Class News Mississippi State University


Class Notes


H. Rouse Caffey (M.S. '55) of Baton Rouge, La., has retired as chancellor of the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, ending 36 years of service in the LSU System. The ag center conducts research and educational programs through its major branches: the Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station and the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service, as well as agricultural exchange programs through its International Programs division. Prior to his 13 years as chancellor of the ag center, he served for two years as chancellor of LSU at Alexandria. Caffey is an internationally recognized authority in the areas of rice production and agricultural research.

Jerry Clower of Liberty, Miss., and Nashville, Tenn., has recorded his 28th album on the MCA label. "Live at Dollywood" was recorded in October at Pigeon Forge. Clower performs annually at the Dollywood theater in the family amusement park and has long been one of the park's more popular attractions. Ole Jer' also was featured prominently in a recent issue of Super Driver, the original truckers' tape magazine.


Thomas Hubert Allen Jr. of Cocoa, Fla., has retired after 39 years of service to NASA.


Wanda Dixon of Meridian, professor and chair of the department of mathematics and science at Meridian Community College, has been named 1996 Mississippi Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, U.S. Professors of the Year program. The awards, sponsored in part by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, recognize the most outstanding undergraduate instructors in the country.


Leon Nelson has been named president and chief executive officer of FSC Paper Company, headquartered in Alsip, Ill. He previously was president of Tripap International.


Wayne A. Boutwell (M.S. '68) has been named president and chief executive officer-elect of Southern States Cooperative, a major distributor of seeds, grains, and other farm, home, and garden products. Southern States, headquartered in Richmond, Va., has more than 550 retail outlets and a number of feed mills, fertilizer plants, and petroleum terminals in six states. Boutwell previously was president and CEO of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives. He was the 1992 Alumni Fellow for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Mississippi State, and in 1987, he was named Progressive Farmer magazine's Man of the Year in Agriculture.

B.S. Hood III (M.M.E. '68, Ed.D. '73) of Starkville, a professor of music education at Mississippi State, has been named 1996 Music Educator of the Year by the Mississippi Music Educators Association.

David O. Thoms Jr. of Laurel reports that a reunion was held in October of the "3-A-Hull Dorm Boys" of the years 1961-68. The group of about 22 and their wives met at Peavey Electronics in Meridian and reconvened the following day at Hull Hall on campus to relive old times and share their latest news with each other.

Don Wilkes of Huntsville, Ala., is president of AZ Technologies, a firm with 47 employees which specializes in developing coating materials for NASA, the Department of Defense, and private corporations.


Elton R. King
Elton R. King of Mandeville, La., has been appointed group president, network and technology, for BellSouth Telecommunications Inc. He previously was the company's group president, regulatory and external affairs, and has been with BellSouth since 1968.


Richard G. Simmons
Richard G. Simmons of Meridian, Chief of Staff for the Army Reserve's 143rd Transportation Command, has been promoted to brigadier general. He has assumed the post of Deputy Commanding General of the 143rd Transportation Command in Orlando, Fla., which oversees 40 units throughout Florida and South Georgia. Simmons also is president of Simmons Consulting Engineers and is secretary/treasurer of Engineering Testing Service Inc.

Ruth Anne Wall has received a master's degree in social work at Florida State University and is a licensed clinical social worker in Florida. She is moving to Oklahoma City, Okla., to establish her practice.


W. Maret Maxwell of Jackson, a physician, has been elected president of the Mississippi Society of Anesthesiologists for 1997-98.

Malcolm Wall of Edmond, Okla., has been appointed associate executive director of the four-station statewide Public Television Network for the state of Oklahoma. He previously was executive vice president for the public radio and television stations in Orlando, Fla.


Jack Porter Oden of Enterprise, Ala., has been appointed chairperson of the Division of Social Sciences at Enterprise State Junior College, where he has been employed for 25 years. He also has been elected to Who's Who in American Junior College Faculty, and is faculty adviser to the Tau Mu Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa honor society.

Senita Walker, library/media specialist at Woodley Elementary School in Hattiesburg, is one of four educators in Mississippi selected to receive the prestigious Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award. The selection is accompanied by a $25,000 award. Walker began her teaching career in 1969. She is one of only three teachers in the state who hold certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, and was the first in the state to be certified in early adolescence language arts. The Milken award recognizes outstanding K-12 educators for the quality of their teaching, professional leadership, community involvement, and potential for contributions to the healthy development of children.


Lauren Gates Bearden (M.A. '77) of Columbus, a Spanish teacher at Columbus High School, has received the High School Teacher of the Year award, presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portugese. Bearden previously was a Spanish instructor at Mississippi State.

Thomas H. Walker of Lees Summit, Mo., has been selected by President Bill Clinton for the 1996 Presidential Meritorious Rank Award. A member of the Senior Executive Service, Walker is employed by the U.S. General Services Administrator as assistant regional administrator for public buildings for the Heartland Region in Kansas City, Mo. He is responsible for all federal real property assets in a four-state area.


Randy Bell of Clinton is news director for WJDX-96.3 FM and sister station WMSI-102.3 FM, winners of three 1996 Edward R. Murrow Awards for excellence in electronic journalism presented by the Radio-Television News Directors Association in Washington, D.C. In the "Radio Small Staff Division," the stations were national winners for overall excellence, newscast, and sports reporting.

Diana Ezell (M.S. '75) of Tupelo, principal of Church Street Elementary School, has received the Tupelo Public Schools' Administrator of the Year award.


Melanie Shapley Flowers
Melanie Shapley Flowers of Greenville has joined Delta and Pine Land Company's Customer Support Center, working with customers throughout the Southeast region. D&PL, headquartered in Scott, is a commercial seed breeder, producer, and marketer with offices in six states.

Rick Harper of Needham, Mass., is a senior technical consultant in fault tolerant computing at Stratus Computer in Marlboro, Mass. He previously worked at Draper Laboratory. Harper earned a Ph.D. at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1987.


Michael Maxey (M.S. '81) of Lima, Peru, faced a harrowing experience when he was held hostage for six days by Peruvian geurillas during the December-January seizure of the Japanese ambassador's residence in Lima. Maxey, head of the Office of Alternative Development for the U.S. Agency for International Development in Peru, was taken hostage Dec. 17, 1996, along with 570 other guests at a reception held at the ambassador's home. He was released unharmed on Dec. 22, along with a number of other hostages. A career employee of U.S. AID, an agency of the U.S. State Department, Maxey had taken his current assignment the previous August. Before that, he held posts in West Africa, Honduras, Costa Rica, and Barbados. Following his release, Maxey came home to Grenada for a well-deserved vacation before returning to his post in Lima.


Sharon Burleson (M.S. '80, Ed.S. '85) of Benton, Ark., has been named executive director for Timber Ridge Ranch NeuroRehabilitation Center and NeuroRestorative Center of Arkansas. Both facilities are owned by Timber Ridge Group, an Arkansas-based company specializing in rehabilitation of persons who are neurologically impaired and behaviorally challenged.

Tracy L. Roberts of Boston, Mass., is president and owner of Design Plus, a graphic design company specializing in design and production of a wide range of collateral materials and in web site design for financial industry clients.


Mark Formby of Picayune, representing Pearl River County in the state House of Representatives, is a co-founder and first president of the Mississippi Conservative Coalition, a bipartisan organization of legislators dedicated to providing members with background information, analysis, and voting recommendations on issues that come before the legislature.

Calvin Travis Hull Jr. of Dallas, Texas, is a commercial real estate broker with Cushman and Wakefield.

Lester M. Lamberth has been promoted to commander in the U.S. Navy, while serving at the Navy and Marine Corps Reserve Readiness Center in Indianapolis, Ind.

Glenna Canfield Mason (M.S. '81) of Chester, S.C., has received the Rookie of the Year award from the South Carolina Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences. She is employed by the Clemson Cooperative Extension Service.


Doug Maples (M.A. '82, M.C.S. '86) of Omaha, Neb., is M.I.S. manager of Goodwill Industries in Omaha, a not-for-profit agency that trains and hires persons with disabilities.

Gerald A. Tuskan of Oak Ridge, Tenn., short rotation woody crops manager for the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has been chosen to participate in the National Research Council's forum, "Intellectual Property Rights and Plant Biotechnology: Challenges for Industry, Government, and Academe." Tuskan's research focuses on DNA fingerprinting technology to characterize various plant species.


Robert M. Gathings of Jackson has been elected to the board of directors of the Southern Paper Trade Association, an organization of privately owned paper companies throughout the Southeast.

Timothy J. Reynolds recently moved to Houston, Texas, where he is an invasive cardiologist at Texas Heart Institute.


David L. Grady of Iowa City, Iowa, is director of campus programs and student activities at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.


Rebecca Crowder of Birmingham, Ala., has been named director of client relations in the law firm of Lange, Simpson, Robinson & Somerville in its Birmingham office.

Michael Gerard Lee of Vicksburg, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers employee, has been chosen for the 1996-97 Leadership Vicksburg Program sponsored by the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce.

Tommy Williams of Starkville has joined National Bank of Commerce's Starkville Banking Center as assistant vice president and loan officer. He previously was with Union Planters Bank in Crystal Springs.


Doug Terreson of New York, N.Y., has joined Morgan Stanley as principal and head of the International and Domestic Integrated Oil Group. He previously was with Paine Webber as first vice president and head of the International Oil Division, and before that was lead energy manager for Putnam Investments mutual funds in Boston.


Paige Long of Canton, a territory manager for Alliant Foodservice in Jackson, has earned the company's highest national sales award, having posted the largest increase in sales and profits in the Jackson area.

John W. Ray Jr. of Jackson, a vice president of Trustmark National Bank, has been selected to participate in the Mississippi Economic Council's 1996-97 Leadership Mississippi Program. The program's purpose is to identify emerging leaders under 40 and help them discover and develop leadership skills that will contribute to the growth and development of the state and their local communities. Ray also was selected for the 1995 Top 40 Under 40 leadership program. He is involved in Habitat for Humanity, Special Olympics, and is a past officer of the Mississippi Young Bankers Association.


Edwina Denise Anthony, logistics instructor in the Combined Arms Division of the U.S. Army Chemical School at Fort McClellan, Ala., has coordinated a volleyball clinic for female students at Piedmont (Ala.) High School. In 1992, Anthony was a member of the All Army Volleyball Team.

Eric O. Brockman of Jackson, an electrical engineer with BellSouth Telecommunications, has been selected to participate in the Mississippi Economic Council's 1996-97 Leadership Mississippi Program. The program's purpose is to identify emerging leaders under 40 and help them discover and develop leadership skills that will contribute to the growth and development of the state and their local communities. Brockman is president of the BellSouth Pioneers Volunteer Organization, and assisted in the design and implementation of Mississippi FiberNet 2000.

Jeffrey B. Lacey of Kosciusko, president of Merchants & Farmers Bank in Kosciusko, has been selected to participate in the Mississippi Economic Council's 1996-97 Leadership Mississippi Program. The program's purpose is to identify emerging leaders under 40 and help them discover and develop leadership skills that will contribute to the growth and development of the state and their local communities. Lacey was chosen Outstanding Citizen of Attala County in 1989, and is chairman of the Executive Committee of the Attala County Republican Party.

William L. Stoppel (M.A. '89), Chief of the Protocol Branch and Acting Chief of the Secretariat of the General Staff, National Guard Bureau, has been promoted to major.

Charles A. Warren III of Ridgeland is a hospital representative with Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Pharmaceuticals.


Michael J. Columbus of Louisville, Ky., is a sales representative for several golf apparel companies, including GlenGate Apparel, BellePointe Sport Ladieswear, and Cali-Fame Headwear. His territory includes Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

C. Eric Rains of Greenwich, Conn., has joined Wesley Stout Associates as project manager. The landscape architecture, site and environmental planning firm is based in New Canaan, Conn. Rains previously was principal of Charles Eric Rains & Associates, a landscape design firm in Greenwich.


Caroline Buffington Pugh of Tupelo has been named director of the Trace Division of the Mississippi Chapter of the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation. She previously was marketing director for the Mall at Barnes Crossing in Tupelo.

Michelle R. Edstrom-Troxell, a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, recently reported for duty at Naval Hospital, Jacksonville, Fla. She joined the Navy in 1992.

Todd Hunt of Harrison, Tenn., served as assistant venue manager of the OcoeeWhitewater Center, site of the canoe/kayak slalom events for the 1996 Olympic Games.

Michael Sandelli of Birmingham, Ala., a graduate architect with the Garrison Barrett Group, has been registered by the State of Alabama Board for Registration of Architects.


Blake W. Kent has been commissioned an ensign in the U.S. Navy after completing Aviation Officer Candidate School at Naval Aviation Schools Command at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Fla.

Pamela D. Leonard of Jackson passed the Architect Registration Exam in 1995 and is a registered architect in Mississippi.

Dalton C. Middleton (M.S.B.A. '93) of Verona, a programmer for Action Industries' computer integrated manufacturing department, had an article titled "Managing AS/400 Network Passwords" published in the September 1996 issue of News/400 magazine.

Patrick N. Rairley, a Navy ensign, has completed the Officer Indoctrination Course at the Naval Education and Training Center in Newport, R.I.

Tenela D. Rodgers (M.B.A. '93) of Memphis, Tenn., has been named director of public relations at Shelby State Community College in Memphis. She previously was marketing researcher for WREG News Channel 3 and was marketing assistant for the Memphis in May International Festival.


Mark A. Cliett and Robert T. Witthauer have opened a new law firm, Cliett & Witthauer, PLLC, in West Point. Cliett previously was with the law firm of Tubb, Ross and Lambert in West Point, and Witthauer was with Shumacker & Thompson in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Laura Beth Fleming (B.P.A. '93) of Nashville, Tenn., has passed the Uniform Certified Accountants' Examination, issued by the Tennessee State Board of Accountancy. She is a staff accountant with O'Neil Hagaman.

Patrick Manuel of Ridgeland is a programmer for Mediquest.

Alisha "Lee Lee" Gray Marlow of Meridian, a child psychologist at Weems Community Mental Health Center, has completed an internship at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and earned a Ph.D. in psychology at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Steve Marlow of Meridian is a teacher and coach at Enterprise High School.

Melissa Beck Middleton (M.B.A. '93) of Verona is a licensed office representative for State Farm Insurance Co.

Joe Milton Turner of Norcross, Ga., has written and composed a one-act musical farce, BANKNOTE$, which was produced at a play festival at Marshall University, Huntington, W.Va., in February. The musical was created during a summer theater workshop at Mississippi State and opened the university's mainstage season in 1993. Turner directed the workshop and was musical director for the full production. He is a change management consultant for Andersen Consulting and is active in Atlanta theaters.

Mark A. Wilkinson, a 1st lieutenant in the Marine Corps, has been designated a naval aviator following flight training with Training Squadron 31, Corpus Christi, Texas.


Timothy G. Burton, a 1st lieutenant in the Marine Corps, has been designated a naval aviator following flight training with Training Squadron Seven, Naval Air Station, Meridian.

Kirk Gibbon of Baton Rouge, La., is employed by APPRO Systems Inc. in systems education.

George Ray Lenow II of Dallas, Texas, has been named account manager for Computer Horizons Corp. He services the telecommunications market in the Dallas area, with accounts including AT&T, MCI, and GTE.

Vicki Jean Leonard (M.S. '95) of Alpharetta, Ga., is a UNIX/network support engineer for TheraTx Inc. She previously worked at Columbus (Miss.) Air Force Base.

Scott Michael Tanksley of Duluth, Ga., has received a master's degree in city and regional planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is an associate with Wilson & Nolan Southeast Inc., a corporate real estate consulting and mortgage banking firm headquartered in Atlanta. He previously worked with Downtown Raleigh (N.C.) Development Corp. as a program advisor.

Charles Samuel Wallace of Reno, Nev., has been named director of information for the West Coast Hockey League. The WCHL has teams in Reno; San Diego, Bakersfield, and Fresno, Calif.; and Anchorage and Fairbanks, Alaska.


Jeff Horton (M.P.A. '96) of Jackson has joined Mississippi Valley Title Insurance Co. as agency auditor.


Marrion Mills (M.S. '96) of Tupelo, a sixth-grade science teacher at Milam Intermediate School, has been named the Sallie Mae award winner for Tupelo Public Schools. The award recognizes first-year teachers for excellence in relating to students and parents, innovative teaching approaches, and interaction with co-workers.While at Mississippi State, Mills was named Student Teacher of the Year.

Rosemary Speakman Turner of Norcross, Ga., choreographed the Mississippi State productions of BANKNOTE$, a one-act musical farce written by her husband, Joe. [See 1992 listing.] She is completing a master's degree in environmental engineering at Georgia Tech.


Michael J. Roberson of Hernando has been named environmental biologist with the Reedy Creek Improvement District in Orlando, Fla., and has married Suzanna Farrell ('97) of Jackson.

  • Luke Cross Bishop, July 2, 1996, to Lee B. Bishop ('84) and wife Debbie Lea of McKinney, Texas.
  • Samuel O'Keefe Farren, July 3, 1996, to Sean ('92) and Lisa ('91) Farren.
  • Ashley Elizabeth Flowers, Sept. 10, 1996, to Richard Keith Flowers ('91) and Renee Howell Flowers ('91) of Iuka.
  • Ashton Elizabeth Gibbon, Oct. 28, 1996, to Kirk Gibbon ('93) and wife Charlene of Baton Rouge, La.
  • Carson Alan Gilstrap, May 14, 1996, to Alan Gilstrap ('93) and Elizabeth McRee Gilstrap.
  • Alexandra Claire Grady, Aug. 1, 1996, to David L. Grady ('82) and wife Marsha of Iowa City, Iowa.
  • William Benjamin Holt, Sept. 26, 1996, to Brad Holt ('94) and Kristy Holt ('94) of Ridgeland.
  • Robert Alexander House, Sept. 30, 1996, to Paul David House ('96) and wife Leigh of Ridgeland.
  • Travis Jackson Hull, Nov. 14, 1996, to Calvin Travis Hull Jr. ('79) and wife Susan of Dallas, Texas.
  • Blake William Kemper, Aug. 12, 1996, to Jennifer Davenport Kemper ('93) and husband Dan of Columbia, Mo.
  • Benjamin Tucker Murdock, Oct. 9, 1996, to Candace Williamson Murdock ('79) and husband Robert.
  • Janiece Marie Pigg, Dec. 6, 1996, to Jason D. Pigg ('82) and wife Robin of Starkville.
  • John Nathan Rhodes, Feb. 1, 1996, to John M. Rhodes ('87) and Debra Little Rhodes ('89).
  • John Forrest Sisson, June 27, 1996, to Jim Sisson ('92) and Maria May Sisson ('92, M.S. '95) of Philadelphia.
  • Chase Aubry Warren, July 23, 1996, to Charles A. Warren III ('87) and wife Ava of Ridgeland.
  • Trey Williams, July 19, 1996, to Melissa Tatum Williams ('91) and husband Rick of Harrison, Tenn.
  • William Benjamin Woo, Sept. 25, 1996, to William K. Woo ('91) and Melissa Dawn Powell Woo ('93) of Marion, N.C.

Remember . . .
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