Hundreds of alumni and friends gathered on the Mississippi State University campus for the annual awards banquet and leadership conference in February.
The Alumni Association recognized some of its most outstanding alumni and friends, and also offered informative sessions for chapter volunteers over the course of the two day event at The Mill at MSU Conference Center in Starkville.
It started Friday, Feb. 12 as alumni and friends celebrated 130 years of the Alumni Association with more than 400 in attendance. Some of the university’s top alumni were recognized in a program with Jeff Davis, executive director of the association, serving as master of ceremonies and MSU President Mark E. Keenum as featured speaker. Honorees included outstanding chapters and Distinguished Service Award recipients, the Outstanding Young Alumnus of the Year, College Alumni of the Year, and the university’s National Alumnus of the Year.
The following day, alumni leaders from around the country attended a conference meant to provide ideas for alumni representatives to implement in their local chapters. Conference break out sessions included: Serving Your Local Community; Student Recruitment 101 and Alumni Recruiting Network; and The Art of the Ask.
Conference attendees heard reports on the state of the university, student recruiting, scholarships and athletics. Participants networked with fellow chapter leaders, learned about outreach opportunities, and shared ideas with other alumni in attendance, while hearing presentations from many key university representatives. Also, during the weekend was the association’s annual business meeting.
For a complete recap of the banquet and conference, including videos and photos, visit

Wingo receives top alumni honor

For nearly five decades, Turner A. Wingo has been proudly waving a banner for his alma mater, living a Bulldog life, and aspiring to give back to Mississippi State University for all his degree has helped him achieve. In return, the institution awarded Wingo its most prestigious honor, National Alumnus of the Year.

In February, hundreds of faculty, staff, alumni and friends honored Wingo with the university’s highest distinction at the 2016 Alumni Awards Banquet. A Collierville, Tennessee, resident and retired retailer, Wingo is a well-known alumnus and supporter of university athletics and academics.

“We are proud to salute Turner Wingo on behalf of Mississippi State University for his professional success and for his loyal lifelong connection with his alma mater,” said Jeff Davis, executive director of the MSU Alumni Association. “Of our more than 133,000 living alumni, Turner is a distinguished selection for Alumnus of the Year.”

National Alumnus is not the first honor to be bestowed upon Wingo by Mississippi State. He was named the 2011 College of Business Alumnus of the Year, and was recently honored among the business college’s top 100 all-time graduates in celebration of its centennial anniversary.

A native of Socorro, New Mexico, Wingo grew up in Collierville, Tennessee, with a love for adventure. He graduated from Collierville High School in 1963 before enrolling at Memphis State where he spent only one year. His ambition led him to Mississippi State, where he pledged Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity.

After earning a business administration degree from MSU in 1967, Wingo returned to Collierville and worked in real estate and opened Sherry’s Hallmark. He also devoted six years to service with the Army National Guard, beginning in 1967.

In Tennessee, Wingo maintained a strong connection with Mississippi State. He became a member and vice president of the Memphis Maroon Club, an association for Bulldog alumni and friends.

Wingo’s devotion to his alma mater continues. He serves as a member of the MSU Foundation board of directors, frequently occupying a board seat since 2009. Today, he again chairs the board’s real estate committee, a role he began in 2015.

Many years ago, Wingo began giving to MSU with a focus on scholarships because he believes talented students deserve a first-rate education. Today, his philanthropy supports scholarships in the College of Architecture, Art and Design, the College of Business and the James Worth Bagley College of Engineering.

Wingo takes great pride in the impact of his gifts, as they touch the lives of numerous students, including some first generation college students. And, his support doesn’t end there. He enlists his recipients as friends—keeping in touch with them and offering advice as they chart their own paths as successful Bulldogs.

“Mississippi State is where students are given the opportunity to accomplish what they once considered impossible,” Wingo said.

Along with scholarships, his contributions include the Turner A. Wingo Endowed Professorship in the College of Business, and support for athletics and campus facilities. In honor of his generosity, the auditorium in the new classroom building on campus will carry his name.

Wingo and his wife Gloria are residents of Collierville, however they spend much of their time in Starkville. They enjoy traveling the world, and, of course, are passionate year-round supporters of all things Maroon and White.

College honorees flank National Alumnus Turner A. Wingo and MSU President Mark E. Keenum. Front row (L-R): Thomas, Grady, Wingo, Keenum, Bowen and Mayfield. Back row (L-R): Yonge, Cobb, Enlow and Fisackerly

Colleges name 2016 Alumni of the Year

Mississippi State University has eight academic colleges, and each selects one outstanding graduate annually as its alumnus of the year based on personal, professional and community achievements. These individuals truly represent the mission and values of Mississippi State around the world.
The 2016 College Alumni of the Year were named in February at the annual Alumni Awards Banquet. The group includes:

Robert P. “Bob” Bowen of Holly Springs, College of Arts and Sciences
A retired CPA, Bowen is a 1963 history and political science graduate who spent 30 years with Arthur Andersen LLP, concluding his career as partner. He became a director and audit committee chair for three New York stock exchange-listed public companies, and has served on a number of civic boards in Memphis and North Mississippi. He received an MBA from Emory University in 1968.

William M. “Bill” Cobb of Dallas, Texas, James Worth Bagley College of Engineering
Cobb earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in petroleum engineering in 1966 and 1967, respectively, and is a former MSU faculty member, having served as an assistant professor of petroleum engineering from 1972-1975. He is founder and president of the oil-field management firm William M. Cobb & Associates Inc. He received a doctorate in petroleum engineering from Stanford University in 1971.

John D. Enlow of Little Rock, Arkansas, College of Forest Resources
A 1990 forestry graduate, Enlow is vice president of real estate and southern timberlands at Weyerhaeuser Co. He joined the company in 2014 to lead its southern division and in 2015 assumed leadership of Weyerhaeuser’s real estate nationally. He holds an MBA from Brenau University and is a graduate of the Executive Education Strategy Program of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Haley R. Fisackerly of Jackson, College of Business
A 1987 business administration graduate, Fisackerly is president and CEO of Entergy Mississippi Inc., a position he has held since 2008. His career with Entergy has included roles as director of system regulatory strategy and vice president of customer operations, among others. He also had a stint at Entergy Nuclear as vice president of governmental and regulatory affairs. Prior to joining Entergy in 1995, he managed the Washington, D.C., office of U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran. He earned a master’s degree in public policy administration from George Washington University in 1993.

Andrew W. Grady of Jackson, College of Veterinary Medicine
A 1986 doctor of veterinary medicine graduate, he directs the Center for Comparative Research and is an associate professor in the Department of Microbiology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Since 2001, he has served as veterinary medical officer for the Jackson-based Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He serves as an adjunct professor in MSU-CVM’s Department of Clinical Sciences. He also holds a Master of Laboratory Animal Medicine from the University of Missouri.

Andrea Scott Mayfield of Pelahatchie, College of Education
Mayfield is an MSU 2009 doctoral graduate in community college leadership who became executive director of the Mississippi Community College Board in 2015, overseeing the state’s 15 community and junior colleges. Prior to this, she served as president of Shelton State Community College in Alabama. She earlier spent 18 years at East Mississippi Community College, where her roles included vice president of the Scooba campus. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in biology and a Master of Arts in teaching, both from the University of West Alabama.

George D. “Dave” Thomas Jr. of Collierville, Tennessee, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
A 1987 master’s in agricultural economics graduate, Thomas is vice president of marketing for Helena Chemical Co., a role he has held since 2009. He joined Helena in 1987 and over the years has served as location manager for Louisiana and Mississippi, as well as manager for the South Delta Division and South Texas Division. He also holds a bachelor’s in mathematics from the University of Mississippi.

Eric G. Yonge of Kennesaw, Georgia, College of Architecture, Art and Design
President and creative director of EYStudios, Yonge is a 1998 fine arts graduate. He began EYStudios in Starkville, where he was raised, and later relocated the company to Georgia. Under his leadership, EYStudios has developed more of the world’s top 1,000 e-commerce stores than any other private firm in the world.

MSU names Snider Outstanding Young Alum

Known as a dedicated Bulldog with a bright future, Jason Allen Snider was recognized as Mississippi State University’s Outstanding Young Alumnus.

Snider earned a Bachelor of Business Administration with a double major in banking finance and risk management, insurance and financial planning when he graduated Cum Laude from Mississippi State in 2010. He also earned a Masters of Heath Services Administration, graduating Magna Cum Laude, from Mississippi College in 2012.

Snider lives in Brookhaven where he works as the risk management coordinator for King’s Daughters Medical Center. Recently, he became a certified professional in healthcare risk management. His newest venture is the creation of a private corporation for the development of real estate properties in the downtown Brookhaven Business District.

Snider has volunteered for the Mississippi State Alumni Association since earning his degree. Beginning in 2013, Snider became a National Alumni Board member for the Mississippi South 2 Region. He was chapter president for the Lincoln County Alumni Chapter in 2013 and 2014.

L-R: McLeod, Tran and Sabourin

Distinguished Service award winners recognized

The Alumni Association proudly honors a trio of dedicated Bulldogs with 2015 Distinguished Service Awards. Douglas D. “Doug” McLeod, Brian M. Sabourin and Kieu-Anh T. Tran represent the best alumni volunteers from across the globe.

McLeod is a Lucedale resident and 29-year veteran of McLeod Tire Company. He represents the people of district 107 in his second term as a member of the Mississippi House of Representatives. With the George-Greene County alumni chapter, McLeod served as secretary from 2001 to 2009, vice president from 2010 to 2012, and president from 2013 to 2015.

Another distinguished service honoree is Huntsville, Alabama, resident Sabourin, a 1983 aerospace engineering graduate of Mississippi State who also holds an organizational management degree from the University of Phoenix. In his professional life, he is director for corporate development for Strata-G Solutions Inc. With the Huntsville-Decatur, Alabama chapter, Sabourin serves as the chapter’s vice president, earlier having served as membership committee lead, president, past president and national board member.

The third Distinguished Service honoree is Kieu-Anh T. Tran of Tucker, Georgia, who is a dominant Maroon and White presence in the busy Atlanta area. Tran uses the 1996 civil engineering degree she earned from Mississippi State as vice president, engineer and project manager at Q Solutions Inc. She has been an officer in the Alumni Association’s Central Mississippi and Nashville, Tennessee chapters, and she has served on the Alumni Association National Board. Tran was selected as Mississippi State’s Outstanding Young Alumnus for 2004.

Association salutes outstanding chapters

The Alumni Association annually recognizes chapters for dedication and service to Mississippi State University. This February, 54 chapters of the university’s 93 worldwide were honored at the annual Alumni Awards Banquet for their accomplishments in 2015. Gold, silver and bronze cowbells were given to representatives of the top chapters in each category.

Gold Chapters are:
Huntsville-Decatur, Alabama
Oktibbeha County
Panola County

Silver Chapters are:
Atlanta, Georgia
Central Mississippi
Lawrence-Jefferson Davis
Lincoln County

Bronze Chapters are:
Houston, Texas
Southeast Mississippi
Tishomingo County

Also recognized for achievements in 2015 were those earning distinction as honor chapters, which included:

Chapters received special recognition banners on behalf of their achievements in 2015. In-state honor chapter representatives are pictured above and out-of-state representatives below.


Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Birmingham, Alabama
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Chicago, Illinois
Chickasaw County
Clay County
Covington County
Dallas, Texas
Denver, Colorado
DeSoto County
East Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Hancock County
Jackson County
Jones County
Lauderdale County
Lee County

Lowndes County
Memphis, Tennessee
Mobile, Alabama
Montgomery, Alabama
Nashville, Tennessee
New Orleans, Louisiana
New York, New York
Northeast Florida
Noxubee County
Orlando, Florida
Saint Louis, Missouri
Simpson County
South Texas
Southwest Mississippi
Tippah County
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Union County
Warren County
Washington, D.C.
Webster County
Yazoo County


2016 Leadership Conference

Photos by Robert Lewis

TOP LEFT: Alumni Executive Director Jeff Davis with chapter leaders Stephen Michel and J.P. Walker. TOP MIDDLE: National Alumni President and Vice President, Ron Black and Brad Reeves. TOP RIGHT: Audrey Pongetti selects Traveling Bulldogs materials. Behind her are Phillip Pongetti and Ann Hossley. BOTTOM LEFT: National board of directors members Brig. Gen. Sam Nichols and Hart Bailey. MIDDLE: Michael Richardson, assistant director of chapter and volunteer programs, with Gena Calvert, left, and Dwanda Moore, center. BOTTOM RIGHT: Kirby Hobbs inquiring about distance education with Mindy Wolfe.