Alumnus honors father with military scholarship

Sarah and Bobby Hutson (center) flanked by grandson Brandon Hutson (left), president of the Dallas Alumni chapter, and Brian Hutson (right)

Mississippi State University was born with a strong military tradition steeped into its foundation. As early ROTC cadet students practiced marching drills each morning and evening, their footsteps were hallmarking the iconic heart of campus. Although some 140 years have passed since the Drill Field first earned its name, MSU continues to uphold its longstanding commitment to supporting military members and their families.

Many alumni and friends, like Brian and Angie Hutson, are also helping to uphold that commitment. The Frisco, Texas, couple recently established an endowed scholarship for veterans and military-connected students at MSU in honor of Brian’s father, retired Lt. Col. Bobby N. Hutson.

The elder Hutson, of Brandon, attended MSU in the late 1950s before joining the Air Force as a pilot. He later joined the Mississippi Army National Guard and flew helicopters. Upon retirement, he had completed over 40 years of combined military service.

While growing up and attending Brandon High School, Brian embraced his school’s Bulldog mascot. However, it was his father that taught him how to be an MSU Bulldog.

“I was brought up to be a Mississippi State Bulldog, going to football games with my mom and dad,” Brian said. “I can remember dad and me at the 6-3 win over Alabama in 1980.”

Brian attended MSU on a football scholarship from 1983-86 and graduated in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. In 1997, he opened BHC Office Solutions, which he continues to serve as president. The Addison, Texas-based business specializes in corporate office interiors and services nationwide.

Despite no longer living in Mississippi, Brian continues to share his passion for MSU. With a history of continuous support for Bulldog athletics, it seemed fitting that the inspiration for the Hutsons’ scholarship gift came from one of Brian’s former MSU football teammates whose father died last year.

“I thought it was nice that they already had a scholarship endowment set up in his name so people could donate to something he loved,” said Brian, who realized he wanted to do something similar for his own father. “I wanted my dad to select what area he wanted the scholarship to support. He decided on helping veterans and members of military families, and I love that he got to choose instead of me guessing.”

The Bobby N. Hutson Endowed Scholarship, established within the G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Center for America’s Veterans, will assist honorably discharged veterans of the U.S. military armed forces, active service members or members of the National Guard who are enrolled as full-time students at MSU. Recipients must also maintain a 3.0 GPA.

“I always knew my dad was proud of me, but I wanted to let him know how proud I am of him and all of his accomplishments and this scholarship says that,” Brian said. “I hope students receiving this in the many years ahead ask about Lt. Col. Bobby Hutson and then raise their cowbells and ring them for dad. His scholarship and name will live on long after I’m gone, and I think that is just really cool.”

The inaugural recipient of the award for fall 2018 is Joseph “Paxton” Aaron East, a sophomore mechanical engineering major from Daphne, Alabama. As a member of the Air Force Reserves, he is one of over 2,500 students at MSU who benefit from the Montgomery Center.

Established in 2006, the Montgomery Center is now recognized as a national leader in providing comprehensive support through a university-based veteran resource center. The services and assistance provided by the Montgomery Center, joined by the generous support of alumni and friends like the Hutsons, extend Mississippi State’s outreach. These collective efforts also have helped MSU earn consecutive top 50 rankings as a university for veterans and the 2018 Military Friendly Schools Gold Medal for veteran-oriented campus culture.

The Hutsons’ endowed scholarship pays tribute not only to Lt. Col. Bobby Hutson but also to MSU’s deep-rooted military traditions. Additionally, perpetual support from the award will provide greater opportunities for ambitious, military-connected students to achieve their goals at MSU and beyond.

“My wife and I are so blessed and love to give back to help others, especially at Mississippi State,” Brian said. “You get to a point where you figure out that a university relies so much on its alumni and friends to help make it a better place for everyone.”

For more information on supporting the Montgomery Center or establishing a scholarship in honor of someone, contact Casey McGee, assistant director of development for the Division of Student Affairs, at 662.325.9129 or

By Addie Mayfield