planter Services and his work led to the formation of Sprayrite Manufacturing Co. – March 29, 2017
James Reginald Moreton (B.S. mechanical engineering, ’56) 83, Brookhaven – He joined Kappa Alpha Order while at State. A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, he was founder and CEO of First Federal Savings and Loan. A decorated member of the Boy Scouts of America, he held the rank of Eagle, was part of the Order of the Arrow and earned the Silver Beaver Award. He was a former president and board member of the Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Brookhaven Lions Club, earning Lion of the Year in 1999. – June 7, 2017
Tinnon G. “Jerry” Myrick Sr. (B.S. management, ’60) 78, Laurel – A member of the Bulldog football team, he also earned recognition for shot put and discus. He earned the rank of second lieutenant from the ROTC. Following his time in the military, he worked for American Standard, Boeing Aircraft and Kaiser Aluminum in New Orleans. Returning to his native Laurel, he joined Masonite Corp. as an industrial engineer and retired as technical director for the plant. He then bought Baptist Bible and Book House with his wife, and after securing the future of the business, he became city administrator for Laurel. Following a second retirement he was elected to two terms on the city council. He was also a Gideon and member of the Kiwanis Club. – May 10, 2017
Franklin Delano Newsom (B.S. business information systems, ’54) 84, Columbus – As a student he was a member of the Air Force ROTC and the M-Club for his time on the football team. He retired as a lieutenant colonel from the Air Force after a 22-year career, during which he was a B-52 bomber pilot and served in Vietnam. He also served the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon and in Germany at the European Command Headquarters. Following his military retirement, he owned and operated the Army-Navy stores in Columbus and Starkville and was the sole proprietor of two pawn shops in Starkville and Winona. – March 2, 2017
Harold Leroy “Pete” Peterson (retired faculty) 70, Starkville – He earned a bachelor’s degree at Mayville State University before attending Iowa State where he completed master’s and doctoral degrees. After a 29-year career, he retired in 2002 from Mississippi State as a professor of soil microbiology and biochemistry. An avid Mississippi State baseball fan and original member of the current Left Field Lounge, he was a longtime member of the Bulldog Club. – Feb. 24, 2017
Henry Hamilton Reynolds (B.S. physical education, ’47) 93, Clinton – He spent three years in the U.S. Marine Corps and was stationed in the Marshall Islands during WWII. Following his service, he was drafted into professional football by the Chicago Bears. He later attended the University of Southern Mississippi where he lettered in three sports and was one of the first alumni inducted into the Southern Miss Sports Hall of Fame. He worked for Walker Jones Equipment Co. as a sales representative before retiring after 20 years of service. – May 21, 2017
Herbert Franklin Rhea Jr. (BBA, ’83) 62, Carthage – He retired in 2015 as president of Trustmark Bank, Carthage, after more than 40 years in the banking industry. An active member of the community, he had served as president of the Carthage Rotary Club, the Leake County Chamber of Commerce and Leake County Industrial Board. He was also active in the Mississippi Bankers Association, serving as former president of the Mississippi Young Bankers, as well as on the association’s board of directors. – April 17, 2017
Allan Boyd Smith Jr. (B.S. agronomy, ’48) 91, West Memphis, Arkansas – He enrolled at Mississippi State in 1942 before volunteering for the U.S. Air Force. He earned the rank of second lieutenant as a navigator for B-24 aircraft during WWII. He re-enrolled as the war ended becoming a student leader as treasurer and later vice president of the student body. He was also a member and held leadership positions in honor societies and fraternities across campus. He spent 37 years as a farm mortgage appraiser with Connecticut General Life Insurance Co. often guiding clients through tough financial times. He also purchased and improved several tracts of farmland in the Mississippi Delta. – Jan. 22, 2017
Paul E. Warner (B.S. agriculture and extension education, ’50) 90, Brandon – As part of ROTC at Mississippi State, he was a member of the Scabbard and Blade Military Honor Society. He was a veteran of WWII and the Korean War. He retired from the military with the rank of brigadier general. – May 25, 2017
John Everett Wilson (B.S. agriculture economics, ’48) 93, Liberty – A native of Hazlehurst, he attended Copiah-Lincoln Community College before serving in the U.S. Army during WWII. Following his return, he enrolled at Mississippi State and was a sprinter for the track team. He joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a county executive director in Liberty, where he stayed until his retirement 32 years later. After his retirement, he served three terms on the Liberty Board of Aldermen. – April 1, 2017
Melvin Barkum (Attended) 63, Long Beach – A storied high school athlete from Gulfport, he played quarterback at Mississippi State. He became the first black athlete to start at the position in an intra-Southeastern Conference game when he took the field as the Bulldogs faced the Auburn Tigers in the first game of the 1972 season. An all-around athlete, he played running back and wide receiver in later seasons. He was part of the Gulfport Sports Hall of Fame’s inaugural class in 2014, marking a high school career that led to his being named a Parade All-American and landed him on the radar of many college programs. – Feb. 27, 2017